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Are National Parks Dog Friendly?

Are National Parks Dog Friendly?

There's no better place to travel than to one of America’s stunning National Parks. These unique destination places are heavily protected to preserve and share their beauty for future generations to come, but what if you want to take your furry friend along? Are National Parks dog friendly? Let's find out!

Yellowstone National Park sign - dog friendly National Park

Are National Parks Dog Friendly?

Most National Parks are dog friendly, but the rules and regulations stipulating where dogs are allowed access to varies between parks.

Most National Parks have strict restrictions on visiting with pets, but you can still have plenty of fun with your pup while visiting. Service dogs (as defined by the ADA) are allowed to go wherever their human visitor is allowed to go.

National Park Rules and Regulations

Many National Parks follow the “dogs can go anywhere cars can go” rule, which means as long as your dog is leashed, they will have access to paved roads, parking lots, campgrounds, and outside the National Park lodges. This rule also extends to dogs that are carried in your arms, backpacks, and carriers.

Become a Bark Ranger

Want to visit a National Park with your dog? You need to be familiar with the B.A.R.K. principles:

  • Bag your pet's waste
  • Always leash your pet
  • Respect wildlife
  • Know where you can go

This is a handy way to remember the key rules that apply in the National Parks.

Follow Leave No Trace Principles

It's also important to follow all Leave No Trace principles, which include disposing of all waste properly, leaving all natural objects as you find them, not feeding wildlife, and not touching any cultural or historic structures. 

Are the National Parks Dog Friendly?

Why Are There So Many Rules?

When it comes to National Parks, there’s a lot to protect. National Parks have indigenous plants and wildlife already impacted by global warming, tourism, and pollution.

While dogs are lovely companions and most are well trained, they can spread disease through their waste, disturb indigenous plants, be dangerous to wildlife, and be in danger from wildlife. 

It's important to protect ourselves and our pets, as well as the indigenous plants and wildlife that call National Parks their home. 

Are the National Parks Dog Friendly?

Which National Parks Are The Most Dog Friendly?

To find out if a National Park is dog friendly and to discover what restrictions are in place, the best place to check is the National Park Service Visit Parks page. This page has a map showing all National Parks, with links to each individual park's pet policy. You'll be able to find out which National Park closest to you/where you're planning on visiting is the most dog friendly.

There are a large number of National Parks that are very dog friendly, but here's a snapshot of some of them:

Acadia National Park, Maine

  • Dogs are allowed along 100 miles of hiking trails and 45 miles of carriage roads.
  • They're allowed at most campgrounds.

Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

  • Dogs are allowed on most trails.
  • They're allowed in campgrounds.
  • Pet-friendly lodging is available.

Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky

  • Dogs are allowed on all surface trails.
  • There are pet-friendly rooms at Woodland Cottages.
  • Kennel facilities are available. 

 New River Gorge National Park & Preserve, West Virginia

  • Dogs are allowed on all trails.

 Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio

  • Dogs are allowed on over 100 miles of hiking trails and on the multi-use Towpath Trail.


So, now you know that most of the National Parks are dog friendly, you can enjoy exploring! Just be sure to follow the rules and always leave no trace to preserve these stunning areas for generations to come. Be prepared for National Park walkies with our dog hiking must-haves, including tumblers, tees, hoodies, and more - visit our Dogs Collection for plenty of inspo.


Bennett the Doodle Tumbler

Bennett the Doodle Tumbler 

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