When summer temperatures climb into the 90s, shaded hikes are a must. Here are three dog-friendly trails to escape the heat.
McLeod Creek Trail
Starting point: Willow Creek Park, Old Ranch Road
Easy with no elevation gain, this wide, soft-surface trail ambles just one mile to the turnaround point at the metal musical sculpture. Along the way, you’ll navigate a short stretch of sunshine near Copper Moose Farm, the only section without shade. McLeod Creek itself intersects the trail about half a mile into the walk and is a favorite splash pad for dogs and hot feet.
Starting point: Rob’s Trailhead, Bear Hollow Drive (or Park City Community Church lot, except on Sunday mornings)
Popular Rob’s Trail gradually ascends alpine terrain, winding through pine and aspen forests. This out-and-back hike offers a moderate challenge with about 750 feet of elevation gain. The turnaround point is at two miles, where Rob’s intersects Olympic and Ambush trails. Although the hike is moderately to fully shaded, there are no water sources.
Mileage: 2.1 (out-and-back with turnaround at overlook; more mileage and elevation gain possible, if you continue past overlook)
Starting point: Iron Canyon Court. Park in designated spots on the side of the road; trail starts at the end of the road.
Iron Canyon is steep, rocky, and heavily forested. With an 850-foot elevation gain, this solid aerobic workout tends to be free of mountain bikers. But keep Fido within sight, as moose love the aspen and pine groves. Once you reach the overlook, mountaintop views of Park City and the resort are the reward. While thick forest shades most of the hike, there are no water sources.
Of note: Always bring water for you and your four-legged friend, as it’s easy to dehydrate in this high-desert clime, even in the shade.