Have you ever wanted to see giant desert arches and go off-roading on epic dirt roads in Utah? Moab, Utah is home to national parks like Arches and Canyonlands that are visited by more than 2 million tourists each year! First known for its history of being the Uranium capitol of the world in the 1950s, Moab has now transitioned into a tourist hot spot! In Moab, you can experience adventures like mountain biking, hiking, or even Jeeping!! You simply can NOT visit Utah without exploring Moab, especially if you have a dog! In this article, we’ll discuss the top pet-friendly activities so that you can make the most out of your trip to this desert town! Let’s dive in!
To give you some perspective on who this article is for: Bree and I are a couple in our mid-20’s and we consider ourselves semi-athletic. Our goal when traveling to places like Moab is to see as many dog-friendly places as possible so we can take photos and capture memories with our dog-daughter, Sequoia. We consider ourselves value-travelers that love experiencing hotels and restaurants that are an amazing experience for the price. Keep that in mind when reading this article to see if these pet-friendly Moab attractions are a solid recommendation for you and your travel buddies!
Moab National Parks With Your Dog
Moab is close to Arches and Canyonlands National Park, but the national parks do not allow dogs to go on trails. If you want to drive through these national parks, you totally can, but we recommend visiting Dead Horse Point State Park, Corona Arch, and Castle Valley!
Moab Weather: Best Time of Year to Visit Moab?
Moab is dangerously hot in the summer, especially for your dog. The best time of year to visit Moab is the off-season between January-March because it’s colder and less crowded on the trails. If you don’t like the cold, you can go before peak summer heat or in the fall. But please, do not visit Moab, Utah in the summer with your dog! Here’s a current forecast of the weather in the area:
Safety Tips for Your Dog
Safety is so important to keep in mind while traveling through Moab with your dog. There are desert hazards that could ruin your dog’s day or even your entire trip, so keep these safety tips in mind when exploring:
Avoid Hot Pavement on Your Pup’s Paws
In the summer when it’s over 100 degrees outside, pavement can burn your dog’s paws in seconds. The first thing you need to do is touch the ground for 5+ seconds to see how hot it is. Would you walk barefoot on the temperature of the pavement? If it would burn you, it will burn your dog, too!!
Don’t Let the Bugs Kill Your Vibe
Awareness of bugs such as ticks & fleas can help alleviate stress in the future, especially if you want to avoid bringing bugs back to your home! Moab has a busy travel season in the spring and fall which is when tons of bugs are out, so check your dog when you get back from a hike!
Watch for Cacti & Shrubs
Cactus and shrubs like Beavertail Prickly Pear and foxtails can ruin your dog’s day! You’ll need to be aware of cacti, shrubs, and foxtails so that your dog doesn’t get hurt. The best ways to do this are to keep your dog on a leash, stay on the trail, and have immediate voice control with commands like “leave it” and “come here now”! (Trust us, it could save you a $500 vet bill!) You could also consider getting boots for your dog just incase.
Pet Boarding Services in Moab
Emergency Vets in Moab
Drive to Dead Horse Point State Park for Sunset or Sunrise
The first activity you need to visit in Moab with your dog is Dead Horse Point State Park! This place is one of the best viewpoints where you and your dog can see the Colorado River and Canyonlands National Park from 5900 feet high in elevation. This place truly puts into perspective how small we are in the grand scheme of things. Plus, directions from Moab are easy – a 33-mile drive that takes 45 minutes or less. Turn left onto UT-313 From US-191 and keep going until you see signs for Dead Horse Point State Park. Here are some tips to ensure you have the best time exploring Dead Horse Point State Park with your dog:
- Keep your dog on a leash so they don’t get close to the edge. There is no fence and you don’t want your dog to get hurt!
- Bring a windbreaker or extra layers in case it’s windy. It was way windier at Dead Horse Point than in downtown Moab.
- Go for sunset to get an epic view of the sun setting behind the Colorado River. It’s magical to see the glow in all the layers of the canyons in Canyonlands National Park.
Hike Corona Arch for Sunset or Sunrise
Another pet-friendly activity you should experience in Moab is Corona Arch! This hike is 3 miles round trip and is less than a 30-minute drive from downtown Moab. It’s located on the Colorado river so the drive to Corona Arch is spectacular. This hike even has two bonus arches for you to explore called Pinto Arch and Bowtie Arch. Here are some tips to make the most out of your experience hiking Corona Arch with your dog:
- Go a few hours before sunset for the best lighting in photos! walk through the arch when you arrive and then you’ll see the sun shining behind Corona Arch!
- Pack a dog backpack (filled with snacks) so you can carry your dog up or down the ladder obstacle on the trail. The latter is about 6 feet and you’ll have better leverage pulling up your dog if they have a dog harness. Please do not pull them up by their neck collar.
