10 Dog Friendly National Parks [Infographic]
Must-Visit Dog-Friendly National Dark Parks
Work got you stressed out? Itching to get out of the cube and into the sunlight? A trip to a national park will reduce stress and leave you feeling invigorated after spending some quality time in the great outdoors, and with summer coming round the bend, there is simply no better time to visit one our national treasures. Unless you happen to be in the middle of a heat wave, in which case you'll want to wait a while :D
However, if you have a four-legged friend a trip to a national park is NOT necessarily a straightforward endeavor, as you can't go to just any national park. Instead, you'll need to be sure to visit a dog-friendly national park that allows you to bring Fido along with you.
An important thing to remember is that, even in dog-friendly national parks, your dog will need to be leashed at all times. If not, you'll run the risk of a lifetime ban on visiting that park. Seriously, it happens.
Many of our natural treasures impose strict limitations on where dogs are allowed, but there are a few that roll out the red carpet for Fido. Here are the USA’s 10 dog friendly national parks:
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10 Dog Friendly National Parks You Must Visit This Summer
For many Americans, family vacation time means a trip to a national park.
But for people traveling with their pets, finding national parks where their dogs will have some fun can be difficult!
Many of our natural treasures impose strict limitations on where dogs are allowed, but there are a few that roll out the red carpet for Fido. Here are the USA's Top Ten dog-friendly national parks:
ACADIA NATIONAL PARK
Acadia is a dog friendly national park on the coast of Maine, and it's an absolute gem!
Acadia welcomes dogs on all 120 miles of hiking trails and 45 miles of carriage roads in the park - with the exception of a few trails that require iron rungs or ladders.
CUYAHOGA VALLEY NATIONAL PARK
The dog friendly Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Cleveland, Ohio was designated in 2000.
Following the "crooked" Cuyahoga River, dogs are welcome to join you on all of the 125 miles of trails through the woodlands, wetlands, and old fields.
Some trails require stream crossings with stepping stones or log bridges, while others, including the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail, are nearly level and easily accessible to all visitors.
GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK
Located in northern Arizona, you and your pup are welcome to enjoy all 13 miles of the South Rim Trail at the Grand Cayon.
Skirting the edge of the canyon, the path is easy to navigate, but remember that the high elevation and dry climate can quickly lead to dehydration.
GREAT SAND DUNES NATIONAL PARK
These are the tallest dunes in North America, set in a diverse landscape of grasslands, wetlands, conifer and aspen forests, alpine lakes, and tundra.
Dogs are welcome up to the top of the first tall ridge of the dunes, between High Dune and Castle Creek Picnic Area, and throughout the adjoining Great Sand Dunes National Preserve.
HOT SPRINGS NATIONAL PARK
Dog friendly Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas may not be on your radar, but if you're looking for a gorgeous setting with plenty of places to enjoy with your pooch, it should be!
Popular for the streaming water that seeps from the lower west slope of Hot Springs Mountain, people have been visiting this location for centuries.
Your dog is welcome to join you for half-mile stroll down Bathhouse Row and along the Grand Promenade.
MAMMOTH CAVE NATIONAL PARK
Naturally, the attraction here is the 336 miles of underground passages, but with over 70 miles of pet friendly trails, it is considered a dog friendly national park!
You'll find several short trails around the Visitors Center, including the Green River Bluffs Trail, which winds through the hardwood forest to a nice overlook of the Green River.
SHENANDOAH NATIONAL PARK
Skyline Drive may be the most famous attraction at dog friendly Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, but you'll definitely want to stop the car and get out for hike!
Of the more than 500 miles of trails in the park, only 20 miles are off-limits to dogs because they require rock climbs or have difficult passages.
The stunning views, peaceful wilderness, and cascading waterfalls are all accessible to your pup – it's the picture of serenity, just 75 miles from Washington, DC!
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK
Yosemite is internationally recognized for its spectacular granite cliffs, waterfalls, clear streams, Giant Sequoia groves, and biological diversity.
This national park offers a fair amount of dog friendly walking areas and sights to see with your dog.
Leashed dogs are allowed on the approximately two miles of paved trails located on the floor of the Yosemite Valley.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK
This park features majestic mountain views, a variety of wildlife, wide-ranging climates and environments—from wooded forests to mountain tundra—and easy access to back-country trails and campsites.
Forget about dog travel biases here as pets are pretty much permitted in Rocky Mountain National Park; they're just not allowed on trails or in the backcountry.
BADLAND NATIONAL PARK
In the south-western part of the state, this park preserves 242,756 acres of sharply eroded buttes, pinnacles, and spires blended with the largest protected mixed grass prairie in the country.
Pets are allowed only on paved or gravel roads and in developed areas such as campgrounds.
Pets must be kept on a leash no longer than six feet at all times and they are not allowed on trails or in public buildings.
PLEASE KEEP THE ENVIRONMENT CLEAN AND PICK UP AFTER YOUR DOG!
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- A trip to a national park will leave reduce stress and leave you feeling invigorated after spending some quality time in the great outdoors, and with summer coming round the bend, there is simply no better time to visit one our national treasures.
- If you have a four-legged friend a trip to a national park is NOT necessarily a straightforward endeavor, as you can't go to just any national park.
- Instead, you'll need to be sure to visit a dog-friendly national park that allows you to bring Fido along with you.
- Many of our natural treasures impose strict limitations on where dogs are allowed, but there are a few that roll out the red carpet for Fido.