10 Dog-Friendly Trails in Southern Utah

Posted: June 03, 2022 | Author: Kate Lyons | Read Time: 5 minutes

Dog-friendly trails in southern UtahIts stellar location and recreational opportunities are why Southern Utah University owns the title of University of the Parks. Not only are there a handful of local hiking trails to explore, but campus is closely located to some of the country’s best national parks. Many of these locations are open year-round and allow dogs to share the great outdoors by your side. Take advantage of SUU’s great location – it doesn’t get better than exploring the world’s best backyard on a dog-friendly trail with man’s best friend!

Dog-Friendly Trails Near Cedar City

East Bench Trail

1.1 miles from campus, 4 minutes driving
Part of the larger trail system throughout Cedar City, this trail is over 5 miles long and can take around two hours to complete. Feel free to hike, bike, run and explore its one-way distance of 2.65 miles or make it a loop by adding other trails in the city. Dogs are allowed but must be on a leash. Enjoy the all-paved trails early in the morning or in the evening when it’s hot, or anytime during the cooler months of the year.

Red Hollow

1.7 miles from campus, 3 minutes driving
Interested in a fun hike with great red rock scenery? Located East of Cedar City (just a few minutes up Cedar Canyon), Red Hollow is a great place for hiking, mountain biking, running, climbing, and leashed dogs. This area provides over 12 miles of trails and is classified as moderate in intensity, so be sure to bring water and a snack for both you and your pup. Access the trail from Center Street or Thunderbird Gardens on 900 North.

Fiddlers Canyon Ridge

3.8 miles from campus, 8 minutes driving
This trail is open all year and provides a quieter, less-populated experience. Coming in just under 4 miles in length, this trail allows hiking and cyclists. Dogs are welcome but must be on a leash. Feel free to make an afternoon of it and pack a lunch since there are benches and picnic tables to use. This trail offers a fully paved trail and an abundance of native plants, and was listed as one of IHC’s healthy trails.

The “C” Overlook Trail

9.7 miles from campus, 17 minutes driving
The entire Iron Hill Trail System provide over 30 miles and the “C” Trail is one of the most advanced due to its terrain and elevation gain of over 2,200 feet. However, once you reach the top, you will see some of the best views of Cedar City! If the hike sounds too intense for you, then a scenic drive to the C Overlook with your pet is also an option. Dogs are welcome to join you on this hike, but need to stay on a leash. The best time to use the trail is March through October. If you visit during the winter, only use the trails if they are frozen and not muddy to help you stay safe.

Spring Creek Canyon

14 miles from campus, 17 minutes driving
This popular trail totals 5.3 miles out and back and is considered a moderate challenge. Keeping your dog on a leash while you explore the red rock and native plant will help to make sure you have an enjoyable experience. The area provides a habitat for bald eagles and peregrine falcons, as well as 13 animals and four plants that are considered sensitive. The trail is perfect for hiking and photography since it offers red rocks, Kanarra Creek, and some beautiful waterfalls.

Rattlesnake Creek

27 miles from campus, 40 minutes driving
Visit this trail from May through October for the best experience. It offers 9.5 miles of one-way moderate to difficult terrain for you and your pup to explore the wilderness. While the full hike can take a day, hikers can also camp within the national forest section of the trail, and your dog is more than welcome to join you. As with many other locations, keep your dog safe by keeping them on a leash.

Dog-Friendly National Parks

Cedar Breaks National Monument

23 miles from campus, 34 minutes driving
At 10,000 feet in elevation, you and your dog will enjoy some breathtaking views. Pets are allowed on the paved areas like parking lots and overlooks, as well as on the Sunset Trail. Be sure to keep your pet on a leash at all times. Camping with pets is allowed in the campground so long as they are on a leash and are not left unattended. While you’re there, be sure to check out the amazing alpine meadow and summer wildflower views.

Zion National Park

60 miles from campus, 1 hour and 34 minutes driving
Starting at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center is the Pa’rus Trail. Here, feel free to bring your dog on a leash to see some spectacular sights. Pets are also allowed along public roads, parking areas, campgrounds, and picnic areas in the park. Zion’s towering canyon walls are 2,000 feet high on average and the Park offers a special stargazing event. It’s sure to be a memorable time for you and your four-legged friend.

Bryce Canyon National Park

79 miles from campus, 1 hour and 34 minutes driving
Dogs are allowed on part of the Shared-use Path and a section of the Rim Trail. Additionally, you can bring your pet to campgrounds, viewpoint areas, paved roads, and parking lots. Bryce Canyon National Park is home to the world’s largest concentration of “hoodoos”, tall and skinny shafts of rock that protrude from the bottom of an arid basin, in the world! What could be more fun than a day spent with your pet in a national park with a spectacular view?

Capitol Reef National Park

164 miles from campus, 2 hours and 54 minutes driving
If you feel like an overnight stay with your fuzzy companion, Capitol Reef National Park is a great choice. Here, leashed pets are allowed in the picnic areas, orchards, paved and dirt roads, and campgrounds. While the distance may be a bit farther than the others, the sights and experience are well worth it!


Exploring the great outdoors is sure to be thrilling and may check off a few items on your bucket list. When enjoying these dog-friendly trails in southern Utah, be sure to bring enough water for you and your dog, as well as snacks or food, and any other gear needed for your planned adventure. These places can get hot, so use appropriate protective gear and watch for signs of overheating from your dog. Doing all these things will ensure you’ll enjoy your time spent in the world’s best backyard!

Tags: Student Life

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