5 National Parks That Will Welcome Your Dog

Posted by Dan Hinds on 25th May 2016

This year is the 100th birthday of the US National Park System. Sadly, most US Parks do not welcome your dog beyond parking lots and a few contained areas. However, we have noted 5 parks below that do have options for you and your furry friend to enjoy the great outdoors. Our friends at GoPetFriendly.com also has a great list of dog-friendly State Parks. If you know of any other gems, feel free to share below in the comments.

Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

Just 75 miles south west of Washington D.C., Shenandoah National Park
is a great place to explore nature with the whole family – dog
included. There are over 500 miles of trail with almost all open to
pets. Whether you want to do day hikes and picnic, or camp in the
backcountry, your options are open. The 200,000-acre national park is
home to breath-taking views, cascading waterfalls, sleepy woodland areas
full of deer, songbirds and plenty of fun.

Acadia National Park, Maine

Located along the rugged coast of Maine, Arcadia National Park is a
perfect place to bring your pup. It is home to the tallest mountain on
the east coast, 100 miles of hiking trails and two beautiful dog
friendly campgrounds. As long as you keep your
dog on a leash less than 6
feet long (standard rule across national parks) you can enjoy the
trails and old carriage roads, which are also great for biking. Only
reason it’s not number one on the list: Dogs are not allowed on the
beaches, but you can see our list of the
Top 5 Dog Friendly Beaches.

Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado

The Great Sand Dunes National Park in Mosca Colorado is actually made
up of a diverse landscape of forests, grasslands, wetlands, lakes, and
tundra, but is named for its spectacular sand dunes. The park is
entirely dog friendly so you and your pup can venture through the entire
park. It’s important Fido stay on a leash since there is copious
wildlife, but feel free to run, play, dig, and splash through the dunes
and the beautiful Medano Creek.

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

The iconic Grand Canyon National Park is a site everyone should see –
even Rover. Dogs are required to be on a leash at all times and are
allowed on all trails above the rim, Mather Campground, Desert View
Campground, Trailer Village. If you want to hike down or take a mule
below the rim, also called the inner canyon, the park has a kennel where
your pup will be taken care of during your excursion.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is both the most visited national
park and also possibly the most dog friendly. You can
hike with your dog through the ancient mountains on the Gatlinburg and the
Oconaluftee River Trail and take in the diverse flora and fauna. Dogs
are welcome to camp and picnic, making this a destination the whole
family can enjoy together.

Make sure you are prepared for hiking with your dog by reviewing our Tips for Hiking With Your Dog & our Dog Hiking Gear Checklist

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