How to Plan a National Parks Trip with your Dog in Mind

Photo by Peter Bodechtel via Flickr

Although some of our nations National Parks aren’t very dog-friendly, there are a few destinations worth checking out with your dog in tow. After all, National Parks are for Lovers and their dogs too. Here’s a list of pup friendly adventures you can take this summer.

Yosemite National Park, CA

Surprisingly, your furry friends are allowed on many of the paths and campgrounds throughout Yosemite National Park in California. In the park, you can walk with your four-legged friends on paved roads, sidewalks, and bike paths. You’ll also find dog-friendly camping throughout the park.

Grand Canyon National Park, AZ

On the South Rim, leashed dogs can hike any trail above the rim. On the North Rim, the rules are a little stricter, with dog access limited to the greenway that connects the North Kaibab Trail and a portion of the Arizona Trail. If you’re wanting to explore a few of the dog-free areas, bring your pup over to the Grand Canyon Kennel for the day. The park offers several great pet-friendly hotels as well as welcome animals at Mather Campground, Desert View Campground, Trailer Village, and Yavapai Lodge.

North Cascades National Park, WA

Dog-friendly hiking can be found on an 18-mile section of the PCT through North Cascades National Park. Pets are also welcome in many of the park’s surrounding recreation areas, like Ross Lake and Lake Chelan.

Zion National Park

Zion National Park offers one excellent hiking trail for dogs, the 3.5-mile Pa’rus trail. Dogs are also allowed in all developed areas of the park, like paved roads, campgrounds, and picnic areas. If you want to explore the park without your pet, animals are allowed to remain at your campground if they are properly restrained.

Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve, CO

Almost all of Great Sand Dunes is open to pets and their owners. The only places you can’t bring your four-legged friend are the backcountry, backpacking sites, and off-trail areas.

Petrified Forest National Park, AZ

Dog visitors are actually encouraged here! Pets are allowed anywhere in the park—roads, trails, and wilderness areas. The visitor center even offers an honorary “Bark Ranger” dog tag.

Olympic National Park, WA

Dogs are allowed on a number of trails and beaches in Olympic National Park, including Peabody Creek Trail, Madison Falls Trail, Spruce Railroad trail, and July Creek Loop Trail. You can also get sandy with your pup on the dog-friendly beaches between the Hoh and Quinalt Reservations in the Kalaloch area. Pets are welcome in campgrounds, picnic areas, and paved and dirt roads.