Lizzie Dragon
by Lizzie Dragon
Publicado el February 10, 2022

Oh, the places you’ll go with your pet — when you know where they’re permitted. For example, most National Forests allow pets. National Parks, however, typically have firmer pet restrictions. And while some, like Isle Royale National Park, don’t allow pets at all, even the least dog-friendly of the bunch may still have trails and other areas you and your pet can enjoy.

Luckily, when a National Park doesn’t have any dog-friendly trails, you can usually still find some places to roam with your pet or board them nearby. Whatever the case, we’re here to talk about it.

dog friendly park

Let us help you plan your perfect pet-friendly road trip by breaking down the most and least dog-friendly National Parks, where you can go, and how you can get there.

Most dog-friendly National Parks

You don’t need to leave Fido behind when visiting these National Parks. These 8 have plenty of places for your pup or pet to roam.

We’ve got all the deets on:

  • dog-friendly park trails
  • pet-friendly RV rentals

Acadia National Park

One of the most pet-friendly parks is Acadia National Park. Here, there are 100 miles of dog-friendly hiking trails and 45 miles of carriage roads where pets are permitted.

most dog friendly national parks

Still, there are some trails where pets aren’t allowed:

  • Precipice
  • Beehive
  • Ladder Trail to Dorr Mountain
  • Beech Cliffs Trail
  • Perpendicular Trail (Mansell Mountain)
  • Jordan Cliffs Trail

Best dog-friendly hikes in Acadia NP

Best pet-friendly RV rentals

Find more pet-friendly RV rentals near Acadia National Park.

Shenandoah National Park

There are over 500 miles of trails across Shenandoah National Park. The best part? Of those 500+ miles, pets are only prohibited on less than 20 miles of trails.

These restrictions apply to the following trails:

  • Fox Hollow Trail (mile 4.6)
  • Stony Man Trail (mile 41.7) except for portion that follows the Appalachian Trail
  • Limberlost Trail (mile 43)
  • Post Office Junction to Old Rag Shelter
  • Old Rag Ridge Trail
  • Old Rag Saddle Trail
  • Old Rag Access Trail
  • Ridge Access Trail (Old Rag area)
  • Dark Hollow Falls Trail (mile 50.7)
  • Story of the Forest Trail (mile 51)
  • Bearfence Mountain Trail (mile 56.4)
  • Frazier Discovery Trail (mile 79.5)

All that to say, Shenandoah has an incredible amount of dog-friendly hikes.

dog friendly national park

Best dog-friendly hikes in Shenandoah NP

Best pet-friendly RV rentals

Find more pet-friendly RV rentals near Shenandoah National Park.

White Sands National Park

At White Sands, your pet can go almost anywhere you can go (except the Visitor Center), as long as you follow a few simple rules.

Pets must be:

  1. Non-disruptive
  2. Leashed (leash must be no longer than 6 feet)
  3. Under physical control at all times

And, of course, make sure you’re picking up after your pup.

pet friendly national parks

Best dog-friendly hikes in White Sands NP

There are five well-maintained hiking trails at the park.

Best pet-friendly RV rentals

Find more pet-friendly RV rentals near White Sands National Park.

Petrified Forest National Park

Known among many as the most dog-friendly National Park. Pets are allowed on all the trails and can even head to the visitor center to become an official BARK ranger.

dog friendly hikes

Best dog-friendly hikes in Petrified Forest NP

Best pet-friendly RV rentals

Find more pet-friendly RV rentals near Petrified Forest National Park.

New River Gorge National Park

The newest National Park is also pet-friendly — score! Like other parks that made this list, pets are allowed on ALL trails. Park regulations have been developed in a way that allows you to share the experience with your pet while still protecting the native animals and other park resources.

The only thing pets can’t join in on is public ranger programs.

Best dog-friendly hikes in New River Gorge NP

Best pet-friendly RV rentals

Find more pet-friendly RV rentals near New River Gorge National Park.

Mammoth Cave National Park

While your pet can’t explore caves or cave buildings with you at Mammoth Cave National Park, the park offers on-site boarding for them while you explore. Afterward, you can pick them up for a day of fun with more than 70 miles of surface-level trails for them to hike.

Best dog-friendly hikes in Mammoth Cave NP

Best pet-friendly RV rentals

Find more pet-friendly RV rentals near Mammoth Cave National Park.

Wrangell–St. Elias National Park and Preserve

The largest National Park — equal to SIX Yellowstone National Parks — Wrangell–St. Elias National Park and Preserve allows leashed pets on all trails and in the backcountry.

It is important to note that trapping is popular and legal in Alaska from the fall through the spring. When hiking, make sure to maintain control of your pet and keep them leashed at all times as they could get caught in traps or snares.

Best dog-friendly hikes in Wrangell–St. Elias NP

Best pet-friendly RV rentals

RV rentals are harder to come by close to the park. Some areas of Wrangell–St. Elias, mainly the Yakutat and coastal areas, are only accessible by boat or plane.

You’ll find two gravel routes that are drivable entrances into the park — Nabesna Road and McCarthy Road. These roads are open to vehicles and RVs during the summer months, but may not be accessible during the winter months.

Here are some pet-friendly RV options in Delta Junction (about 3 hours from the park):

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Pets (defined as dogs, cats, or any domesticated animal) are allowed on over 100 miles of hiking trails and on the multi-use Towpath Trail.

