Hiking to Mt.Belknap (12,137 ft) is located in the Tushar Mountains, about 4 hours south of SLC, and is one of the taller mountains in the range. The most popular peak in the Tushars is Delano Peak (12,169 ft) because it is the County High Point for both Beaver and Paiute Counties, and is also a much easier trail compared to Belknap. Mt.Belknap is a challenging peak - steep, loose scree is the name of the game here. Another challenging part can be the winter gates - if they are closed then you have a much longer day. If all gates are open, then this is about a 3-4 mile RT hike. However, the gates don't typically open until mid-July, even though a bulk of the snow may be melted. Forest Rangers told me this is because they need time to get up there and still grate the road as well as clear debris.
Check out this Hippy Digs Rental Van! We got to experience #VanLife while "camping" in the Uintas. We found out about Hippy Digs and had to take their rental camper van out for a spin - in fact, we were their first every people to rent out this newly flipped van and it was THE BEST! Spent two nights in what I call "luxury" - running water, queen sized bed, a kitchen with plenty of storage space, and best of all it's dog friendly! Van owners, Mylee & Chris, bought this 2019 F250 Frontline van after a conversation at their normal Friday night dinner date. After coming up with a blueprint sketch on the dirty table napkin, they knew right then this was something they had to make happen.
The Lofty Lakes Loop in the Uintas is a beautiful 4 mile loop that takes you past several high alpine lakes, a few cool overlooks, and is a relatively easy hike for most people. To make this route even better, add on a side trek to Cuberant Lake! It is one of the most popular trails along the Mirror Lake Highway, however don't let that stop you from hiking this loop at least once. This is one of the prettiest day hikes in the area! You can hike this loop in either direction, but counter-clockwise is a bit easier since the elevation gain is done near the beginning of the hike and it's more gradual this way.
Island Lake is one of many gorgeous lakes in the Uintas - it can be hard to choose which lake to visit. This lake offers a quick backpacking trip, cliff jumping, swimming, fishing, & solitude in the summer months. If you are feeling adventurous, you could even hike up to one of the three surrounding peaks. Hiking to Island Lake is an easy, family friendly hike, that even the dogs can join in on.
Hiking to Desolation Lake & Peak in Utah is situated in the Mount Olympus Wilderness, and can be hiked to within 2 hours. Desolation Lake is a beautiful blueish-green alpine lake. The long, gradual incline, and few switchbacks make this a very doable hike for any skill level. Hiking to Desolation Peak requires a little more stamina and comfort with ridges. Be sure to bring plenty of water and a snack to enjoy at the lake. This trail can be hiked year round. This trail is located in Big Cottonwood Canyon, and therefore dogs are not allowed due to the watershed. Please respect this rule. This is a very popular TH and on weekends, parking typically gets full by 7am in the summer.
Haystack Mountain (11,641 ft) is a prominent peak in the LaSal Mountain range just outside of Moab, UT. The LaSal Mountains are the 2nd highest mountain range in Utah, behind the Uinta Mountains. Haystack Mountain is accessible by a trail most of the way - the last 1.5 miles is off trail. The trail itself is mostly well-shaded, with plenty of water for dogs to drink from, from the creek that flows year-round. As you reach the saddle, you'll hike above tree line and will be fully exposed. Start hiking early in the morning to beat the afternoon thunderstorms that occur almost daily in this mountain range. The best time to summit is Summer and Fall (typically late June to the first snowfall in October).
Grandstaff Canyon (previously known at Negro Bill Canyon prior to 2016) follows a perennial stream, along tall Navajo Sandstone, through an oasis of cottonwood and willow trees. Most people say it's not about the destination, it's the journey getting there that is more rewarding. I beg to differ with this trail. The payoff at the end is the spectacular Morning Glory Arch, which spans 243ft, and is the 6th largest natural bridge in the U.S.! This is one trail the whole family will enjoy. In Summer, bring your water shoes as crossing in the stream will feel refreshing. In Winter, you may want to bring microspikes, since most of the trail is shaded by canyon walls. Beware of monsoon season, as you may just catch a waterfall at the right time (photos below).
Moab Flats is Moab, Utah's best downtown lofts! Ok, that is just my opinion, but you definitely need to check this place out if you love exploring Moab, but need something dog-friendly and its just too hot (or cold) to camp. My friend and I love hiking in the LaSals every summer, but as most of you know, summer is the hottest time in Moab with temperatures usually near 100F every day. However, if you escape to the mountains temps are much cooler. My other favorite time to visit Moab is winter when there are no tourists, and the sand won't burn the dogs' paws. But then it's too cold to camp! What's a girl who loves to camp to do?
Summer is here, and it's patio season! After doing a hike with the dogs I love to grab a burger or beer and soak up the sun on the patio. Often times its too hot to leave your bestie in the car panting, so what could be better than being able to take him or her on the patio with you in the shade to cool off? A dog's gotta eat and drink too! Check out these city-approved Dog Friendly Restaurant Patios in Salt Lake City - bone appetit!
Cure Hydration is one of the newer electrolyte drink powders on the market, and I'm always on the lookout for new brands to try. In summer, I always carry electrolytes with me for hotter days, when I work really hard and sweat a lot, or am higher up in elevation to prevent elevation sickness. I also enjoy new flavors to get that spitty taste out of my mouth and keep me hydrated when I don't feel like drinking plain water.