September 04, 2020 4 min read

 Table of Contents
• Top 5 Dog-Friendly National Parks
• The 3 Least Dog-Friendly National Parks
• Top 5 Supplies to Bring When Hiking with Dogs

 

Going on a hike to bask in nature is not just for humans, but also for dogs. Taking your four-legged friend with you on your next exploration allows your pup to enjoy the outdoors and get a little bit of exercise in. There are many dog-friendly National Parks (and there are a few that are not). Keep reading to learn about which national parks you should explore with your dog and what gear to bring with you when you go on your next adventure.

Top 5 Dog-Friendly National Parks

While there are many dog-friendly National Parks, there are rules and regulations that go along with allowing your pet to hike with you. Below are the top 5 dog-friendly National Parks, in no particular order.

1. Mammoth Cave National Park

  • About the Park: Explore wondrous caves and valleys at Mammoth Cave National Park. From kayaking to hiking, there are a plethora of things to do to enjoy the diverse landscape of this National Park.
  • Fees: Free!
  • Things to Know: Your dog is allowed on all of the National Park’s trails. However, all pets must be leashed and are not allowed to enter any of the Park’s caves.

2. Grand Canyon National Park

  • About the Park: Sunny Arizona welcomes Grand Canyon National Park travelers and their dogs. Grand Canyon National Park offers breathtaking views of cliffs and the Colorado River. Spend your day hiking or spend a few days camping at this popular National Park.
  • Fees: $35 per non-commercial vehicle. However, there are specific days during the year that entrance to the National Park is free.
  • Things to Know: At Grand Canyon National Park, dogs are welcome! However, all pets must be kept on a leash at all times and are not allowed in the Canyon’s inner trails.

3. North Cascades National Park

  • About the Park: Located in Washington State, North Cascades National Park is one of the most dog-friendly National Parks in the Country. This National Park offers scenic views of hundreds of glaciers along with a rugged landscape that keeps hikes interesting and challenging.
  • Fees: Free!
  • Things to Know: Dogs are only allowed on the National Park’s Pacific Crest Trail. Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times when hiking on this trail.

4. Shenandoah National Park

  • About the Park: Waterfalls, wildflowers, and an abundance of wildlife make-up Shenandoah National Park. Located outside of Washington D.C., this National Park offers over 500 miles of hiking trails—including paths on the Appalachian Trail.
  • Fees: $30 per non-commercial vehicle. However, there are specific days during the year that entrance to Shenandoah National Park is free.
  • Things to Know: Dogs are allowed on most trails at Shenandoah National Park as long as they are kept on a leash.

5. Petrified Forest National Park

  • About the Park: Arizona’s Petrified Forest National Park offers a unique landscape that allows for an exciting hiking experience. The National Park has unpaved trails for those seeking a thrilling adventure.
  • Fees: $25 per non-commercial vehicle. However, there are specific days during the year that entrance to the National Park is free.
  • Things to Know: Unlike some of the other National Parks, Petrified Forest National Park has a Bark Ranger Program that allows your dog to hike with you on any of the Park’s paved roads and trails (plus, dog treats are provided to all Bark Ranger participants!).

Dog-Friendly National Parks

The 3 Least Dog-Friendly National Parks

While there are many dog-friendly National Parks, there are a few Parks that do not allow dogs on any of the National Park trails or campsites. Before planning your next hiking trip, make sure to steer clear of these 3 National Parks:

1. Rocky Mountain National Park

  • Your four-legged friends are not allowed to join you on any of this National Park’s trails. If you’re planning on picnicking at Rocky Mountain National Park, all dogs must be leashed.

2. Big Bend National Park:

  • Dogs are not allowed on any trails or campgrounds at Big Bend National Park. Sadly, you will have to keep your pup at home if you plan on traveling to this National Park.

3. Zion National Park

  • Zion National Park only allows dogs on one of the Park’s trails. Otherwise, you will have to leave your dog at home when planning a trip to Zion National Park.

Top 5 Supplies to Bring When Hiking with Dogs

If you’re planning on hiking at a dog-friendly National Park, there are some supplies you should make sure to bring with you for a relaxing and enjoyable hiking adventure.

1. Collars and Leashes: All National Parks require leashes when bringing your dog on the trails. Make sure you have one with you!

2. Microfiber Bandana: Keep your four-legged friend cool with a microfiber bandana. When the temperatures rise, these bandanas can be dunked in any creek, river, or lake that you hike along and tied around your puppy's neck to help them cool off. Plus, microfiber won’t smell like a wet dog after use, as they are antimicrobial and dry quickly.

3. Extra Water: Some hiking trails are long and others are short. Make sure your furry friend stays hydrated by bringing enough water with you.

4. Dog Food: Snacks are just as important for dogs as they are for humans. Carry extra dog treats and dog food in your backpack to help fuel your dog.

5. Dog First Aid Kit: You never know what could happen on the trails. Having a first aid kit handy is imperative in case of an emergency.

Traveling with your four-legged companion can be quite the adventure! Thankfully, many National Parks allow you to bring your dog with you, so you both can enjoy the scenic views, have a great workout, and bask in quality time together.

Dog Friendly National Parks