In our last post, we covered some of the basic ins and outs of visiting a National Park with your favorite hound. In general, most National Parks do allow dogs on a leash in camping and developed areas as well as along roadways. Almost all National Parks stipulate that a dog’s leash cannot be more than six feet in length. With few exceptions, pets must be restrained at all times, are never allowed inside buildings, on beaches or in the backcountry. Unless otherwise noted, trails are usually off limits as well.
Yosemite National Park Dogs are allowed in Yosemite National Park, but to ensure that pets and the natural wildlife that resides within the park are protected from each other, the Park enforces several important regulations regarding dogs at Yosemite. First of all, most of the 13 campgrounds at Yosemite are dog friendly, check with current park regulations when booking a spot. Dogs are allowed on fully paved trails and roads on a leash no longer than six feet. Dogs cannot be left unattended, for their own safety. There is plenty of wildlife that could be predatory towards your dog, so take this regulation seriously. Dogs are not allowed on unpaved roads except for the Meadow Loop and Four Mile Fire roads in Wawona, on the Carlson Road, and on the Old Big Oak Flat Road between Hodgdon Meadow and Hazel Green Creek.
Acadia National Park, Mt. Desert Island, Maine Dogs are allowed on all 45 miles of rustic Mount Desert Island roads at Acadia National Park. With the historic stone roads and bridges, there are plenty of places to sniff and explore with your four-legged friend. The Ocean Trail leading to Otter Cliffs is also dog friendly and offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. A shorter walk is the Jordan Pond Nature Trail, a mile long loop with vistas of glacial mountains and placid ponds. Dogs are not allowed on Acadia’s swimming beaches, but there are plenty of trails – like the Great Head Trail – which lead to beaches.
Shenandoah National Park, Luray, Virginia Shenandoah National Park is truly a dog lover’s paradise, with over 500 miles of trail – including 101 miles of the Appalachian Trail – there are plenty of places for your pooch and you to explore. Only 20 trails are off limits to dogs and Shenandoah is one of the few National Parks that allows dogs in the backcountry campgrounds. Imagine the delight Rover will take at the waterfalls of Whiteoak Canyon off the Boundary Trailhead, or how he will love frolicking in the streams along the Rose River Loop Trail. Check with the park’s website prior to your trip for hiking maps with detailed information about what to expect, the length of the trails and which ones are not open to dogs.
These are just a handful of the options you have when it comes to taking a trip to one of our nation’s majestic National Parks with your beloved dog. Visit our pet friendly parks page to find more pet friendly places to visit. Nothing beats dog travel time enjoying each other’s company in the fresh air, and time spent exploring trails in some of the most beautiful places in the United States is a memory with your dog you will cherish forever.