National Parks Depot Blog » travel tips
Did you know that there are a number of national parks in the United States that are dog-friendly? (We were surprised, too!) Generally, dogs are restricted from visiting national parks in an effort to protect them from wildlife as well as to preserve the park’s natural resources. When we looked into it though, we actually found out that some of our favorite parks allow leashed pets on specified trails, which is great news for those of us who don’t want to leave our furry friends back at home. Letting your dog tag along on your hiking adventures can be beneficial for both you and your pet. While it may sometimes feel like less of a hassle to travel solo, allowing your dog to join you on the trail will not only promote bonding time, but it will give your dog a chance to exercise, sniff around, and stimulate his or her brain.
Acadia National Park, North Cascades National Park, and Great Sand Dunes National Park are a few of our favorite dog-friendly national parks that are worth checking out. Here is a helpful list of things to pack in both your backpack and your pet’s travel pack before you hit the trails:
- A canteen filled with plenty of drinkable water
- A collapsible water bowl to keep your pup hydrated
- Dog treats to reward good behavior
- Dry dog food if you plan on being out for a while (optional)
- Plastic waste bags
- Dog shoes or paw protectors (especially for hiking in hotter months)
- A first aid kit
As always, when you decide to bring your dog out on a hike, a certain amount of responsibility is required. Please remember to keep your pet leashed and properly identified, pick up waste, look out for wildlife, and only hike on permitted trails. Always keep your dog close, hydrated, and know his physical limits. And as the saying goes, “leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but pictures, kill nothing but time.”
Northern Arizona is home to the vast towering walls of the Grand Canyon and best known for its expansiveness and warm, colorful landscape. Like any rock formation, the canyon is steeped in history with each layer of rock concealing or revealing a snapshot of the Earth’s history. Spanning over 270 miles long, almost 18 miles wide and one mile deep, its diverse terrain has been a destination for human occupancy for centuries.
Ruins and historical artifacts found in the canyon date back nearly 12,000 years in some cases! The U.S. government took a stronger hand in historical documentation in the early 1800s, sending teams of explorers to map the canyon. After being declared a Forest Reserve by the Federal government in 1893, the park later gained the title of National Park in 1919.
Since then, the Grand Canyon National Park has gained an average of 5 million visitors each year, all of whom enjoy its 1 million acres of amazing landscape and natural wonder.
Where To Stay
America's Best Value Inn/Flagstaff: Starting at $49/night > Book Now
Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites/Grand Canyon: Starting at $84/night > Book Now
Ramada West/Grand Canyon Area: Starting at $90/night > Book Now
Best Western Premier Grand Canyon Squire Inn: Starting at $100/night > Book Now
- North Rim closed: Mid-October through mid-May due to weather conditions and related road closures.
- August: Grand Canyon Music Festival. For three weekends in late August–early September, this festival hosts eloquent chamber music at the Shrine of Ages amphitheater at Grand Canyon Village.
- December: Mountain Village Holiday. Celebrate the winter holidays with a parade of lights, holiday decorations downtown, and live entertainment from early December–early January.
- Mule rides: Reserve at least 6 months in advance.
- Rafting trips: Reserve at least a year in advance.
- Park Fees & Permits:
- 1 week total access: $25 per vehicle/$12 per person for pedestrians and cyclists.
- Grand Canyon Pass ($50) gives unlimited access to the park for 12 months.
- Annual America the Beautiful National Parks and Recreational Land Pass ($80) provides unlimited access to all national parks and federal recreation areas for 12 months.
- No permits are needed for day hikers.
- Backcountry permits are $10, plus $5 per person per night and are necessary for overnight hikers camping below the rim. Permits are limited!
Things To Do
- Hopi Point: Great vantage point of the Colorado River
- Mather Point: Iconic view of the canyons and easily accessible from the visitor’s center
- Yavapai Point: Located on the South Rim, best seat in the house to watch the sunset
- Highway 67: Thick forestlands and uncharacteristic springs offer a great contrast to the canyons
- Bright Angel Point: Get your hike in with this destination and overlook the canyon
- Point Sublime: This camping area offers the best of both worlds with sunrises and sunsets galore
Unique Factor: It’s a year-round destination! Lovers of the outdoors can bike, boat, camp, fish, hike, ride mules, white-water raft, watch birds and wildlife, cross-country ski, and snowshoe!