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Feature Article: September 2002

In Search of the Best National Parks for Dogs


Back to Main Article's Top 5 National Parks
(Ratings based on sights to see and places to walk or hike with dogs)

1. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, 928-638-7888

Your and your dog can view the popular Grand Canyon along the South Rim where millions of visitors come every year. Dogs are allowed on the South Rim trails which includes a 2.7 mile scenic walk along the rim. And, well-behaved pooches are allowed on the Geology Walk, a one hour park ranger guided tour which consists of a leisurely walk along a 3/4 mile paved rim trail. The following is the remainder of the doggie regulations. Dogs are not allowed in park lodging, or on park buses. Pets are not permitted at all on North Rim trails with the exception of a bridle path which connects the lodge with the North Kaibab Trail.

2. Acadia National Park, Maine, 207-288-3338

Dogs are allowed on most of the trails and carriage roads. There is even an off-leash area within the park at Little Long Pond. Pets are not allowed on sand beaches or on the steeper hiking trails. Pets must be on a 6 foot or less leash at all times, except for the above mentioned off-leash area.

3. Shenandoah National Park , Virginia, 540-999-3500

This national park, located along a section of the Blue Ridge Parkway, offers miles and miles of dog-friendly hiking trails. There are some trails where dogs are not allowed, but your pooch is allowed on the majority of trails in this park. Pets must be on a 6 foot or less leash at all times, and are allowed in campgrounds, and picnic areas.

4. Yosemite National Park, California, , 209-372-0200

Dogs are allowed on the paved trails throughout the Yosemite Valley. The valley is where the majority of tourists visit and you can see most of the popular landmarks and sights from the valley floor, with your pet. Dogs are not allowed on other trails, in wilderness areas, or on the shuttle buses. Owners must clean up after their pets.

5. North Cascades National Park, Washington, 360-856-5700

Dogs are allowed on one of the hiking trails, the Pacific Crest Trail. This scenic hiking trail runs through the park and is rated moderate to difficult. The trail is located off Highway 20, about one mile east of Rainy Pass. At the Bridge Creek Trailhead, park on the north side of the highway and then hike north (uphill) or south (downhill). A Northwest Forest Pass is required to park at the trailhead. The cost is about $5 and can be purchased at the Visitor's Center in Newhalem. For a larger variety of trails, including a less strenuous hike, dogs are also allowed on trails at the adjacent Ross Lake National Recreation Area and the Lake Chelan National Recreation Area. Both recreation areas are managed by the national park.

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Before you visit an establishment or place, please contact them and verify that they are still dog-friendly and available, as policies and management change frequently. All places listed on require your dog to be leashed and under your direct control unless specified  otherwise by an establishments (including parks and beaches) management. Please be aware of local Breed-Specific Laws that may be in place where you are visiting. The information on this site is not a recommendation., Inc. makes no warranties or representations of any kind, express or implied, as to the operation of the site or the information, content, materials, or products included on this site. If you find an establishment that no longer allows dogs, please let us know so we can remove them from our list. For full Rules and Regulations for Use of This Site, including the legal disclaimer and copyright notices,  click here before using the site
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