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Several canyon and mountain areas of Salt Lake County are protected watershed areas that supply the Salt Lake area with drinking water.

To help ensure a safe drinking water supply for us all, dogs are prohibited in protected watershed areas.

Service dogs, search and rescue dogs, and law enforcement dogs can get an exception to watershed prohibitions. These dogs’ owners must properly dispose of any fecal matter.

Watershed Locations

Dogs are prohibited in  Salt Lake County watersheds, including:

  • Bell Canyon Creek and tributaries
  • Big Cottonwood Canyon
  • Big Willow Creek and tributaries
  • City Creek Canyon (northeast of the treatment plant)
  • Deaf Smith Canyon Creek and tributaries
  • Emigration Canyon (above Burrs Fork)
  • Lambs Canyon
  • Little Cottonwood Canyon (including the town of Alta)
  • Little Willow Creek and tributaries
  • Mountain Dell Canyon
  • Parley’s Canyon
  • South Fork of Dry Creek

Locations that Allow Dogs

The following recreational areas in Salt Lake County allow dogs, though rules (including leash rules and odd/even day access rules) do apply. Check current rules for each location before visiting with your dog.

  • Bonneville Shoreline Trail
  • Millcreek Canyon
  • Emigration Canyon
  • Jordan River Parkway
  • City Creek Canyon (below water treatment plant)
  • East Canyon
  • Mt. Olympus Trail
  • Ferguson Canyon Trail
  • Tanner Park

Watershed Dog Permits

A very limited number of watershed dog permits are available to residents of watershed areas.

To apply, residents must:

  1. Submit a completed permit application to Salt Lake County Animal Services
  2. Submit to the health department's Water Quality Bureau:
    • plans for housing your dog in the watershed (enclosures should be walled or fenced and a minimum of 50 feet from any waterway, but preferably 100 feet away).
    • a proposed method of daily animal waste disposal.
    • a written statement agreeing to:
      • Microchip the dog
      • Keep the enclosure clean and sanitary at all times
      • Dispose of waste daily
      • Ensure the dog wears the required watershed tag or identifier at all times
      • Adhere to all Salt Lake County Animal Control Regulations (including vaccination requirements) and the Salt Lake County Watershed Regulation
      • Keep the dog on the property except when entering or leaving via vehicle* and keep the dog leashed when walking to and from your vehicle
  3. Pay the current special permit fee to Salt Lake County Animal Services. This may include a surety bond or cash amount you will forfeit if you break the permit requirements.

*Dogs licensed in the town of Alta must be kept within town limits.

Salt Lake County Health Department
General Information  
Phone: (385) 468-4100