Did you know that January is National Walk Your Dog Month? Here in Arizona, it’s easy to get out and walk your dog all year round. If your new year’s resolutions included getting more exercise, grab a leash and a few bottles of water and go explore some of the many hiking trails in the Gilbert area. Here are a few dog-friendly hikes recommended by the staff at East Valley Animal Hospital.

Five Dog-Friendly Hikes for Walk Your Dog Month

1: Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch

This nature preserve in Gilbert has several winding loop trails to explore. Your dog will love all the new smells—just make sure to keep away from wildlife and respect the park rules.

Park rules:

  • Dogs must be leashed at all times
  • Maximum 6-foot leash
  • Do not approach wildlife
  • Trails open from dawn to dusk

2: Desert Breeze Park

This city park in Chandler, Arizona, has scenic, dog-friendly walking trails around Desert Breeze Lake. In addition to trails, the park includes many amenities—there are tennis and sand volleyball courts, playgrounds, shaded picnic areas, and restrooms available. It’s a great destination for an all-day family outing.

Park rules:

  • Dogs must be leashed at all times
  • Open to the public from 6am to 10:30pm

3: Lost Dutchman State Park

Named for a lost gold mine, this Arizona state park boasts a rich and varied history. You might even spot an ancient cliff or cave dwelling along the way. Located in Apache Junction, you will find multiple dog-friendly trails through the stunning red mesas.

Park rules:

  • Dogs must be leashed at all times
  • Photo permits are required
  • Entrance fee of $7 per vehicle
  • Open year-round from 6am to 8pm

4: Hole in the Rock at Papago Park

Enjoy an easy hike to the Hole in the Rock for great photo ops! Only 10 minutes from downtown Phoenix, this short trail offers scenic views and hiking for all skill levels, including kids. The natural rock formations frame the city like windows, making spectacular views.

Park rules:

  • Dogs must be leashed at all times
  • Open to the public from 5am to 11pm

5: Lost Dog Wash Trail

This Scottsdale trail offers hiking options for beginners as well as more experienced hikers. There are restrooms and water fountains at the trailhead, along with ample parking. The trail winds through a natural desert, and there’s no shade, so make sure to bring enough water along for yourself and for your dog.

Park rules:

  • Dogs must be leashed at all times
  • Yield to horses
  • Stay on the trail to protect the preserve
  • Do not remove plants, rocks, or animals

Hiking with Dogs in Gilbert, Arizona

Before you hit the trail, make sure your dog’s microchip information is up-to-date, just in case. Stay on the trail, and away from dangerous creatures like snakes and prickly plants like cactus. Always bring water for your dog, especially on longer hikes. And always bring doggy bags to pick up the poop! What are your favorite places for hiking with dogs in Gilbert? We’d love to hear about them. Let us know which trails you discovered during Walk Your Dog Month at your next wellness exam.


Photo by Anderson Schmig on Unsplash used with permission under the Creative Commons license for commercial use 1/11/2022.