Adventure calls! But it’s no surprise that the wilderness isn’t necessarily the most comfortable place for your couch potato. Fur everyone’s safety, National Parks can’t let in just anypuppy. However, there are several parks where your pal is welcome to join you for some adventure. Check out these 9 National Parks that allow dogs.
Note: In all parks, pups need to be on leashes no longer than 6 feet, and you must clean up and be respectful of all plant life and wildlife. Also, it’s 2020, so be sure to check each park’s safety protocols before you visit, okay?
1. Acadia National Park – Maine
Maine’s Acadia National Park is one of the dog-friendliest in the whole dang National Park System. The park offers 100 miles of rocky, coastal hiking trails for pups and their people, and dogs are even allowed at the tippity-top spot in the park, Cadillac Mountain. Your pal can also stay with you at some campgrounds, and she can even become an Acadia Bark Ranger (!!!).
2. Yosemite National Park – California
Leashed pups are allowed on Yosemite’s paved roads, sidewalks, most bike paths, and a few obscure areas within Wawona and Hogdon Meadow. But here’s where Yosemite gets real good for the canines: dogs are welcome at all of the campgrounds (minus walk-in and group camps) as long as they stay leashed…and promise to be prepared for a possible visit from a bear, nbd.
3. Mammoth Cave National Park – Kentucky
Dogs aren’t allowed in the caves, which is like…kind of the whole point of Mammoth Cave National Park. But hey, dogs don’t like caves anyway, probably. What they *do* like is walking and cuddling, so they are absolutely going to love being allowed on the above-ground hiking trails and in the woodland cottages. And your dog can kick it at the Mammoth Cave Kennels while you do whatever it is you do when you walk away (truly a mystery).
4. Shenandoah National Park – Virginia
One of the few parks that allow dogs on trails, Shenandoah is a must-doo for the outdoorsdog. Fewer than 20 out of 500 miles of marked hiking trails are off-limits, and all campgrounds (and some lodging options!) are pet-friendly. Just be sure you two have a talk about what to do in the event of a skunk, snake, or bear encounter.
5. Rocky Mountain National Park – Colorado
Views on views on views at Rocky Mountain National Park, and pupper wants in. Dogs are allowed on paved roads, in campgrounds, in picnic areas, and in developed spots (many overlooking those signature *corgi-ous* views). So while it’s not safe to hike in the park because of all the elk, moose, bighorn sheep, bears, b-bobcats, and m-mountain lions who will 4000% do your pup a scare, there are loads of options of dog-friendly trails nearby.
6. Zion National Park – Utah
There are 68 species of mammals in Zion, and you and your pup’ll make that 70. Leashed buddies are allowed on the 3.5-mile Pa’rus Trail and in all the developed areas of the park. But this park’s not the one for everypawdy—if your dog is scared or reactive around bikes, Zion would not make for a very fun trip. It’s also hot as h*ck, so plan accordingly.
7. North Cascades National Park – Washington
At North Cascades National Park, doggos may not be allowed in most places, but they are invited to do a ‘splore on dogs on the scenic Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail. Leashed buddies are also welcome within the Ross Lake and Lake Chelan National Recreation Areas, within 50 feet of roads, and on most adjacent national forest land.
8. Grand Canyon National Park – Arizona
If you don’t drag your furchild to the Grand Canyon, are you even a parent? Your bestie can join you on the hiking trails that stay above the South Rim of the park, including on the v nice South Rim Trail. It goes without saying that safety is a priority in all our National Parks and absolutely of utmost concern here, so be sure you are the *most* confident handling and restraining your dog. Grand Canyon National Park also has a kennel fur the pup that would like some time away from you and your stupid dad jokes.
9. Cuyahoga Valley National Park – Ohio
Home to rolling hills and lush forest, Cuyahoga Valley National Park offers over 100 miles of dog-friendly hiking trails. Pups are also welcome on 20 miles of the Towpath Trail and in the park’s picnic areas. So yeah, bring lots of snaccs. Even more than usual (he deserves it).
Which of these National Parks that allow dogs is on your best friend’s bucket list? Let us know in the comments!
Featured photo: Tadeusz Lakota
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