Dog Canyon Trail

4.3 miles round trip | ½ day hike candidate: Yes

Download a scan of the Dog Canyon Trail Map Guide

About: You don’t see a lot of pics or glamourous posts about this hike, but it may be one of Big Bends most underrated trails. Probably because it’s out of the way from the rest of the park. Fairly easy to hike to, it’s a wonderful canyon! Stop for a bit inside the walls and take it in. Disconnect a bit and let the canyon walls speak to you. You can almost feel the history here as I imagined the Comanche stealing mustangs and hiding out inside the canyon. As you make your way through to the opposite side of where you entered, up the creek bed wall, you can find an interesting cave that begged me to explore (you can’t see it from the trail). Fearing of running into a mountain lion denned up in there, I didn’t pursue it too much. But I am positive there are many stories to be told regarding this place of hiding. This “felt” like sacred ground.


Pros: You almost certainly will have this hike to yourself. And it’s awesome.

Cons: Pretty far north in the park and a seemingly long flat desert hike to start.  It might not be everyone’s favorite, but I think it’s totally worth doing.

Tips: Couple this with the Devils Den Trail and you pretty much get a full day. It won’t take you a full day, but the effort feels like it. This can be a “hot” hike if you do both so bringing plenty of water is key. Go all the way through and explore the other side.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️¾