These 9 National Parks are Must-Visits for You AND Your Dog

8 Epic Dog Parks
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Discover dog parks on an epic scale in America’s amazing National Parks. Most parks aren’t pup-friendly, owing to delicate ecosystems and native wildlife – like cougars. But some National Parks are tail-wagging wonderlands with short hiking trails, off-leash play areas, and pet-friendly campgrounds.

Let your dog embrace its wild side at one of these wonderful National (Dog) Parks. Grab your leash and get going!

1. Acadia National Park (Maine)

Dogs on leashes are welcome to explore more than 100 miles of hiking trails and carriage roads on this wooded coastal island. Go for a romp at the off-leash park near Little Long Pond, and sleep under the stars at the dog-friendly Seawall and Blackwoods campgrounds.

2. Yosemite National Park (California)

See the sights with your leashed dog from the floor of Yosemite Valley, which features two miles of paved trails to explore and exceptional views of Yosemite Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and El Capitan. Dogs are also welcome on sidewalks, bike paths, and at numerous campgrounds.

3. Great Sand Dunes National Park (Colorado)

Climb to the top of the tallest sand dunes in America at this unique park. Dogs on leashes are allowed on the first ridge of dunes between Castle Creek Picnic Area and High Dune. Cool off with a splash afterward at Medano Creek, and discover additional dog parks for leashed fun nearby at Great Sand Dunes National Preserve.

4. Zion National Park (Utah)

Leashed pets are allowed on one trail at this brilliant pink and orange park – but it’s a great one! Enjoy some exercise with your pup along the Pa’rus Trail, a 1.5-mile pathway between Canyon Junction and the South Campground. All of the park’s campgrounds and roadways are also dog-friendly.

5. North Cascades National Park (Washington)

Make your way through a mind-blowing mountain landscape, which features several dog-friendly areas amidst its rugged, snow-capped peaks. Pets on leashes are welcome to explore the Pacific Crest Trail, the Lake Chelan and Ross Lake National Recreation Areas, and most of the nearby US Forest Service land.

6. Grand Canyon National Park (Arizona)

Bring plenty of water for everyone when you go for stroll along the rim of this National Park, a world-famous wonder. Leashed dogs are allowed on the South Rim Trail and other pathways that stay above the perimeter. There’s also a kennel on the South Rim, and pet-friendly campsites at Desert View, Trailer Village, and Mather Campground.

7. Shenandoah National Park (Virginia)

Dogs on leashes can travel the hiking trails of this peaceful protected wilderness, which is home to the Blue Ridge Mountains. Wander more than 480 miles of trails and then recharge your batteries in a pet-friendly campsite or nearby hotel.

8. Mammoth Cave National Park (Kentucky)

Pets aren’t allowed underground in the park’s massive cave system, but they are allowed on more than 70 miles of hiking trails that pass by waterfalls, lakes, and rivers. You’ll also find several dog-friendly campgrounds and hotels nearby.

9. Joshua Tree National Park (California)

Just a short drive from Los Angeles, Joshua Tree National Park’s rocky landscape and namesake trees make for a fantastic getaway. And you can bring your dog, too. Pets must remain on a leash at all times and can go no more than 100 feet from any road, picnic area or campground. But there are plenty of unpaved roads for hiking with your pet through this epic desert scape.

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Shilo Urban

Shilo first became interested in conscious living when she found herself working simultaneously at a mom-and-pop natural food store and a farm for endangered livestock breeds on the coast of Maine. After residing in Austin, New Zealand, Paris, Seattle, and Los Angeles, she now lives in Fort Worth, Texas where she works as a freelance writer. Her passions include international travel and wiener dogs.