The 16 Best Dog Friendly National Parks for 2022

The 16 Best Dog Friendly National Parks for 2022

16 Best Dog Friendly National Parks for 2022

If you are looking for a dog friendly National Parks this year, here is a list of many national parks that allow dogs. Many National Parks are not pet friendly.

Here are the best pet friendly national parks that allow dogs:

1. Olympic National Park, Washington

Photo Credit: Olympic National Park, Washington

With over 900 miles of trails, Olympic National Park is a dog lover’s paradise.

Pets are allowed on the following trails:

Peabody Creek Trail (Olympic National Park Visitor Center in Port Angeles)

Rialto Beach parking lot to Ellen Creek (1/2 mile)

The beaches between the Hoh and Quinault Reservations (Kalaloch area)

Madison Falls Trail (Elwha)

Spruce Railroad Trail (North shore of Lake Crescent)

July Creek Loop Trail (North shore of Lake Quinault)

Pets are not permitted – on any trails not listed above, in public buildings, on interpretive walks, or in the wilderness.

Additionally pets are welcome in drive in campgrounds and picnic areas as well as paved or dirt roads, but no digging or rolling on plants as that will damage vegetation.

*2. Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Colorado

The 16 Best Dog Friendly National Parks for 2022

Where are pets permitted?

Pets are permitted in the Preserve (including Mosca Pass Trail) and main use areas of the Park (including Piñon Flats Campground, Dunes Overlook Trail, and along the Medano Pass Primitive Road). Only leashed dogs are allowed at all times and owners must clean up after them.

Where are pets not permitted?

On this map of the main front country area of the park, blue shading indicates where pets are not permitted.

The 16 Best Dog Friendly National Parks for 2022

Inside the visitor center and bathrooms

In the backcountry of the Dunefield, beyond the first high ridge of dunes

Off of the Dunes Overlook Trail

North of Castle Creek Picnic Area, except along Medano Pass Primitive Road

North of Point of No Return, including Sand Ramp Trail

In any backpacking campsites located inside the national park

3. Yosemite National Park, California

Photo Credit: Yosemite National Park, California

With over 750 miles of trails to explore, Yosemite National Park California is a dog lover’s dream destination.

Where Pets Are Allowed

Dogs are allowed on much, but not all of the pacific crest trail.

In developed areas.

On fully paved roads, sidewalks, and bicycle paths (except when signed as not allowing pets).

In all campgrounds except walk-in campgrounds (e.g., Camp 4) and in group campsites.

Additionally, pets must be restrained on a leash not more than six feet long or otherwise physically restrained leashed pets may not be left unattended.

Remember that pet food is also bear food: store pet food as if it were human food.

During the summer, high temperatures and elevation can affect your pet. Ensure that your pet has enough water, snacks, and paw protection from pavement.

Where Pets Are Not Allowed

On trails, including the trail to Vernal Fall (however, pets are allowed on the Wawona Meadow Loop).

On unplowed roads covered in snow.

In undeveloped and wilderness areas.

In public buildings.

On shuttle buses.

In lodging areas.

In all walk-in and group campgrounds/campsites, including Camp 4.

In any other areas, as signed.

There are no exceptions to these pet regulations for carried pets (in arms, carriers, strollers, backpacks, etc.) in the areas of the park where pets are not allowed.

*4. Zion National Park, Utah

The 16 Best Dog Friendly National Parks for 2022

The only pet friendly trails that allows pets is the Pa’rus Trail, which begins at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center. Pets are not permitted – on any other trails, wilderness areas, on shuttle buses, or in public buildings in Zion. Pets are welcome in the campgrounds and picnic areas. We didn’t bring our dogs to Zion since they are only allowed on one trail.

*5. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

The 16 Best Dog Friendly National Parks for 2022

They love dogs at Grand Canyon National Park! Big ones, small ones, fluffy ones, sleek ones—all of them are welcome visitors. Leashed pets are allowed on trails above the rim, Mather Campground, Desert View Campground, Trailer Village, and throughout developed areas. On the South Rim Trail, leashed pets are allowed on trails above the rim.

Yavapai Lodge is the only in-park lodge that has pet friendly rooms.

