When traveling to National Parks, you may want to bring your dog along.
But which National Parks allow dogs? The answer might surprise you!
Keep reading to find out which National Parks do and don’t allow you to bring your beloved pet!
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Which National Parks Allow Dogs?
When visiting National Parks, it’s common to want to bring fido along for the adventure. It’s can be a great adventure for them and provides us with a companion.
But not all National Parks allow dogs in all areas.
National Parks that DON’T Allow Dogs. Period.
As far as National Parks go, most actually DO allow dogs!
The following parks DON’T allow dogs (except for service dogs, of course):
- Arches National Park (Utah)
- Channel Islands National Park (California)
- Isle Royale National Park (Minnesota)
- Joshua Tree National Park (California)
Where are dogs allowed within National Parks?
Although almost all the parks allow dogs, this doesn’t mean they are allowed everywhere in the park.
Each park is allowed to make it’s own rules, but in most parks, dogs are allowed in:
- Picnic areas
- Paved roads and viewpoints
Not all hiking trails allow dogs. It’s best to check with a park ranger at the visitor center of the park to see what trails allow dogs.
Below is a brief list of which National Parks do and don’t allow dogs on trails, and which parks only allow dogs on some trails/areas.
National Parks that Allow Dogs on ALL Trails:
- Hot Springs
- New River Gorge
- Petrified Forest
- Virgin Islands
- White Sands
National Parks that Allow Dogs on SOME Trails:
- Bryce Canyon
- Capitol Reef
- Crater Lake
- Cuyahoga Valley
- Dry Tortugas
- Grand Canyon
- Great Basin
- Hawaii Volcanoes
- Indiana Dunes
- Mammoth Cave
- North Cascades
- Wind Cave
National Parks that DON’T Allow Dogs on Trails:
- Big Bend
- Carlsbad Caverns
- Death Valley
- Glacier Bay
- Grand Teton
- Great Smoky Mountains
- Kenai Fjords
- Kings Canyon
- Lassen Volcanic
- Mesa Verde
- Mount Rainier
- Rocky Mountain
- Theodore Roosevelt
To learn more about each park’s rules for pets, here is a map of the sites of the National Park System. Click on a park/site to see their specific rules.
National Park Dog Rules
For parks and trails that DO allow dogs, you must follow the Code of Federal Regulations. According to the Code of Federal Regulations:
- pets must be restrained at all times (this means in a crate or on a leash)
- leashes are to be 6 feet or less in length
- you should not leave your pet unattended and tied to an object
- your dog must be relatively quiet, as not to disturb other park users or frighten wildlife
- you must comply with the park’s excrement disposal rules (aka don’t leave their poop)
The National Park Service has created its own saying called “Be a B.A.R.K Ranger”, where each letter of the word “BARK” has a meaning:
B: Bag your dog’s waste
A: Always keep them on a leash
R: Respect wildlife (no barking at or chasing wildlife)
K: Know where you can go with your pet
In addition to these rules, parks are allowed to create additional rules that you may have to follow. Like I said before, it’s best to check with a park ranger when you arrive (or call ahead).
Other Areas of the National Park Service That Do Not Allow Dogs:
Alaska: Sitka National Historic Park
Arizona: Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
California: Muir Woods National Monument, Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial, Cesar E Chavez National Monument, Channel Islands National Park, Joshua Tree National Park, Castle Mountains National Monument
Kansas: Brown vs Board of Education National Historic Site
Kentucky/Tennessee: Cumberland Gap National Historic Park
Louisiana: Cane River Creole National Historic Park
Massachusetts: Adams National Historic Site
Minnesota: Isle Royale National Park
New Mexico: Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument
New York: Statue of Liberty National Monument
Ohio: First Ladies National Historic Site
Oklahoma: Oklahoma City National Monument
Utah: Arches National Park, Rainbow Bridge National Monument
Virginia: Appomattox Court House National Historic Park
As you can see, almost all National Parks & sites of the National Park Service allow dogs, but the parks that allow dogs on all trails are very few!
Of the parks that allow dogs on some trails, the most dog-friendly National Parks seem to be the Grand Canyon and Shenandoah.
I hope this post helped prepare you for traveling to a National Park with your dog! As a dog lover, I wish dogs were allowed in all parks, on all trails. But I do understand why they limit this.
I have yet to visit any of the 6 parks that allow dogs on all trails. But I have visited several that allow dogs on some trails. If you want to read more about those parks, click on the links below: