Old Faithful - Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park is actually a huge volcano or super volcano. This plateau has over half of the world's geysers and hot springs and is visited by millions of people annually. Grand Teton National Park is a group of mountains with very sharp peaks. These young mountains rise quickly above the plains. Jackson Wyoming is located near the two National Parks and serves as a good base to visit both parks. There is also dog-friendly lodging in both parks. If you are arriving from the east to Yellowstone you may also visit Cody Wyoming, which also has some dog-friendly activities.
Grand Teton National Park
Yellowstone National Park was America's first National Park. The park sits at an altitude of over 7,000 feet. As with many National Parks, dogs are not allowed on backcountry trails. They are also not allowed on the boardwalks. However, they can tour much of the park with you. Old Faithful, by far the most famous site in the park, can be seen from pretty close without walking on the boardwalk. See the above picture of our dog, Toby, at Old Faithful. You can also drive the Grand Loop Road and all other automobile roads in the park. You will likely see all kinds of wildlife possibly including bears, elk and bison. Dogs can get out at the parking areas and are allowed to go up to 100 feet from the roads or parking areas. This allows access to view many attractions on the car loop. For those of you who do want to hike the backcountry with your dog, the nearby Shoshone National Forest between the park and Cody has many trails that you can hike with your leashed dogs. One popular trail near the highway is the Eagle Creek Trail which is 16 miles long with a moderate hiking difficulty.
If you want to stay in Yellowstone then there are a number of pet-friendly cabins and camping. The Old Faithful Lodge Cabins allow dogs and offer lodging near Old Faithful. The Mammoth Hotel Springs Cabins, Lake Yellowstone Cabins, Lake Lodge Cabins and Pioneer Cabins all allow dogs. The cabins at Flagg Ranch Village also allow dogs. If you're looking for hotel type lodging then you should stay in Jackson nearby. All Yellowstone National Park campgrounds allow pets. There is tent camping and dry RV camping in the park. All Yellowstone lodging and camping sites fill up quickly and should be booked a while in advance. If you want to camp in a motorhome or travel trailer with full hookups then there are a lot of local choices. Fishing Bridge RV Park is located in the park. Jackson Hole Campground in Teton Village is another option. The Yellowstone Park West Entrance KOA in West Yellowstone Montana is on the west side of the park.
Grand Teton National Park is a cluster of mountains that are some of the youngest and sharpest peaks in the Rocky Mountains. Many visitors come to Grand Teton for the scenery and those visitors with dogs will get to see plenty of this. As with Yellowstone, dogs are not allowed on trails and must stay near the road. There are three scenic drives in the park and, of course, your dog can come with you on the drives and in the parking and observation turnouts. These drives are the Teton Park Road, the Jenny Lake Scenic Drive and the Signal Mountain Summit Road which climbs 800 feet to panoramic views of the Teton Range. If you want to stay within the park, dogs are welcome in Colter Bay Cabins and some rooms in the Jackson Lake Lodge. For hiking with your dog, the Bridger-Teton National Forest next door allows dogs on most trails and in the backcountry. And there are over 1200 miles of trails. All campgrounds in the park allow dogs. The Colter Bay Campground is the only RV park in Grand Teton with electric hookups or that can handle RVs greater than 30 feet in length. Many of the campgrounds, including the Signal Mountain Campground near scenic Signal Mountain are first come - first serve and do not take reservations.
The town in the center of the region is Jackson. Many people call the town Jackson Hole, however, Jackson Hole properly refers to the famous local ski resort. If your dog is the cross-country skiing or skijoring type then Jackson Hole Nordic Center has 7 km of pet-friendly groomed trails. Dogs may stay in the Jackson Hole Lodge, but only in the standard rooms. Dogs may stay at the Snow King Resort Hotel, the Painted Buffalo Inn and other local hotels. Dogs are not allowed in city parks in Jackson but there is one dog park at 250 Scott Lane. It is named Sophie's Place. During the summer you can find dog-friendly patio dining at Pica's Mexican Taqueria and a number of other restaurants in town. The Orvis Company store is dog-friendly so you can visit there for your outdoor needs. Teton Tails is pet boutique store for your dog. You can drive through the National Elk Refuge and get audio tours for your visit to the National Parks in town.
Approaching or departing Yellowstone to the east is Cody Wyoming. This area was the hangout of "Buffalo Bill" Cody who founded the town in 1896. The town proved to be a dog-friendly place. There are a few dog-friendly hotels in Cody. The Hunter Peak Guest Ranch is a 155 acre ranch at 6,700 feet. They offer recreational activities. Dogs are allowed. The Super 8 in town is also dog-friendly. Your dog is welcome to take the tour of the town on the Cody Trolley Tours. The Paul Stock Nature Trail follows the shore of the Shoshone River for about one mile. You may take your experienced rafting dog on a raft trip on the Shoshone River. There are a couple of dog-friendly patio restaurants in town during the summer as well as a few pet-friendly stores.
A visit to the Yellowstone region with your dog is a great experience. There is a lot to do. The region is large and there is much driving to do. Please allow a number of days to see Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Jackson and Cody.