Pets are not allowed on park shuttle buses. Pets are not allowed below the canyon rim

*6. White Sands National Park, New Mexico

The 16 Best Dog Friendly National Parks for 2022

Pets love White Sands! To them, it’s full of new scents, sights, cool, soft sand, and excitement! You’ll love bringing your furry companions with you to the park, long as they are non-disruptive, on a leash no longer than six feet, and are under physical control at all times.

White Sands National Park has two designated pet walking stations complete with pet poop pick-up bags to help facilitate with the removal of pet excrement. Both are located outside the visitor center one is adjacent to the women’s restroom and the other is behind the picnic tables. Pets are not allowed in the visitor center. Bring extra water, it gets very hot (you can see Duke & Star panting in the picture).

7. Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona

Photo Credit: Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona

Sign up for the park’s Bark Ranger program to properly enjoy Petrified Forest National Park with your pet. Treats are given to four-footed participants!

Sign up for the Bark Ranger program at any park entrance booth or visitor center. It’s as easy as:

1) Ask about the Bark Ranger program at any park entrance booth or visitor center;

2) Read and agree to the rules on the official Bark Ranger card;

3) Get a pet treat as our way of thanking you and your new Bark Ranger;

Bark Ranger pet tags are also for sale at park visitor centers.

When you visit Petrified Forest National Park, remember to B.A.R.K.

·Bag your pet’s poop. Help keep your national park clean by collecting and disposing of all pet waste. Garbage containers are located throughout the park.

·Always keep your pet on a leash. For the safety and comfort of all the park’s visitors, keep your pet dogs on a leash six feet or less in length.

·Respect wildlife. Petrified Forest can be home to migrating birds, rabbits, lizards, snakes, and other wildlife. Please keep your dog at a respectful distance from any animals you may encounter.

·Know where you can go. Pets are allowed on any paved road or trail as well as all official Wilderness areas in the park. Please, only certified service animals are allowed in park buildings.

8. Acadia National Park, Maine

Photo Credit: Acadia National Park, Maine

There are 100 miles (161 km) of park’s hiking trails and 45 miles (72 km) of carriage roads in the Acadia National park where pets are permitted. Some places, though, are not safe for dogs to go.

Pet Friendly areas:

Carriage roads

Most trails

Blackwoods, Seawall, and Schoodic Woods campgrounds permit pets.

On Isle au Haut, pets are permitted for day hiking only.

Pet Restricted Areas:

Most lakes in the park are public water supplies. Pets and people may not swim in them.

Sand Beach (June 15-Sept 8) and Echo Lake (May 15-Sept 15) are off-limits to pets.

Public buildings

Ranger-led programs

Wild Gardens of Acadia (Sieur de Monts)

Duck Harbor Campground

Park Trails Closed to Pets:



Ladder Trail to Dorr Mountain

Beech Cliffs Trail

Perpendicular Trail (Mansell Mountain)

Jordan Cliffs Trail between Penobscot East Trail and the carriage road

Park Trails Not Recommended for Pets:

Acadia Mountain

Flying Mountain

Giant Slide

Cadillac Mountain- west face

Bubble and Jordan Ponds Path, between the carriage road and The Featherbed pond

Norembega Goat Trail

Bubbles-Pemetic Trail

Penobscot Mountain (Spring) Trail

Upper Beachcroft Trail

Upper Gorge Trail

9. New River Gorge National Park and Preserve, West Virginia

Pets are allowed on all trails at New River Gorge National Park and Preserve.

10. Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio

Photo Credit: Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio

This little-known national park near Cleveland allows dogs on leashes throughout the park. The park’s many hiking trails and scenic railroad rides make it a great destination for dog lovers. Pets are allowed on over 100 miles of hiking trails as well as on the multi-use Towpath Trail.

Where are pets not allowed?

Only service animals are allowed in park buildings and on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

Pets and service animals are not allowed on the East Rim mountain bike trails.

11. Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas

Photo Credit: Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas

Dogs are welcome on all 26 miles of the Hot Springs National Park trails. There are Pet Waste Stations located on both ends of Bathhouse Row and in the campground.

Pets are not permitted inside of Federal Buildings but must wait outside the visitor center and other park buildings.

