Experiencing Arizona’s rusty-hued Grand Canyon is a trip of a lifetime: and now you can enjoy it with man’s best friend by your side.
Happy Tails Canine Adventure Tours has launched the first ever tours of the major US landmark. The Coyote option is an eight-day excursion that also includes other nearby destinations including the Hoover Dam, Monument Valley Tribal Park, Moab, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capital Reef and a boat tour on Lake Powell.
Alternatively, if it’s rejuvenation that you need, the Peaceful Paws canine/human spiritual adventure might be more up your street. This trip of the Southwest features morning yoga at Monument Valley, meditation sessions one-mile deep in the Grand Canyon and plenty of hiking and jeep tours.
The travel company was founded in 2018 by David Blank, a long-time tour guide, and his partner Claudia Fabrega (and, of course, their two dogs Dozer and Margie). In his many years in the industry, Blank has seen the problems people face while trying to travel with their pets.
Happy Tails takes care of everything from dog-friendly hotels, restaurants and activities, plus services like dog sitting. “We founded the company because we want to give people the opportunity to travel with their pets. We always travel with our dogs: they have been the most important part. We organize our trips according to them, so we understand how difficult it can be when you don’t have experience traveling with your pets,” Blank told Lonely Planet.
“National Parks are not very pet friendly,” Blank continued. “You are limited to taking your dogs on paved trails in most of the parks, but not on dirt hiking trails. Visitor centers are also off limits, except for service animals. The great thing about the Grand Canyon is the miles of hiking, the views and the photo opportunities for pet lovers”.
While the dogs cannot go into the canyon itself (“I’ve hiked to the river and back, and it’s not a hike that most people should be doing,” Blank said) and trips will take place during spring and autumn to avoid the pavement burning dogs’ paws. The inaugural trip will take place in spring 2020, and the response to the concept has been “fantastic”. “People love the idea of being able to travel with their dogs. It’s still such a unique concept that folks can’t believe it, but they are excited to join the tours.”
Having just relocated to Lodi, in California’s wine country, Blank and Fabrega are due to launch dog-friendly hiking, kayaking and wine tasting tours of destinations like the Bay Area, Sacramento, Northern California, the Canadian Rockies and beyond starting this autumn.
To keep up to date with future tours, including 2020’s trips to the Grand Canyon, visit here.