Take a hike: Exploring Best Friends Animal Sanctuary trails

< There’s no better way to take in the beauty of Best Friends Animal Sanctuary than to pick a hiking trail and see where it leads. Being surrounded by gorgeous red rocks and listening to the sounds of nature evokes a peacefulness unlike any other. Go ahead: Lace up and leash up if you like, and remember your sunscreen! For maps of the trails, please visit the Best Friends Welcome Center.

Please note: Dogs are welcome on all Best Friends Animal Sanctuary trails. For the safety of visitors and volunteers, please keep dogs secured on a six-foot leash at all times.

Angel Canyon trails

Water Canyon

You’ll find the Water Canyon trailhead directly across the road from the welcome center. The hike is about three-quarters of a mile round trip. The trail consists of a sand road and single track, and involves some short ups and downs on sandy surfaces, which can be slippery. The trail ends at a large, flat boulder next to a creek — a great spot for a picnic or a short break before you turn back. Fun fact: The final shootout scene in Clint Eastwood’s The Outlaw Josie Wales was filmed in this area.

Hidden Lake

Hidden Lake is a water-filled cave that’s underneath a red sandstone cliff. There are beautiful formations in the rock wall outside of the cave. On the way back, take a side trip to an ancestral Puebloan ruin, the foundation of an ancient native granary in a red rock overhang. On the rock wall to your left, you’ll find a very clear pictograph of a human figure. The hike covers about 1.5 miles, including the side trip on the way back.

The trail is an ATV road. Do not attempt to drive up to the trail, because there's a good chance your car will get stuck in the deep sand. You can learn more about Hidden Lake from the Bureau of Land Management, which manages the site.

Angels Overlook

The trail meanders from Angels Overlook to Angel Village, where lunch is served daily, making this hike a great pre- or post-lunch activity. This single-track trail includes rocky surfaces and some moderate-to-steep inclines and declines. Round trip, the hike covers about 1.5 miles.

You can start the trail from two different locations:

  • Angels Overlook going toward the village
  • Across the road between Parrot Garden and Angel Village going toward Angels Overlook