12. Cape Cod National Seashore, Massachusetts

Photo Credit: Cape Cod National Seashore, Massachusetts

Dogs on leashes are allowed throughout Cape Cod National Seashore, making it a great destination for dog lovers. With its long stretches of beach, Cape Cod is perfect for dog lovers who love to spend time outdoors.

Where leashed pets are permitted parkwide:

As of October 15, all shorebird beach restrictions have been lifted and pets are allowed on all beaches.

Head of the Meadow Bicycle Trail year round and Province Lands and Nauset bike trails, November 1-April 30;

All fire roads within Cape Cod National Seashore;

Freshwater ponds within Cape Cod National Seashore (beaches and water), October 16-May 14;

Cape Cod National Seashore ocean beaches except as follows:

During the summer, pets are not permitted on lifeguard-protected beaches. However, leashed pets are permitted to pass through lifeguard protected areas to reach areas where they may otherwise be allowed. If there are shorebird closures on or beyond lifeguard-protected beaches, pets are not allowed to walk through

During shorebird nesting, staging, and migrating periods (late-March-mid-October), pets are not permitted in posted locations. Walking pets in these areas is prohibited 24/7.

Where pets are not permitted:

Designated nature trails at any time; check signs and at visitor centers for Great Island exceptions;

Nauset and Province Lands bike trails, May 1-October 31;

Fresh water ponds within Cape Cod National Seashore (beaches and water), May 15-October 15;

Areas where certain shorebirds nest, especially the piping plover, a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. Birds may abandon nests when they perceive threats or are disturbed. These areas are posted seasonally when prohibition is in effect;

On lifeguard-protected beaches during the summer months. You may walk your leashed pet through these areas to enjoy walks on stretches of beach;

West and Sunset horse trails in the Province Lands;

Cape Cod National Seashore trams, except working service animals.

13. Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

Photo Credit: Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

Pets are allowed, on most trails in Shenandoah National Park.

Pets are prohibited on the following trails:

Fox Hollow Trail (mile 4.6)

Stony Man Trail (mile 41.7) except for portion that follows the Appalachian Trail

Limberlost Trail (mile 43)

Post Office Junction to Old Rag Shelter

Old Rag Ridge Trail

Old Rag Saddle Trail

Ridge Access Trail (Old Rag area)

Dark Hollow Falls Trail (mile 50.7)

Story of the Forest Trail (mile 51)

Bearfence Mountain Trail (mile 56.4)

Frazier Discovery Trail (mile 79.5)death valley national park

14. North Cascades National Park, Washington

Photo Credit: North Cascades National Park, Washington

Dogs and other pets are not allowed within the national park except on a leash on the Pacific Crest Trail, and within 50 feet of roads. Service animals are allowed for those with disabilities.

Pets are allowed on a leash within the Ross Lake and Lake Chelan National Recreation Areas. Pets are also allowed on most surrounding national forest lands.

15. Congaree National Park, South Carolina

Photo Credit: Congaree National Park, South Carolina

Pets are allowed on all trails, including the boardwalk, as well as in the campgrounds.

General National park service dog regulations:

All of the above national parks allow dogs on leashes, as long as they are cleaned up after. Pets are not allowed in park buildings, on trails, or in the water. There are exceptions to this rule at some parks, so be sure to check the dog regulations for the park you’re visiting.

16. Indiana Dunes National Park, Indiana

Photo Credit: Indiana Dunes National Park

Pets must be on a leash at all times, even when swimming in the lake.

All The National Parks That Did Not Meet Our List (Pets are prohibited on all trails).

Rocky Mountain National Park

Yellowstone National Park

Crater Lake National Park

Grand Teton National Park

Glacier National Park

Joshua Tree National Park

Sequoia National Park & Kings Canyon National Park

Mesa Verde National Park

Big Bend National Park

Planning a trip to one of America’s national parks this year? Be sure to bring your furry friend along! All of the country’s national parks allow dogs on leashes, and many have designated dog-walking areas. From the beaches of Olympic National Park to the trails of Yosemite National Park, there’s a dog-friendly national park for everyone.

So, what are you waiting for? Pack up your dog and hit the open road! America’s national parks await.

* Indicates the National Parks that we have been to with our dogs.

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