Our dogs love combing America’s backcountry just as much as we do (if not, more). Although, a number of National Parks don’t allow dogs or pets on their trails. It’s a bummer for sure, but with good reasoning. Even the chillest dogs are still considered predatory animals and are therefore a threat to protected wildlife. Animals native to these parks are also susceptible to diseases dogs may carry. Additionally, the noise dogs make and scents they leave may scare wildlife while also attracting other predatory animals.
That said, there are plenty of areas and trails where these issues aren’t a concern, and our pups can run around and explore till their heart’s content.
The South Rim Trail is perfect for dogs, being easy to navigate and spanning 13 miles through and through. Just remember that the heat and altitude can lead to faster dehydration, so bring plenty of water and a collapsible bowl!
With almost 200 miles of hiking trails and carriage roads, there’s no shortage of ground for Sparky to cover. Plus, the coast makes for some fantastic views. One thing to be wary of is that dogs (and people) aren’t allowed in lakes as many of them are used for public water supplies. The Lower Harbor Trail is the best bet for a calm dog walk.
Although dogs aren't allowed in the majority of this favorite Park, the Gatlinburg trail is a great option. It's a primarily flat 2 mile stroll along the Little Pigeon River making for a scenic, playful walkthrough. Dogs are also allowed in most campsites and picnic areas. Check their website for full pet guidelines. If you’re looking for a more mountainous trek, Cherokee National Forest borders the park and allows dogs on many backpacking and day-hike trails.
Just four hours East of San Francisco, Yosemite features some of the most beautiful waterfalls, cliff faces and trees the nation has to offer. Dogs are only allowed on two main trails - the Wawona Meadow Loop and the Mirror Lake Trail, but these trails feature some of the most scenic views and are fantastic playgrounds for pups.
Endless, wide-open sand dunes. Your dogs’ ears are perking up just thinking about it. That’s not all though, Great Sand Dunes also offers a diverse landscape of wetlands, grasslands, forests and alpine lakes. It’ll be hot and sandy, so prep for that, but at the end of the day you can always enjoy a splash in the Medano Creek!
A beautiful historic site only 15 miles from the nation’s capital, this park boasts majestic views of jagged, steep rock faces with cascading waterfalls strewn about. Dogs on leashes are welcome on all park trails, picnic areas and viewpoints.
This park has all of the best things that the PNW has to offer - beautiful roaring coastlines, enchanting rainforests and glacier-capped peaks. With nicer weather around the corner, we recommend Kalaloch Beach as your dog will get the most thrill out of the open beaches, plus Kalaloch Campground is dog friendly. That said, Olympic National Forest - which borders the park to the south - offers around 250 miles of pup-friendly trails, and is a great pick for more alpine adventures.
We’re so happy that Spring is now in full swing, as it means warmer weather and prettier views on our favorite trails. But that also means sweatier journeys, for you and Fido! So, what’s the best option for staying cool and dry on the trail while repping your canine friendship? Shop our Dog Dreaming Tee here or our Hiking Buddy Tee here.