One of the best things about living in the United States are the national parks. They hold fresh air, beautiful views and wonder for the whole family — even your pooch! Most national parks welcome pets in developed areas, such as trails, campgrounds and lodging facilities. Be sure to bring a leash though! Dogs must be restrained on a leash or in a crate, and please make sure they’re microchipped. They also aren’t allowed on many beaches and in public transportation vehicles and public buildings. Here are our Top 5 Dog-Friendly National Parks!
1. Grand Canyon National Park
The Grand Canyon kinda goes without saying, doesn’t it? Everyone’s heard of it and for good reason. A lot of people say they expected to be blown away, but the real thing in the flesh surpassed those already high expectations. And we have good news! It’s dog-friendly. You can’t bring your pup into the canyon itself, but you can hike the perimeter and survey the beautiful view. Then if you want to go into the canyon, the park has its own boarding kennel. Be sure to check out the can’t-miss South Rim Trail. It’s dog-friendly and, well, grand!
2. Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park is another terrific destination for outdoorsy canine lovers. The Wawona Meadow Loop, roads, sidewalks, bike paths and most of the campgrounds are all open to dogs. There’s also a kennel in Yosemite Valley in case you want to explore areas that are off limits for your furry friend
3. Mt. Rainier National Park
If you find yourself in Washington with man’s best friend, Mt. Rainier National Park is the place to go. Dogs are allowed on the Crystal Mountain Trail system, a nine-mile loop which is sure to exhaust even the most hyper of dogs. The mountain itself is an active volcano and is surrounded by both a multitude of glaciers and wildflower meadows. Basically, it’s the perfect place to dramatically spin in a circle and loudly sing, “The hiiiilllllls are aliiiiiive with the sound of muuuuuusiiiiic.” Come on, you know you want to.
4. Acadia National Park
Feeling a little landlocked? Are mountains not your scene? Skip on over to the seaside shores of Acadia National Park. It’s the oldest national park east of the Mississippi! This landmark also boasts almost 150 miles of dog-friendly trails. Your dog can go pretty much anywhere that isn’t a source of public drinking water, provided your pup is secured on a leash.
5. Rocky Mountain National Park
Here’s another destination for people who love the mountains. Rocky Mountain National Park is arguably the most beautiful mountain chain in the US. It has 300 miles of hiking trails and dogs can go anywhere vehicles are also permitted.
Please remember that each national park has its own set of rules for doggie visitors. Make sure you’re fully familiar with them before your visit!