Spend even just a day in southern Utah and you’ll be ready to join the Monkey Wrench Gang – kudos on the page turner Edward Abbey. That being said, I could see Moab being rather inhospitable during the summer months, especially for adventure pups. Fall was a great time to visit though – almost hot during the day and awesome thunderstorms at night. There were occasional day-time storms as well, but as long as you’re prepared for the hot weather and carry a rain jacket you should be fine.
While in Moab I wanted to go on a dog-friendly hike to see natural arches up close. Thankfully the National Park Service hasn’t taken over all of southern Utah, so there were a few options. We hiked to Corona and Bow Tie Arches – 2.7 miles round trip. The topo lines on the map above really don’t indicate that there is a ginormous arch at the end of this hike – plus the journey there isn’t shabby either.
This area of this hike is administered by the Bureau of Land Management, however I will caution dog owners. There is a trail-side cliff just past the railroad tracks at the beginning of the hike. Then once you get to the steep section with the cable and ladder you’re hiking near a significant drop all the way to the arch. Plus the section with the cable was too steep for Aspen to climb, but there were nice human-foot holds worn into the rock so it was easy enough to schlep her up this short section. Just after this there is a ladder that is completely unnecessary, swing wide around it and it’s no problem whether you’re on two legs or four. Aspen is used to me taking her on hair-raising adventures, but my parents were worried about their dogs chasing a lizard off a cliff and they get a bit wiggly when you pick them up. Moral of the story, this hike may not be for all dogs, but if you choose this hike be sure to bring plenty of water for you and your adventure pup.
On your way back to town I suggest stopping at the the dinosaur tracks. There is a sign on the road for the Poison Spider Mesa Trailhead and dinosaur tracks. At the interpretive sign near the restroom find details about the tracks and where to find them. This is a short hike to actual fossilized dinosaur tracks – amazing! Then head up to the cliffs above the tracks to find a variety of petroglyphs. My favorite was the hunter after the big horn sheep. My least favorite – M.B. 2012. I realize petroglyphs are just really old graffiti, but at least they were creative about it! Plus according to the sign posted at the site damaging cultural resources is illegal under the following acts: the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979, the Antiquities Act of 1906, and the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990. So unless you’re looking to pay a fine up to $250,000 and/or be imprisoned for up to six years I’d respect our ancestors and let them tell there story uninterrupted.
Look for next week’s post on dogging about Moab when we explore Arches National Park, jeep Fins & Things and Hell’s Revenge, check out Dead Horse Point State Park, and grab some eats at a dog-friendly restaurant.
Until next time,