Lower Calf Creek Falls

Calf Creek FallsAnother great pet friendly hike in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is Lower Calf Creek Falls.  It is a 2.5-3 mile hike to the falls starting at the Calf Creek Campground.  Most of the hike is in the open with only an occasional shade tree and few places to access the river.  Once you get to the falls the spray coming off the 126′ fall creates a cool oasis surrounded by trees.

Calf Creek Falls

Calf Creek Falls

Calf Creek FallsPets do need to be leashed on the trail, it can be narrow and busy in some places and it is best to go early to avoid the worst of the heat during the summer.



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A couple of pet friendly hikes in Wyoming

split rock, pet travel, dog hike

Split Rock information sign

During our visit to Wyoming this summer we found a hike new to us and returned to an old favorite one.

The new site we explored is at the Split Rock rest area about 8 miles west of Muddy Gap on US287/US789.  There is a short trail with interpretive signs about the area and a large rock outcropping for the more adventurous people and dogs.  While the actual split in the rock is better viewed another 3 miles west, wagon ruts created by the emigrants heading through the pass can be found at this location.


Split Rock, WY

satellite view from Google maps

split rock, pet travel, dog hike

A popular hike closer to Lander is the trail up to Popo Agie falls.  Drive up Sinks Canyon to Bruce’s Bridge parking area.  The hike is 3 miles round trip and if you don’t mind the cold water try out the rock slide into the pool.  For more details about the hike click on the photo of Dexter.

Popo Agie falls, pet travel, pet hike

Dexter at Popo Agie falls.

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Willis Creek slot canyon in Escalante


Willis creek slot

Willis creek slot

A while ago I wrote about visiting Devil’s Garden in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.  Another dog friendly hike in the monument is Willis Creek Slot canyon.  The creek threads its way through the slot and you will get your feet wet as you are forced to cross through it multiple times.  Most of the hike is in the shade of the slot making it a good option even on hot days.

The road to the slot is several miles of dirt with some sandy areas so be prepared.

Road to the slot

Road to the slot

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New National Monument to visit

Today President Obama designated the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks region near Las Cruces, NM to be a National Monument.  The 500,000 acre area includes mountain, desert and grassland habitats as well has archeological and historical resources.  There are numerous petroglyph sites and the Butterfield Stage route passed through the area.  Several rare plant and animal species also call the area home.  There are hiking, biking and horse trails but currently I was unable to find any information about regulations for pets.

Here is a link to the website: Organ Mountains.  When I get some photos and some information about pet regulations I will update this post.  If any of my readers are in that area and can find out if there are any pet friendly trails please post the information in the comment section.

Map of the monument area

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Have Dane will Travel

boat tour of Antelope Canyon

K’Ehleyr on the Antelope Canyon Tour

While visiting Page, AZ last November for a balloon rally we had the opportunity to take a boat tour of Antelope Canyon.  We had earlier declined because we had the dogs with us but sometimes you just have to ask if they are welcome.  The boat driver had no problem with them coming and there was plenty of space.  I think the other passengers took more photos of the dogs then they did of the canyon.

Antelope canyon tour

Antelope canyon tour

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Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park

dogs in National Parks, Glacier, Waterton-Glacier

K’Ehleyr enjoying Glacier NP

Waterton-Glacier gets 2 separate paw ratings, a paw left and a 4 paws.  The reason for the two ratings is the uniqueness of the park spanning 2 countries and each country having its own regulations.  The Glacier NP side here in the US gets the common 1-paw, pets are allowed on paved or developed areas, in front-country campgrounds and picnic areas as well as in boats where motorized craft are allowed but not on any trails.  In Waterton Lakes NP on the Canada side, leashed pets are allowed on all 120 miles of trails giving it a 4-paw rating.

Bighorn sheep, Ovis canadensis

Bighorn sheep, Ovis canadensis

Wildlife can be commonly seen and pets may disturb or be disturbed by this.  Our Danes were in the van as this herd of sheep walked by and people in the red bus were filming the violent shaking of the van more than the sheep.

Bighorn sheep, Ovis canadensis

Bighorn sheep seem to have no fear.

We didn’t have a chance to go over the border to Waterton Lakes but if you do want to do some hiking with your pets that is the place to go.  Just make sure you have travel papers with vaccination records to avoid any trouble bringing your pets back across the border.

Glacier NP

Hidden Lake trail

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Wupatki and Sunset Crater Volcano National Monuments

Wupatki and Sunset Crater NM

Volcanic landscape

  paw left   One-paw rating for both.

