Salt Lake CIty By Garrett on Flickr

Utah: A Great Family Vacation that You Can Take with Your Dogs

Family vacations are trips that are treasured for years to come.

They’re even more fun when you can take your family dog along! The problem is, not many vacations are dog friendly.

Luckily, Utah is a great place to go with your four legged friend.

Another problem is there seem to be an unlimited number of places that you can take your family. You could head east and see the Big Apple, New York City. You could head west and take a trip to Southern California. Head south and join Mickey and Minnie in Disney World. Traveling anywhere abroad is another option.

However, many of these trips will drain your bank account. For a truly unforgettable family vacation that is both unique and inexpensive, check out Utah.

Yes, Utah should be your next family vacation and for good reasons.

Nestled in the mountains of Utah, is Salt Lake City. This city is quietly becoming an increasingly more popular destination for vacationers. It combines a big city atmosphere in a small city, and it’s a great place to go hiking with your dog.

Salt Lake City boasts some impressive architecture both in its religious sights as well as its municipal buildings, particularly its library. The Salt Lake City Public Library is an architectural beauty that features an expansive floor plan and is lit through its seemingly endless windows.

For the adults, Salt Lake City is home to some top of line craft breweries including Epic Brewing Co., Uinta Brewing Company, and Red Rock Brewery.

Yet with all of these seemingly “indoors” type attractions, the real treat is on the outside. Big Cottonwood Canyon is by far one of the most popular areas for visitors. This canyon has skiing in the winter and incredibly hiking trails when the snow is melted. Every season is beautiful in Big Cottonwood Canyon.

Another great outdoor area for the family is Red Butte Garden. This botanical wonderland is over 100 acres of display and natural gardens. Part of the University of Utah, the Red Butte Garden is bountiful in walking baths and areas to hike. You can even take classes, have a picnic, or attend a concert in the gardens.

Great Salt Lake

One of Utah’s most defining landmarks is the Great Salt Lake. This enormous saltwater lake covers an average of 1,700 square miles during the year.

Great Salt Lake offers visitors a handful of activities. Of course, one of those options is to take a dip in the lake. You’ll want to wait until after the Summer Solstice in June so that the water temperatures are to your liking. The best areas to jump in are Black Rock, Antelope Island, and the Great Salt Lake Marina. Just be sure to rise any clothing with freshwater after your swim. The saltwater will stiffen your clothes.

Another common pastime of visitors to the Great Salt Lake, is bird watching and animal sighting. Over 250 species of birds soar above the lake. Some of the more popular areas to bird watch are the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve, and Antelope Island. Antelope Island State Park is a must for the animal lover in your family. Wild bison, pronghorn antelope, deer, fox, bobcats, coyotes, and more roam around the state park.

Other land based adventures include biking, scenic drives, and horseback riding. Any of these three will offer your family unparalleled views of the picturesque lake.

If you’ve already taken a swim and can’t wait to get back into the water, you can also sail over the lake. Others can enjoy kayaking, canoeing, or paddleboarding.

Monument Valley

Monument Valley is humbling region of the Colorado Plateau. Located near the Four Corners, this region is characterized by sandstone buttes that can reach 1,000 feet.

Chances are you’ve seen Monument Valley and not even known it. Monument Valley was the backdrop for a handful of old Western movies.

Visitors can pay a fee to drive through the park and enjoy the scenic views it has to offer. However, there are also parts of Monument Valley that are only accessible through a guided tour. Both Mystery Valley and Hunts Mesa are incredible areas that can be explored through a guided tour.

It’s a fantastic place to hike with your dog, as there’s plenty of space for them to roam. Utah’s even the home of some great dog DNA testing centers, just in case you were wondering about your dog’s breed!

Zion National Park

Zion National Park may be one of the most picturesque parks in the United States. It is also one of the most daunting. It is defined by Zion Canyon, a stretch fifteen miles long and up to half a mile deep.

Several hiking trails of varying difficulties are available throughout Zion National Park. Trails range from the half hour round trip Weeping Rock trail to the eight hour round trip Kolob Arch.

The park is also home to some popular natural rock climbing spots including Touchstone, Spaceshot, and Prodigal Son. Guided horseback trips are also a common attraction amongst tourists visiting the park. Not an equestrian? Try out their mechanical counterparts with 4×4/ATV guided tours of park. Finally, if you’re feeling lazy and need to cool off, the summertime is perfect for tubing down the Virgin River.

Utah is becoming an incredibly popular tourist destination and for the reasons listed above, it’s not hard to see why. Offering some of the best outdoor adventures in the United States, Utah should booked for your next family vacation.

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