Hiking is a hobby many of us enjoy and it’s a great way to exercise with your dog as well! We have put together some helpful information for hitting the trails with your furry companion. For further tips, information, and ideas, we also highly recommend reading a detailed guide from MyOpenCountry: HIKING WITH DOGS (BRINGING YOUR BEST FRIEND ON THE TRAIL)
Happy hiking, friends!
Hit the Trail
- South Mountain Park and Preserve has over 51 miles of primary trails for you and your furry friend to explore. Trail location: 10919 S Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ, US, 85042.
- North Mountain is the place to go if you’re looking for a summit hike with an epic view of the Phoenix skyline! Choose the paved path or explore various dirt trails around the mountain. Trail location: 10600 N 7th St, Phoenix, AZ, US, 85020.
- Papago Park offers several easy trails for families or beginners. The striking red sandstone sets a beautiful backdrop for a day outdoors. Trail location: 625 N Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix, AZ, US, 85008.
- Dreamy Draw Recreation Area offers some varying trails, including a paved walking path. While dogs are not permitted at Piestewa Peak, leashed dogs are permitted on some of the trails within the Dreamy Draw Recreation Area starting from this trailhead location: 2421 E Northern Ave, Phoenix, AZ, US, 85020.
- Lost Dog Wash Trailhead in Scottsdale includes multiple trails offering something for everyone! Pick the trail that suits you and your pet best for a fun hiking experience. Trail Location: 12601 N 124th St, Scottsdale, AZ, US, 85259
For even more trail ideas throughout Arizona, check out this book!
Stay Safe While Hiking
- Always check the weather. Our dry heat can be deceiving and takes a toll on our pets. Dogs do not sweat like we do and can’t cool themselves off as easily, making them more vulnerable to heat-related distress. Plan hikes for early mornings or evenings when the temperatures are mild.
- Hydration is key! Even during the cooler winter months, it is vital to pack enough water to last an entire hike. Bring a collapsible bowl to offer your dog frequent drinks as well. To be safe, pack more water than you think you need.
- Know the rules and respect everyone on the trail. Prior to setting out, be sure to read any posted signs. It’s important to remember even if your dog does well off leash, not all dogs on the trail enjoy meeting other dogs and that’s okay. Keeping your dog on leash to pass other families safely allows everyone on the trail to have a positive experience.
- Is your pet in shape? Just like humans, pets have varying levels of athletic ability. If your dog is used to a quick lap around the block, a 5-mile trek may be too much without training first. Consider your pet’s physical condition before selecting a trail. If you are unsure, make an appointment to talk with your veterinarian. It’s also a great opportunity to get your pet up to date on all vaccinations and flea and tick protection before heading out to enjoy nature!
Gear to Pack for a Hike
- Water bowl .
- Pet First Aid Kit.
- Paw Protection for unpaved trails.
- Snug collar with up to date identification tag.
- Collar light for evening hikes.