Best dog-friendly hikes in Cuyahoga Valley NP

Best pet-friendly RV rentals

Find more pet-friendly RV rentals near Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Least dog-friendly National Parks

Are some of the fan-favorite national parks dog-friendly? Well, some are to an extent. However, as a general rule, large National Parks with extensive backcountry areas don’t allow dogs on the trails.

The National Park Service gives a variety of reasons for such restrictions:

  1. Dogs can carry disease to wildlife.
  2. Dogs can chase and pose a threat to surrounding wildlife.
  3. Dogs may bark and disturb the natural quiet of the wilderness.
  4. Pets may be seen as prey for larger animals, like bears or coyotes.
  5. Some National Park visitors may be afraid of dogs.

That said, even those considered the least dog-friendly National Parks may offer a few pet-friendly hikes. So, if you still want to bring your pet along for the ride to the following parks, you’ll still have some hiking and camping options.

We have the skinny on:

  • dog-friendly hikes in each back
  • pet day cares in the area
  • pet-friendly public lands nearby

And, of course, some pet-friendly RV rentals.

Note: In most cases, when pets aren’t allowed on trails, service animals are an exception.

Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain is one of the most beautiful yet least dog-friendly National Parks. Pets are not permitted on ANY trails, tundra, or meadows.

Dog-friendly trails at Rocky Mountain NP

There are no pet-friendly hikes in the park. If you want to take your pet on a hike, you’ll have to check out the pet-friendly public lands near Rocky Mountain National Park.

Pet day cares nearby

Pet-friendly public lands

Find more dog-friendly trails on the NPS site.

Pet-friendly RV rentals

Find other pet-friendly RV rentals near the Rocky Mountains.

Yosemite National Park

In Yosemite, pets are allowed in developed areas, fully paved roads, bike paths, and sidewalks, as well as at most campgrounds. However, there are many places they are not permitted including:

  • Most trails
  • Shuttle buses
  • Undeveloped and wilderness areas
  • Public buildings

That said, in comparison to others, Yosemite National Park is still relatively pet-friendly!

Dog-friendly trails at Yosemite NP

Pet daycares nearby

Pet-friendly public lands

Pet-friendly RV rentals

Find other pet-friendly RV rentals near Yosemite.

Great Smoky Mountain National Park

The most visited National Park is also one of the least dog friendly. It is dog-friendly as far as camping goes, and you can bring your leashed pup along for a picnic or a walk along the roads. However, dog-friendly hikes are limited.

Dog-friendly trails at Great Smoky Mountain NP

Pet daycares nearby

Pet-friendly public lands

Pet-friendly RV rentals

Find other pet-friendly RV rentals near the Great Smokies.

Zion National Park

There is one dog-friendly trail in Zion National Park. Apart from that, pets are not permitted on trails, in wilderness areas, on shuttle buses, or in public buildings unless they are service animals.

Dog-friendly trails at Zion NP

Pet daycares nearby

Pet-friendly public lands

Pet-friendly RV rentals

Find other pet-friendly RV rentals near Zion.

Yellowstone National Park

In the world’s first National Parl, Yellowstone National Park, pets are not allowed on boardwalks, hiking trails, in the backcountry, or in thermal areas. If you decide to bring your pet to the park, you must accompany them at all times and keep within 100 feet of roads, parking areas, and campgrounds.

Dog-friendly trails at Yellowstone NP

There are no pet-friendly hikes. But you can take your pup on a scenic drive through the park!

Pet daycares nearby

Pet-friendly public lands

Pet-friendly RV rentals

Find other pet-friendly RV rentals near Yellowstone.

Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park doesn’t allow pets on trails, along lakeshores outside of developed locations, in the backcountry, or in any building. However, you can bring them along for the ride down park roads, to front country campgrounds, at picnic areas, in parking areas, and on boats on lakes.

Dog-friendly trails at Glacier NP

There are no pet-friendly hikes in the park.

Pet daycares nearby

Pet-friendly public lands

Pet-friendly RV rentals

Find other pet-friendly RV rentals near Glacier.

Big Bend National Park

At Big Bend, your pet can only go where your car can go. This means they are not allowed on trails, off roads, or on the river. They also are not permitted into Mexico at the Boquillas Port of Entry.

Dog-friendly trails at Big Bend NP

There are no pet-friendly hikes in the park.

Pet daycares nearby

Pet-friendly public lands

Pet-friendly RV rentals

Find other pet-friendly RV rentals in Texas.

Joshua Tree National Park

There are a couple of paved trails at Joshua Tree where pets are permitted. Apart from that, your leashed pet can join you within 100 feet of roads, at picnic areas, and in campgrounds.

Dog-friendly trails at Joshua Tree NP

Pet daycares nearby

Pet-friendly public lands

Pet-friendly RV rentals

Find other pet-friendly RV rentals near Joshua Tree.

How to plan a pet-friendly RV trip

Are these National Parks on your travel radar for you and your furry friend? Sounds like it’s time to get planning.

Once you’ve decided where you want to head to, check out these other resources to round out the perfect pet-friendly plan:

Now, you’re ready to ride off into the sunset.

Hit the road with Fido

Wherever you decide to hit the road with your pet, always remember to BARK:

  • Bag your pet’s poop
  • Always keep your pet on a leash
  • Respect wildlife
  • Know where you can go

And make sure to check each National Park’s website before you go for more detailed pet restrictions and any changes.

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