pinnacle-peak-cactus photo

Dog Friendly Hiking Trails

pinnacle-peak-cactus photoIf your best friend is of the canine variety, you likely are a fan of dog-friendly destinations.  Here in the Valley of the Sun, Fido can join you on a hike through the gorgeous Sonoran Desert only in those areas where dogs are permitted.  To that end, here are a few hikes where you can enjoy the companionship of your pooch . . .

Starting at the southern end of the valley, South Mountain Park and Preserve features 51 miles of trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding.  There is absolutely a hike for every skill level.

Widely considered to be one of the most difficult hikes in the Valley of the Sun, Camelback Mountain, with its Cholla and Echo Mountain summit hikes should definitely be reserved for those possessing high fitness levels and hiking abilities.  But if you and Fido are determined to try it, the views at the top of the 2,704-foot peak are absolutely worth the exertion.

While the Circumference Trail is 5.73 miles, there are other shorter hikes at Deem Hills.  This beautiful spot located at 51st Avenue and Deem Hills Parkway is open from sunrise to sunset, with the parking lot opening at 5:30 a.m.

Shaw Butte/North Mountain are in North Mountain Park and are landmark peaks in Phoenix, both offering popular day hikes.  There are five different mapped trails of varying lengths and difficulty, so be sure to consult the park map before heading out with your pet to see which is the best fit for both of your fitness levels.

Check out Lookout Mountain Preserve which is home to Lookout Mountain and Shadow Mountain, and is located just north of North Mountain Park.  These peaks are at a lower elevation and are fun for children and those who are looking for a more leisurely hike.

Papago Park is adjacent to the popular Phoenix Zoo and Desert Botanical Garden.  The hiking trails in Papago Park are relatively smooth and easy, and offer another great option for family hikes.

As always, remember to keep your pet safe by avoiding hikes during the hottest part of the day, and always carry plenty of water for both of you.  Laws require that your pet’s waste must be picked up immediately, placed in a secure plastic bag, and disposed of in a solid waste container. Phoenix leash laws apply on all trails, and pets must be leashed at all times.

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