Most Pet Friendly National Parks in the US

Written by:

Holly Reznik


Traveling with your furry friend? Many national parks have restrictions and strict pet policies, but there are many great ones that allow you to bring your four-legged friend on an adventure with you. Take your dog out for some much deserved outdoor quality time at one of these pet-friendly national parks.

Woman and her dog overlooking a beautiful mountainous view in the fall.
  1. Shenandoah National Park, Virginia  

Shenandoah National Park has over 500 miles of trails and pets are allowed on 480 miles of them. These trails include Hawksbill Mountain, which is the park’s tallest peak at 4,052 feet. There are plenty of streams, waterfalls, stunning views and wildlife that make hiking along the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway a great choice. Pets are also allowed at Shenandoah’s campgrounds. Not to mention, the park intersects with 105 dog-friendly miles of the Appalachian Trail! You might need a paw cleaner after a long day of hiking. 

Young woman with her two dogs overlooking a gorgeous view at Shenandoah National Park, Virginia .
  1. Olympic National Park, Washington 

Olympic National Park has a diverse landscape of Pacific coastline and glacier-capped mountains. Leashed dogs are welcomed here along many of the trails, such as Peabody Creek Trail and Madison Falls Trail. Your pup will enjoy the shade of big maples, cedars and firs along the way. After the hike, head to Kalaloch Beach to have your dog play in the sand and surf. Just make sure to keep them on a leash

Older man and his gorgeous puppy taking a walk through Olympic National Park, Washington.
  1. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona 

The only thing better than the views at Grand Canyon National Park, is the  fact that your dog can come and enjoy the views with you! Leashed dogs can hike along all 13 miles of the South Rim Trail. There are plenty of lookout spots along this trail, perfect for photographing a cute pic of your pup for Instagram. Dogs are allowed any further, but South Rim Kennels will take care of Fido while you venture on. There are many campsites, such as Mather Campground or Desert View Campground that are dog-friendly.  

Two puppies loving life at the Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona.
  1. Acadia National Park, Maine 

Acadia National Park features rocky beaches, thousands of acres of woodlands, and the east coast’s tallest granite peak. Pets are welcomed on almost all of the 120 miles of hiking trails and 45 miles of carriage roads throughout the park! If you have an athletic pup, take them up to the summit of Cadillac Mountain. You can also take your dog on the Isle au Haut Ferry and Mailboat to Isle au Haut! This island has rocky shorelines, forests, marshes and lakes for both you and your dog to enjoy. Not to mention, pets ride free! 

Two puppies overlooking a breath taking view at Acadia National Park, Maine .
  1. Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado 

Check off visiting the tallest sand dunes in North America off your pups bucket list at Great Sand Dunes National Park. Hike up High Dune or take in the views of San Luis Valley on the Dunes Overlook Trail. The sand can get a little hot sometime so pack some dog boots and water! On the super warm days this park has forested trails, such as Mosca Pass Trail to enjoy during those blazing summer months. 

The happiest puppy running down a sand dune at Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado .
  1. Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio 

There is plenty of dog-friendly fun to be had at Cuyahoga Valley National Park because nearly all 110 miles of hiking trails allow dogs. This includes the 20 miles of the Towpath Trail, which follows the course of the Ohio and Erie Canal. You pass through woodlands, wetlands, fields, streams, waterfalls and log bridges along the way. Take the scenic route towards Bradford Reservation to see views of the Tinkers Creek Gorge, one of Ohio’s prettiest canyons.  

Two puppies overlooking a gorgeous sunset view at Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio.
  1. White Sands National Park, New Mexico  

Your dog will love White Sands National Park, as it is basically one big natural sandbox to play in! Except it’s not actually sand. This park is home to the largest gypsum dune field in the world, covering 275 square miles. The adventures here are almost limitless, as your furry friend is welcome everywhere except the visitor center. Head to the Playa Trail , Dune Life Nature Trail or Interdune Boardwalk to explore and learn about plant and animal life. The best part is, you can go sledding with your dog down the dunes! So make sure to bring a sled or buy one at the visitors center. 

Young woman walking her two dogs through the never ending sand dunes at White Sands National Park, New Mexico.

Road-tripping with your dog may be an exciting experience, but finding a pet-friendly national park might be a little challenging. We hope that this list of parks helps to make adventuring with your pup easy and fun. Remember to bag your pet’s waste, keep Fido on a leash, respect the wildlife, and always take lots of pictures! 


Have you had any great national parks experiences with your dog? Let us know in the comments we would love to hear from you!  


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