I have the suspicion that Luna didn’t get out much in her old life. The first time I ever took her in the car after bringing her home I made the mistake of running into a store for under 5 minutes (it was plenty cool out) and returning to find her in a pure panic that I had left her. You can’t leave a parking lot with 30 pounds of dog in your lap and she wouldn’t budge for several minutes. Needless to say, it wasn’t a mistake I made twice.
We do plan most of our outings with our dogs, as I prefer to take them with us and get them out of the house. My older dogs weren’t able to get around much in their later years, aside from a neighborhood walk, and as I originally had them in southern Utah I’m now searching for places to take Luna and Boots up north.
Our first hike was out to Bridal Veil Falls, located just south of Salt Lake City in Provo Canyon. Living in Utah most of my life I’ve passed through this area many times, but I’ve never taken the time to drive up there before. They are one of the most impressive falls around, so one Sunday morning we piled the kids and dogs into the car and headed out that way.
The parking lot is located only 3.5 miles up the north of Provo Canyon but we had about a 45 minute drive from our house. By the time we reached the parking lot all the ‘kids’ were eager to get out and stretch their legs.
There is a small park next to the lot with tables and plenty of shade trees for picnicking – but be aware it isn’t maintained well. The garbage cans were overflowing so if you have a dog that’s quick to forage be wary. I would also recommend planning to pack out anything you bring in, just so you don’t add to the clutter. There are also no plumbing, portables only if you need to use the restroom.
The hike to the falls itself is short, only about ½ a mile and an easy walk. We went early and the trail wasn’t busy, but it’s easy to see that it would be later in the day. It’s frequented by hikers, bikers and families that are simply out for a stroll.
It is a quick payoff, the falls are gorgeous and although the water is cold there is a small wading pool at the base. Luna was hesitant to get even get her paws wet, but Boots, ever the Border Collie tomboy was in the water right away. Once I was in Luna’s hesitation was gone and it only took her a minute to find her footing.
My husband climbed a bit up the mountain, but the kids and I stayed below with the dogs. Boots was eager to follow, but the rocks are slick and I wouldn’t recommend the climb for anyone who isn’t experienced or for canines. There is a second trail that will take you to the top of the falls themselves, but the day was going to get hot fast and I had no desire to get the dogs away from the water or on a long trail.
We played in the pool for quite a while, Luna enjoying a game of catch (ball straight up) rather than fetch since they were on leash. (There is no off leash area.) She had completely forgotten her earlier qualms about the water. There is also a small off limits area where fish are stocked if your dog likes to watch, although neither of ours were interested.
Overall it was a nice morning trip, great view and the dogs were tuckered out and happy. We didn’t bring lunch in and I don’t know if I would in the future. I think we will stick to the early in and back out plan to avoid the crowds. The whole family enjoyed it enough that I smell a return trip once the leaves change and maybe even again when the falls have frozen over this winter.
Lisa (and Luna)