A short drive north of Flagstaff, AZ on US 89 you will find 2 National Monuments joined by a 35-mile loop road, they are Sunset Crater Volcano and Wupatki.  The landscape at Sunset Crater is dominated by a 1000 foot high cinder cone formed over 200 years of volcanic activity between the years 1064-1250.  Almost half of the monument is the Bonito Lava Flow where there is a 1 mile loop trail, humans only.

Traveling north on the loop road takes you to Wupatki and the remains of the most influential pueblo of its time, by 1180 thousands of people were farming the Wupatki area, by 1250 most of them had moved on to other areas.  Four other pueblos and some canyon dwellings can also be reached by short walks from the road.

Neither park is pet friendly, dogs are allowed on the paved roads only.  Sunset Crater sits within the Coconino National forest which extends up to the southern boundary of Wupatki.  The National forest area is dog friendly and a forest service campground is near Sunset Crater and open from late spring till early fall.

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Capitol Reef National Park

Trail above the Fruita campground

Trail above the Fruita campground

In central Utah, a 65 million years old, giant wrinkle in the Earth’s crust stretches for 100 miles.  It is called the Waterpocket Fold.  People of the Fremont culture lived here as early as 700AD till about 1250.  They were followed in the 1800’s by Mormon pioneers who created the community of Fruita along the Fremont River and become known for their productive orchards.  In 1937 the area was set aside as Capitol Reef National Monument, later to become a National Park and it still contains apple, peach, cherry, pear, and apricot orchards where visitors can pick and eat fruit for free.  If you want to take the fruit with you there is a small fee.  The Fruita campground is nestled between some of these orchards.

K'Ehleyr at the Fruita Campground

K’Ehleyr at the Fruita Campground

Pets are allowed in the campground and on the path between the campground and the visitor center, they are also allowed in the orchards.  The orchards are also frequented by Mule deer and yellow-bellied marmots so if your dog likes to hunt as much as Varel and K’Ehleyr do you need to keep a tight hold on their leashes.

Yellow-bellied marmot

Yellow-bellied marmot

Overall the Park gets a 1 paw rating since there are no accommodations made for pets but the shady campground and abundant fruit makes it a regular stop for us when we are traveling in the area.

r-pod in the Fruita campground

Fruita campground

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National Park dogs – Cabrillo National Monument

Anthopleura xanthogrammica, cnidaria, giant green anemone, intertidal, invertebrates, lowtide, tidepooling

Anthopleura xanthogrammica, giant green anemone

Sorry I have not been updating my dogs in National Park posts lately.  I decided to remedy that by going my most local park, Cabrillo National Monument located at Point Loma in San Diego, CA.  The park was established in 1913 to commemorate the life of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, the first European to set foot on the west coast of the US.  The visitor center sites on top of the peninsula and providing excellent views of San Diego Bay, Coronado and south to the Coronado Islands off Mexican coast.  This time of year, January and February, are great times to catch site of a Gray whale on their annual migration to Baja from the Arctic.  There are some short walking trails from the visitor center to the Old Point Loma Lighthouse and the Cabrillo statue as well as a 2.5 mile round trip trail through native coastal sage scrub and past remnants of the WWI and II bunkers and gun batteries.  Unfortunately none of these trails allow pets.

Cabrillo National Monument coastal tidepool trail

Coastal Tidepool Trail

Coastal Intertidal trail, Cabrillo National Monument

Coastal Intertidal trail

If you do bring your pet, head down the hill to the tidepool area.  Leashed pets are allowed in this area and there is 1 trail, the Coastal Tidepool Trail, which follows the coast between parking lots 1 and 2.  It is an easy to moderate 1 mile hike with the Pacific on one side and native Mediterranean coastal sage scrub on the other.  Erosion has a constant influence in the area so some sections can be quite rugged.


Since there is 1 dog friendly trail the park gets a 2 paw rating but it is worth a visit just to see the park’s tidepools on a good low tide.  There are many rocky intertidal areas in San Diego but the diversity of life seems to be the best here.  I’m always looking out for nudibranchs and on my recent trip there I found 24 individuals of 3 different species.

giant-spined sea star, intertidal, invertebrates, lowtide, Pisaster giganteus, sea star, tidepooling

Pisaster giganteus, giant-spined sea star

The area can be extremely crowded on good low tides so parking can be difficult and wear shoes which can get wet.

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Helen Woodward Surf Dog Surf-a-thon 2013

Del Mar dog beach once again set the stage for the Helen Woodward Surf-a-thon, a fund-raiser for the animal clinic. The competitors all have support teams and draw a huge crowd of spectators, 2 and 4 legged, to cheer them on as they take to the waves to show their skills whether they are new surfers or long time pros.

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