The Most Dog-Friendly National Parks in the U.S.

white dog looking Tunnel View at Yosemite
bennymarty / Getty Images

While regulations vary from park to park, many of the country's best national parks offer pet-friendly trails, camping and overnight accommodations, beachfront access, and other adventures for you to enjoy with your furry companions.

When visiting, remember to keep dogs leashed, dispose of waste properly, and follow other park rules and regulations. For longer hikes and warm days, pack adequate water and a collapsable bowl for hydration and consider booties to protect delicate paws from warm and rough surfaces. Ensure your pet is up-to-date on vaccinations and medications, stick to designated trails to avoid unwanted wildlife encounters and damage to fragile ecosystems, and consult a veterinarian before any strenuous hikes or new activities with your pup.

Otherwise, enjoy these 10 dog-friendly national parks that stretch from the rocky beaches of Maine to the snow-capped forests of Washington.

01 of 10

Acadia National Park

Monument Cove Acadia National Park
Stan Dzugan / Getty Images
Maine, USA
Phone +1 207-288-3338

Located along the North Atlantic Coast, Maine's 47,000-acre Acadia National Park has 158 miles of hiking trails and 45 miles of carriage roads winding through rocky beaches, pristine woodlands, and granite mountain peaks. Dogs are allowed on more than 100 miles of trails as well as three campsites—Blackwoods, Seawall, and Schoodic Woods—plus the park's free shuttles to day hikes on the picturesque Isle au Haut. The best dog-friendly hikes include the 3.4-mile Jordan Pond Full Loop which is a mostly flat-packed trail with a few challenging rock scrambles and the Ocean Path, a 3-mile, out-and-back gravel path offering stunning shoreline views.

Note that dogs are only permitted on Sand Beach and Echo Lake during high season (mid-May through mid-September) and are not allowed in public buildings, lakes, ranger-led programs, or the Wild Gardens.

02 of 10

Yosemite National Park

rocky stream in the Yosemite Valley with tall trees and mountains in the background
Chiara Salvadori / Getty Images
California, USA
Phone +1 209-372-0200

With its majestic sequoias, tumbling waterfalls, and grassy meadows, Yosemite National Park is one of the country's most-visited and most dog-friendly national parks. Pets are permitted on several of the park's paved roads, at most campgrounds, and on several trails including the popular 5-mile Wawona Meadow Loop, a shaded, wide path ideal for running or an easy stroll that departs near the Yosemite Hotel and winds through fields of wildflowers.

Pets are permitted in family campsites, including the Hodgdon Meadow Campground, which has over 100 spaces for RVs and tents and amenities such as fire rings, picnic tables, food lockers, and bathrooms with drinking water and flushing toilets. While the campground is open year-round, reservations are required between mid-April and mid-October.

03 of 10

Shenandoah National Park

Forested hills rolling landscape in shenandoah national park
Charles Johnson / 500px / Getty Images
Virginia, USA
Phone +1 540-999-3500

Located just an hour from Washington, D.C., Virginia's Shenandoah National Park has it all: sweeping vistas, tumbling waterfalls, peaceful hardwood forests, abundant wildlife, and 500 miles of trails. Only 20 miles of trails are not pet-friendly due to the challenging terrain. Hike part of the storied Appalachian trail with your pup via the 2.6-mile Hawksbill Loop, a moderate to steep hike that rewards with several dramatic waterfalls and panoramic views at the summit.

Pets are allowed in all campsites but opt for Loft Mountain on the park's south side. With over 200 sites, it's Shenandoah's largest campground allows easy access to several trails and has coin-operated showers, portable water, flush toilets, and other amenities available seasonally.

04 of 10

Olympic National Park

view of a Washington state beach with trees, cliffs, and driftwood on the sand
Mint Images / Getty Images
3002 Mt Angeles Rd, Port Angeles, WA 98362, USA
Phone +1 360-565-3130

Explore snow-capped mountains, pristine Pacific coastline, and dense rainforest with your dog at Washington's Olympic National Park. Pets are allowed on five separate trails, including the wide, mostly flat one mile out-and-back Kalalch Beach and Nature Trail which traverses through hardwood forest as well as the more challenging 4.7 mile out-and-back Peabody Creek Trail. Trails can be muddy in rainy season, so pack a towel to wipe off muddy paws and bellies. Dogs are also permitted on the beach and at the Kalaloch Campground, which has 168 campsites outfitted with campfire rings, picnic tables, food lockers, drinking water, and restrooms.

