First person perspective of dog walker with Vizsla dog. North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Getty Images, PamelaJoeMcFarlane

10 Dog-Friendly National Parks in the U.S.

Bring your furry friend along for the adventure at one of these dog-friendly national parks.

If you're someone who prefers to have your furry best friend by your side for all your outdoor adventures, it can be a bummer to plan a trip only to find out your chosen spot isn't dog-friendly.

The good news is that while not all of the 63 national parks and 424 national park sites in the country allow dogs, many do! However, most have strict rules about where your pup can hike or stretch their legs mid-road trip. (Both for their safety and, in some cases, to protect endangered wildlife in the area.)

So, we've curated a diverse list (and some pro tips!) that will get you started, no matter where in the country you find yourself. Although this isn't an exhaustive list of parks that allow dogs, it is a list of ten popular national parks worth the trip that allow you to bring your dogs along for the ride.

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Tips to Make Visits Go Smoothly

Is my dog allowed at state parks? Dogs are allowed at all state parks as long as they are on an attended leash of no longer than 6 feet, are under the constant control of their owner, and are on pedestrian trails only.

Am I allowed to have my dog off-leash? As a general rule, keep pets on leashes that are six feet or shorter (none of those retractable ones!) Also, pets (unless they are service dogs) are almost never allowed in buildings at national parks.

Do I really need to carry waste bags? Yes, really. Cleaning up after your pet ensures natural preserves remain pristine for all who maintain and enjoy them.

I'm a van-lifer. Can I leave my dog in my van while I hike? As a general rule, plan to take your pets with you on your excursions, and never unattended in vans or tents. Even cooler climates don't necessitate leaving animals behind, and bystanders may have cause for concern and report unattended pets to authorities.

What if my pet is a service animal? Service animals are allowed to accompany owners wherever they go by law. Call ahead to park administrative personnel if you have additional questions.

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