- Do not bring headphones or a music speaker, there is a train track crossing and you need full attention incase a train is coming
Get a View of Castle Valley from Upper Onion Creek campground
The next place to bring your dog in Moab is a dirt road to Upper Onion Creek Campground where you can get the best sunrise view of Castle Valley’s landscape! This dirt road is on the easier scale and can be driven on by most 2WD & AWD SUVs with mid-to-high clearance. We aren’t the type of people who want to get stuck in the middle of nowhere and we certainly do not have a Jeep with 37inch tires, so you can trust that this road is not too hard! You’ll get panoramic views of the sun rising behind Pariott Mesa & Castleton Tower. Here are some tips to make the most out of your experience in Castle Valley:
- Keep your dog on a leash or voice command to avoid cacti. You don’t want to have to rush your dog 30+ minutes away to the nearest emergency vet because of a cactus!
- Stay away from dirt roads if there was snow or rain in the past few days. You want the dirt road to be bone dry for maximum traction and safety in your vehicle. Even a 4WD vehicle could get stuck in Moab mud.
- Bring a satellite phone or another vehicle if you are concerned about driving off-road. Most of the dirt roads in this area have no cell service.
Stay at the Radcliffe Moab Hotel
We stayed at the Radcliffe Moab Hotel because it’s dog-friendly, centrally located, and adorably decorated! As soon as you walk in, you’re welcomed by a modern and clean atmosphere. We loved how friendly the staff was. You’ll also smell yummy food from Posto Rosso while you check in, which is the 5-star restaurant located in the lobby. If sleeping comfortably is your priority, Radcliffe Moab has a partnership with Purple Mattress – even your dog gets a Purple Mattress to get comfy on after a day of hiking the Arches in Moab. Here are a few tips to make the most out of your stay at the Radcliff Moab Hotel:
- Stay on the top floor in the back of the hotel so you can see the sun setting on the La Sal mountains. Plus, this side is quieter because there is no road noise from the main street in Moab.
- Order their adventure-to-go food on the menu at Posto Rosso! They have a whole menu dedicated to hiking, that way you have the perfect snack to bring with you on the trail! What a neat feature!
- Indulge in their bathrobes – each room has a set of delightfully soft bathrobes that were so comfy we actually slept in them!
While we absolutely loved our experience at the Radcliffe Moab hotel and we will most definitely be back, we know there are plenty of other pet-friendly hotels in Moab! These are other noteworthy hotels in Moab that allow dogs and are highly rated on Google reviews:
- SpringHill Suites by Mariott Moab
- Hyatt Place Moab
- Homewood Suites by Hilton Moab
- Wingate by Wyndham Moab
- Big Horn Lodge Moab
Best Pet-Friendly Restaurants in Moab, Utah
You already know we loved the Posto Rosso restaurant in the hotel lobby of the Radcliffe Moab! This place had the most delicious breakfast to dine in AND take out for your hike which we thought was a neat feature. Moab is home to tons of pet-friendly restaurants. Another spot we got take-out from is Antica Forma on the main street which has some of the best margarita pizzas in Moab. Other top-rated pet friendly restaurants you should check out are:
- Moab Garage Co. – Breakfast and lunch spot featuring breakfast sandwiches, breakfast burritos, salads, tacos, and even a charcuterie board!
- The Trailhead Public House & Eatery – one of Moab’s newest restaurants that’s placed in one of the city’s oldest buildings – this spot has wings, nachos, giant pretzels, salsa, burgers, beer, wine, and liquor!
- Gloria’s Corner Cafe – known for the “most beautiful patio in Moab” that happens to be dog friendly! This place has chicken sandwiches, breakfast sandwiches, acai bowls, hummus wraps, salads, burgers, and even fettuccini Alfredo!
Moab, Utah Packing List: Amazon Wish List for Your Hiking Trip
Moab, Utah can be scorching hot above 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer or below 0 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter, so you’ll want to be prepared. Here are some items you might want to pack on your trip:
- Sunglasses for your dog (you wear them to protect your eyes, too!!)
- A jacket for your dog to stay warm in the winter. Get a reflective one if you can so that your dog is extra safe on night hikes.
- A backpack for your dog so they can hold food and water. Sometimes we even put headlamps and gloves in Sequoia’s doggy backpack if we are hiking for sunrise in the cold.
- A portable dog food bowl so your dog can take snack breaks or rehydrate
- Extra socks and underwear – you never want to be stinky on vacation! Maybe even some baby wipes!
- Granola bars, juice pouches, and little bursts of calories so you stay fueled on your trip
- Camera, tripod, GoPro, drone, gimbal, SD cards
- Hiking backpack, trekking poles, water bottle, carabiners to clip things to your backpack
Bree + Stephen are adventurous entrepreneurs based in Salt Lake City, Utah! They’re pioneers of the NO BS Podcast and hosts of their YouTube channel where they share travel videos, business tutorials, and lifestyle content! They live with their German Shepherd, Sequoia and are usually chugging coffee while on their way to a hike! Please contact for business inquiries or questions about the products in this list!