Pets – Are They Welcome at All National Parks?

Pets are welcome at some national parks.

Pets are welcome to join their owners at more places than ever before. There are pet friendly restaurants, hotels, and beaches. But are pets welcome at all national parks? In a nutshell, they’re welcome at many of our National Parks, but not all of them.

If you’re one of millions traveling to one of these amazing destinations this year and you want to bring along your furry buddy, be sure to research the guidelines for the specific park(s) you plan to visit.

Can you imagine planning a phenomenal vacation and finally making it to the entrance of the park you’ve waited your whole life to visit and the sign at the entrance says in bold print NO PETS ALLOWED? Worst case scenario, you’ll be scrapping your visit to the Park all together. Moral of the story, do your homework before you hit the road.

The NPS (National Park Service) offers a good deal of information on pet friendly parks recapping where your pet will be permitted, and the Travel Channel recently listed the Most and Least Pet Friendly National Parks .

Below we’ve compiled a brief overview of some of the more popular parks and what they do and don’t allow when it comes to pets. One commonality at all parks mentioned here, pets must be on a leash 6 feet or shorter and never left unattended.

  • Acadia National Park : You can bring along your pet. Due to rigorous conditions, you’ll want to keep your pets off the beaches and more difficult trails.
  • Arches National Park :  Pets are welcome, but you’ll find activities you can do with them to be limited. Nearby Devils Garden Campground is pet friendly as well.
  • Glacier National Park : Feel free to bring your pets in drive-in campgrounds, along park roads open to motor vehicles, and in picnic areas. Unfortunately, pets are not allowed on any park trails.
  • Grand Canyon : When hiking the south rim, pets are allowed only above the rim. When hiking the north rim, they are only allowed on the bridle trail (greenway). While in Tuweep, keep in mind they are only permitted on established roads and in the campground. You cannot take pets on shuttle park buses so you must walk in and out. There is the South Rim Kennel for boarding if you want to hike the other trails.
  • Grand Teton : A good rule of thumb here is that a pet may go anywhere a car may go. This includes roads and shoulders, campgrounds, picnic areas and parking lots. You cannot take pets on any trails.
  • Great Smoky Mountains : Dogs are welcome on two trails (the Gatlinburg Trail & the Oconaluftee River Trail) as well as in campgrounds, picnic areas and along roads.
  • Olympic National Park : You can explore six different trails and areas ( Olympic National Park Pet Friendly Trails ) in this gorgeous park. Because of the length of the trails, you’ll want to bring plenty of water for your pooch!
  • Yellowstone National Park : You cannot take your pets on trails, boardwalks, in the back country or thermal areas throughout Yellowstone. They may accompany you in developed areas of the park (any area within 100 feet of roads, parking areas and campgrounds, excluding thermal areas). Keep in mind there are no kennels in Yellowstone, but you may find boarding options in surrounding communities.
  • Yosemite National Park : You can take your dogs on fully paved trails and roads. But not in the back country, beaches, meadows, on shuttle buses or in public buildings.
  • Zion National Park : Pets may accompany owners on the Pa’rus Trail ONLY. All other trails and wilderness areas are off-limits to pets. You’ll find boarding kennels in surrounding communities.

Begin planning your next vacation to one or more of the incredible national parks. Just be sure you’re in the know about where your pet will have the best time as well!

Image by dogtrekker.com

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