Landmark’s Guide to Dog Friendly National Parks

If you’re planning a summer getaway with your furry pal, you might be surprised to learn that not all national parks are dog-friendly. In order to protect your dog and the local ecosystem, many national parks won’t allow dogs on the trails. But don’t leave your best friend home just yet! There are still numerous pet-friendly parks and with a little planning, you and your furry companion can be taking in America’s wild places all summer long! To make planning just a little easier, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite dog-friendly national parks across America.

Acadia National Park (Maine)

One of the most dog-friendly parks in the country, Acadia National Park in Maine welcomes canine visitors of all sizes and breeds. Dogs are permitted on nearly all 100 miles of hiking trails as well as park shuttles. Furry family members are also permitted at campgrounds with the exception of Duck Harbor on Isle au Haut. 

Acadia even offers the B.A.R.K. Ranger program. B.A.R.K. Ranger dogs are dogs that:

  • B - Bag your poop 
  • A - Always wear a leash 
  • R - Respect wildlife 
  • K - Know where you can go

Dogs that complete the short B.A.R.K. program are sworn in as Bark Rangers and even eligible for ranger collar tags! For more information about the B.A.R.K. Ranger program and tips for trips with dogs, visit the National Park Service website.

Congaree National Park (South Carolina)

At Congaree National Park, leashed dogs are welcome on all trails, boardwalks, and campgrounds. Explore the vast old-growth forests and waterways with your pup and perhaps venture out in a canoe (don’t forget your life jacket!) End your day at one of Congaree’s two frontcounty campgrounds (Longleaf and Bluff) with access to fresh water, restrooms, picnic tables, and fire rings for safe s’more roasting under the stars!

Grand Canyon National Park (Arizona)

Considered one of the Wonders of the World, the Grand Canyon is a great destination for leashed dogs. Dogs are welcome throughout the entire park with the exception of shuttle buses. Just be sure to keep an eye on your pup’s paw pads and pack extra water as the Grand Canyon reaches 100+ degrees during the summer months. 

You could even snag one of our Grand Canyon National Park South Rim Tees before your next trip for a memorable pup-and-pal photo overlooking the canyon!

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve (Colorado)

Take your dog to the tallest dunes in North America where they can run against the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains. Leashed dogs are permitted on many of the park trails and the day use dunefield. For a map outlining where dogs can and can't hike alongside you, visit the National Park Service’s Great Sand Dune page.

Similar to Grand Canyon National Park, the Sand Dunes can be extremely hot during the summer months. Be sure to check your dogs paws throughout your visit or avoid trips to the dunefield on extra hot days! (Our bandanas are a great way to keep you and your dog cool. Tie a damp bandana around your dog’s neck to keep them cool under the summer sun. Our Residents of the Rockies Bandana are perfect for a trip to Colorado!)

Petrified Forest National Park (Arizona)

At Petrified Forest National Park, dogs are more than welcome on all the trails– including the backcountry trails. The park even opened the “Petrified Fur-Rest Bark Park” in 2022 where off-leash dogs and their companions can enjoy incredible views of the Painted Desert while relaxing in the shade. The park features a tunnel play area made from upcycled items from the park maintenance boneyard, benches, and a retired fire hydrant. When you visit, let us know what you think of the first national bark park!

Shenandoah National Park (Virginia)

Bursting with wildflowers and waterfalls, Shenandoah National Park is 200,000 acres of breathtaking beauty both you and your pup can enjoy. Dogs are permitted on most trails and all day use and campground areas. The most dog-friendly trails with great views are: Cedar Run, White Oak, Old Rag, Weakley Hollow, and Nicholson Hollow Trail.

When you go, keep in mind that Shenandoah is filled with wildlife such as black bears and foxes. Dogs must be leashed on all hiking trails and it’s recommended that you keep an eye out for animal tracks that might indicate a distraction or risk to your furry friend.

Yosemite National Park (California)

One of the most visited national parks in the country, Yosemite is an iconic getaway for you and your dog. At Yosemite, dogs are permitted in all developed areas such as paved roads, sidewalks, bicycle paths, and campgrounds (except walk-in campgrounds and group campsites). There are even a couple of hidden trails where dogs are allowed to hike alongside you such as Wawona Meadow Loop and Chowchilla Mountain Road. For more info about how to get to these hidden pet-friendly hikes, check out this helpful National Park Service page.

When you visit, be sure to swing by the gift shop and snag some Landmark Yosemite swag to commemorate the day! We can’t wait to see your Landmark pup-and-pal photos!

White Sands National Park (New Mexico)

Take your furry companion to the world’s largest gypsum dunefield at breathtaking White Sands National Park. Dogs are welcome throughout the entire park and will love running through the cool sand in the morning and evening temps. Just be sure to keep your pup on a leash so they don’t get caught up in the excitement and run off to meet a cacti or two!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.