Can you think of a greater thrill for a dog than a trip to the dog park? Canines get the chance to roam a new territory, socialize with other dogs, and even play catch with their owner. For dog owners, it’s a chance to reward man’s best friend for their unbridled loyalty. Arizona is home to many dog-friendly parks where pet owners can do just that. Here are the 10 best dog parks in the state of Arizona
Chaparral Park features three acres of fresh grass and fun for dogs. This Scottsdale park has two off leash areas for dogs and their owners to socialize. The passive dog area is ideal for shy and smaller dogs whereas larger and more energetic dogs go the active area. It’s one of the more popular dog parks in Arizona and with a trip to the grounds it’s easy to see why. The grass is always fresh, the park is kept clean, and the amenities are great.
It’s easy to keep dogs entertained at Papago Park. Located near the Phoenix Zoo, Papago is one of the most popular parks for pet owners. It features a lake, picnic areas, playgrounds, and hiking trails. Your dog can be by your side whether you are relaxing at the park or making a trek up the mountain. There is also an off-eash area where dogs are permitted to roam freely.
Located in the heart of downtown Phoenix, Friends of Hance is a community-run park targeted towards dog-lovers. After paying an annual membership, owners can take their dog to the spacious grass park with off leash areas for both small and large breeds. The community works with the Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department to keep the park clean, safe, and available for local dog owners. As a bonus, the park has scenic views of downtown Phoenix in the evenings.
As far as dog parks go, Cesar Chavez is one of the most picturesque. It’s home to Alvord Lake, which at 25 acres, is the largest urban fishing lake in Arizona. The scenic one-mile loop around Alvord Lake makes for a perfect dog-walking trail. Dog owners can also take their dogs the off-leash areas for either large or small dogs. Hidden behind Cesar Chavez’s skate park, the popular off leash area is best for social dogs looking to interact with new friends.
Dogs love to run at Washington Park. That’s because at 2.65 acres its one of the largest dog parks in Arizona. This popular downtown park was donated by PetSmart and includes watering stations, benches, and Mutt Mitt dog waste dispensers. The play area is fully fenced and has separate entrances for small and large dogs. Large trees line the park and give off plenty of shade during the warmer months. For night owls, the park is open late until 10 p.m.
Rose Mofford is massive sports facility that includes soccer fields, softball fields, basketball courts, volleyball courts, racquetball courts and a track. The sports fields are busy but when vacant make for a great running area for pups. The off-leash area is one of the most well kept in the state. There are areas for big and small dogs in addition to watering stations, waste bags, chairs, and lots of leftover dog toys for playing. Dog owners can also take advantage of the public restrooms and snack bar to tide them over while the pooches socialize.
Since opening in 2006, this downtown hangout has become one of the go to dog parks for Phoenicians. According to The Phoenix New Times, the Phoenix Parks and Recreation Board spent $73,000 creating this state of the art dog park. The off-leash enclosure has areas for large and small dogs and all the essentials for a seamless trip to the dog park. Water fountains, shaded areas, benches, Mutt Mitts for waste disposal, and turf are all perks at this popular spot for pups.
Thorpe Park Bark Park is a 1.5-acre off-leash play area for dogs of all sizes. This Flagstaff park is surrounded by large pine trees that give off a considerable amount of shade. The play area has a large and small dog section with mixed grass, sand, and wood chips that help prevent muddiness in the snowy winter months. There is agility equipment on site for the truly active dogs. The park also includes benches, picnic tables, and waste disposal bags provided by locals.
Christopher Columbus Dog Park is a Tucson favorite among dog lovers. Open dawn to dusk, this 14,000-square-foot facility is a playground for dogs looking for exercise and socialization. The lighted park includes an off-leash area, waste station, doggie water fountain, and a water hose and tub for cleaning. Additionally, there’s a basic obstacle course for dogs to showcase their skills. Christopher Columbus is a serene park and its two lakes make for an ideal dog walking setting.
Quail Run Park is a 40-acre park with sports fields, playgrounds, and picnic tables. This family friendly park has a large fenced-off course for dogs to play off leash in a safe environment. There are areas for timid and active dogs, as well as water fountains for dogs to refuel. Located near the Mesa airport, this park has plenty of bathrooms and benches that make for a comfortable visit. The dog park is open six days per week and is closed on Thursday for maintenance.
By John Kuells
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