Moab, UT (March 2018)

I can't even begin to explain how needed this trip was for me. After dealing with a very stressful two weeks of midterms, and prepping to move into a new home, with all the different stress that comes with... Having a weekend away with the person who means the most, my dogs, best friends, and new friends was extremely anticipated. 

We left around noon on Friday, loaded up the dogs, and got on the road, everyone, dogs included, were very eager to reach our final destination. There is something about going down to Southern Utah that just brings warmth to my very soul. There isn't anything quite like it. Whether you're in Moab, Escalante, Knaab, Zion... the sheer massive size of the canyons you're in, mixed with the red dirt, and orange sandstone... it feels like a breath of fresh air. 

When we arrived, we checked into our cute little - Very Cabiny - motel, The Red Stone Inn, which also was dog friendly. Obviously. LOL It was super cute and small, but as we weren't planning on spending a whole lot of time in our room other than to sleep and shower, we weren't really looking for somewhere super nice to stay. Plus! Our motel was situated right in the middle of town, so everything within Moab was easily accessible. 

While there is so much to see in Moab, one thing we were unable to do, was see the national parks such as Arches and Canyon Lands. However, I had already visited those parks back when I was in high school so I was totally prepared to visit some other trails in Moab that were more dog friendly. Which surprisingly, there are many. 

Using the app all trails, I was able to find a plethora of dog friendly, on leash and off leash trails. Though, if it was during some of the warmer months, I would have personally kept my dogs on leash simply because of the possible encounter of rattlesnakes. But! since it was still too cold for rattle snakes to be a potential problem, the dogs were free to roam and explore on their own. 

Our first hike, was Corona Arch which I had also seen when I was younger, but was still excited to see it again, without sweating in 113 degree weather. We arrived bright and early and awaited the rest of our friends, Rya_TheMunchkin (Our bestie), and new friends that we were so excited to meet: Elvis_GSDExplorer, Sir_Noble, Tuckerleo_da_Huskies, and last but not least Paisleywithatail. The dogs all got along and were ready to go and get on the move. The hike itself to Corona Arch is pretty simple. other than two more steep parts that weren't too much of a problem as there were feet and hand holes, and also a metal rope railing. Little kids often do this trail. 

Once getting up to the arch we all took a moment to sit, eat our snacks, and enjoy the view. Seeing something so large in a photo really doesn't do it justice. Not a single photo I've seen or taken of Corona Arch has captured the feeling of being so small next to something so large of pure magnificence. Finally we made our way back to the cars and loaded back up. 

Later that same day, we all grabbed our hammocks, a couple beers, and headed out to a man made lake. While the lake ended up being incredibly low, we didn't let that dampen our spirits. We found a spot for us all to rig up our hammocks, and there was plenty of room for the dogs to run around (and lay down) while we all just got to hangout with an incredible view of the red rocks, with snowy mountains in the distance. 

The next day, we loaded up again to meet up with our new friends at the Grandtaff trail. This trail is also dog friendly, though all trails mentions they must be on leash, there is nothing at the trail head that says leash are required. However, we did see a sign about poison ivy, though it doesn't affect dogs, but if they rub against you after being in poison ivy, it could rub off onto you. Just something to look out for. 

Grandstaff was beautiful and so different from our hike the day before. Following a river practically the whole way while we walked through these beautiful tall canyons, up to a look out point within the canyon to see an arch in the back. It was awesome to see a family rappelling off of the arch, and made me wish I was on a canyoneering trip. We snagged one more group photo with all of the girls. 

Saddened when the time came that we had to say goodbye to all of our new friends, though that wasn't before we made plans to come back down to Moab very soon, once it's a little warmer so we could camp. 

We stayed an extra day while everyone else headed on home, which was nice for Alex the girls and I to have some family time together. We packed up our car, checked out of our motel, and headed off to see Moon Flower and Castle Valley. Moonflower, is more of a walk, but it takes you back into this little canyon (I say little but the canyon walls were still super high up) and it ends up at a little natural amphitheater with a massive water feature, that was just so serene as it was at a complete standstill. Letting the girls run around and getting a small swim before we headed back to the car to head out to see our final stop. Now, Castle Valley is completely and amazingly impressive. (And for those of you who have seen Westworld on HBO, you'll love this, as many parts of Westworld were filmed within Castle Valley.) Finding a small turn off, we pulled over, let the dogs out, and just stopped to admire the natural beauty of what was around us, and listening to just how quiet the world is when you're outside of the bustling noise. 

Moab was and always will be one of my favorite places to visit, and a weekend just wasn't long enough to see everything that we wanted. So, keep your eyes out as we have plans to head back down to Moab in April, and hopefully early May. Trips like these I used to take for granted, but never again. Seeing my girls with the happiest smiles on their faces, and the look of pure joy in Alex's eyes as we explored where he grew up, is something that I will dream of seeing again. 

Becareful with the sandstone if you decide to venture down to southern Utah with your puppers as it can be hard on their feet, especially if it is hot. Also if there is water and sandstone, it can cause and create blisters (This happened to baby Kyra) so be sure to travel with a first aid kit, and some doggy booties either to prevent or incase something does happen and you need something for their paws. 

Some awesome places to eat in Moab: Milts (I seriously crave a Milts burger and shake every day), Moab Diner, Zaks.

There are plenty of dog friendly motels in Moab, just be sure that you call and get yourself placed into a dog friendly room. There is also an off leash dog park in the middle of town.

We hope we've inspired you to take a trip to beautiful Moab, UT. And always remember to leave everything the way you found it, so that many others can enjoy it as well. 

Alexandra Dunn