Every year, hundreds of tourists enthusiastically swarm into the national parks of the United States in the hopes of going on a trek with their animal companions, only to be turned away by a long list of regulations. It may seem like the most natural thing in the world to take your dog for a walk through the woods along a dirt path, but so many nature reserves in the United States have strict regulations regarding where pets are allowed and where they are not allowed to go. These regulations are typically in place to safeguard biodiversity, fragile scenery, and other tourists. Having said that, there are a few notable outliers. We have produced a list of seven parks that are pet-friendly. Take a look at them!
Acadia National Park, Maine
The areas around Acadia’s lakes and other natural water resources, in addition to the rung and ladder pathways that run down the edges of cliffs, are off limits to dogs. However, the park’s 100 miles of hiking routes and 45 miles of crushed-stone buggy roads are up for business to man’s best friend. We suggest going for a walk on the old pathways that intersect nearby Jordan Pond House or hiking along the back of Champlain Mountain. Both of these activities are highly recommended by us.
Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Colorado
Do you like to go down gigantic dunes with the canine companion that man created? Hikers with their canine companions are welcome to climb Great Sand Dunes’ tallest dune, located on the park’s first crest, and then take a dip in Medano Creek to cool down. They are also permitted on a number of other mountain paths, such as the route leading up to Mosca Pass, in addition to a number of picnic sites and campers.
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Although dogs are not permitted into the Grand Canyon’s reddish depths, they are allowed on every other path around the South Rim of the park. This means that you are free to go out on a walk of 13.1 miles along the breathtaking Rim Trail, which is known for offering many of the most renowned panoramic vistas in the park. Additionally, the park maintains its very own overnight kennel, and canines are welcome in the majority of the lodge’s rooms as well as all of the campsites.
New River Gorge National Park, West Virginia
Within the boundaries of the United States’ latest national park, animal contemporaries are permitted on all trails. This leaves you with dozens of options, such as taking a hike along a sandstone crest to get an outlook of the New River Gorge Bridge or wandering under a leaf-filled cover to test out the remains of an old mining city. If you have a buddy who can keep an eye on your pet while you climb rocks, you can even bring your animal companion with you.
White Sands National Park, New Mexico
White Sands National Monument is unique among national parks in that it enables dogs to go freely through its breathtaking gypsum sand dunes, either on or off the designated pathways. In addition to being permitted at wilderness campsites, your four-legged best friend may join you while you take in the kaleidoscopic colors of the setting sun and admire the distant peaks of the towering Organ Mountains.
Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
Although the park may be best known for its meandering Skyline Drive, a 105-mile paved route that spans the forested summits of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah is also among the parks in the country which is particularly welcoming to those who bring their pets with them. In this stunning region of Virginia, four-legged companions are welcome on the majority of the approximately 500 miles of hiking trails, along with a section of the world-famous Appalachian Trail.
Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona
This park in Arizona, which once served as an inspiration to the naturalist John Muir, now allows guests to take their furry companions on walks across the Painted Desert and among old trees that have been petrified. Leashed dogs are permitted to accompany their owners on any main route or path in Petrified Forest, as well as within each of the park’s designated wilderness zones. Get ready to walk the huge oscillations of the patterned red hills by packing your baggage and getting set to go.