Round Valley Goes To The Dogs

round valley

It was a victory for Bark City this month as the Park City Council unanimously declared that a large portion of the popular Round Valley open space will be an off-leash area for dogs. Though Rover has been cruising the 1,400 acres off leash for years, it’s finally legit. Signs go up this month to mark the area here and at the Park City Library field which will also be allowed offleash. That means Summit County holds the only two “official” off-leash, non-fenced, fee-free areas in the Wasatch.

The new freedom hinges on all dogs being under voice and sight control at all times, and owners having a leash with them. If you don’t think they’ll recall under every circumstance (including a bambi sighting), you need to keep them leashed. Dogs can’t chase people, wildlife or other dogs. It should go without saying that owners must pick up poop. Executive Director of Mountain Trails Foundation Charlie Sturgis said the biggest challenge will be educating people about the off-leash areas. For example, dogs need to be leashed at trailheads and parking lots.

But dog owners need to understand that this is a pilot program so everyone will need to be on their best behavior and self-police to the max to make sure this new off-leash program lasts.

Here are some basic rules of thumb:

  • Keep dogs close; not everyone is a dog lover
    • Don’t let them chase wildlife
    • Keep them home if they’re sick or in heat
    • Everyone on the trail has the right of way before you and your dog
    • Always bring a leash and poop bags
    • Keep your dog on leash until you are at least 150’ past the trailhead
  • Make sure you have a dog license

A Few Sidenotes Regarding the New Ordinance:

Highland trailhead is NOT an off-leash trailhead
• The Land of Oz is a no-dog zone (soon to be ski only, stay tuned for details)
• Electronic collars are legitimate
• If you or your dog don’t get along with other dogs, consider using the Yellow Dog plan. Yellow bandanas can be found at most trailheads.


HATE carrying a leash? Have the coolest dog in the land with the Ruffwear Quickdraw. Ruffwear sent one to me to try and now Takoda’s been wearing it for the past two years. It’s basically a leash that Velcros to itself so your dog carries the leash instead of you. Just reach down and grab the tab; voile he’s tethered. It’s simple but awesome.

round valley

I love Ruffwear and here are some more of our favorites:




  • Ryan

    Love your article! Takoda is so cute. I love your dog! 🙂

  • It’s always great for dogs to have a special place for a little freedom! I’ll have to add this spot to our list the next time we road trip that way.

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