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05 of 10

Hot Springs National Park

Grand Promenade Walk / Getty Images
Hot Springs, AR 71901, USA
Phone +1 501-620-6715

Containing historic bathhouses along the Arkansas resort city's downtown, the free, urban Hot Springs National Park has 26 miles of pet-friendly hiking trails. For an easy but scenic hike, try the out-and-back 2.4-mile Goat Rock Trail, which winds through patches of colorful wildflowers and rocky boulders and rises 240 feet to offer scenic vistas of Indian Mountain and east Hot Springs. For a longer excursion, the 10-mile, one-way Sunset Trail is the park's longest and traverses through some of the park's most remote areas, including its highest peak—Music Mountain—plus sweeping views at Balanced Rock and wildlife viewing at Ricks Pond.

Stay at the dog-friendly Gulpha Gorge Campground, which offers tent and RV campsites with modern restrooms, picnic table, pedestal grills, and water and is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Pets are not allowed in federal buildings, including the visitor's center.

06 of 10

Indiana Dunes National Park

Sand dune meeting the shoreline of Lake Michigan. Indiana Dunes National Shoreline
EJ_Rodriquez / Getty Images
1215 N State Rd 49, Porter, IN 46304, USA
Phone +1 219-395-1882

For a pet-friendly beach excursion, try the 15,000-acre Indiana Dunes National Park along the southern shore of Lake Michigan. With 15 miles of sandy beaches, emerald-hued waters, and more than 50 miles of trails showcasing the park's varied terrain, Indiana Dunes is an ideal getaway for those traveling with pets. Dogs are allowed on all but three trails (Glenwood Dune, Great Marsh, and Pinhook Bog) as well as most beaches, the campground, and picnic areas. To see the most of the park's biodiversity—named a National Natural Landmark—try the 4.7-mile Cowles Bog Trail, which winds through several distinct habitats ranging from beaches to marshlands to grassy savannas. Note there is no overnight camping inside the park, but there are several pet-friendly accommodations nearby, including campgrounds at the adjacent Indiana Dunes State Park.

07 of 10

Crater Lake National Park

Snow around Crater Lake in June, Crater Lake National Park, Oregon
Diana Robinson Photography / Getty Images
Oregon, USA
Phone +1 541-594-3000

Tucked inside Oregon's Cascade Mountain Range, Crater Lake National Park is an iconic destination that is pet-friendly year-round. In addition to the country's deepest lake, the park features snow-capped mountains, dramatic cliffs, and dense, old-growth forest. Dogs are welcome on the Pacific Crest Trail year-round, but the trail is often covered in snow, so plan accordingly. During the summer and fall, take your pup on the quarter-mile paved promenade at Rim Village for up-close views of the lake, or opt for the easy, one-mile, looped Godfrey Glen Trail to spot blankets of wildflowers and the park's dramatic canyons.

Note there are no pet-friendly campgrounds in the park, and the closest kennel is an hour away.

08 of 10

Grand Canyon National Park

Brindle Dog Looks Out Over Grand Canyon During Sunrise
Kara Arceneaux / Getty Images
Arizona, USA
Phone +1 928-638-7888

While pets are not allowed on the canyon's inner trails, you can still soak in the views with your pup via 13 miles of trails along the Rim and Greenway Trails at the Grand Canyon National Park's South Rim. To beat the heat, hike in the morning and bring plenty of water. Pets must be leashed and keep a tight grip to prevent them from accidentally stumbling over deep ridges.

Mather Campground, Desert View Campground, and Trailer Village are also pet-friendly, as is the nearby Yavapai Lodge West, which permits two pets per room for an additional fee of $25. Want to explore other parts of the park without your pet? The Grand Canyon Kennel (South Rim) offers daily and overnight pet boarding, but make reservations in advance, especially in peak season.

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09 of 10

Congaree National Park

cypress forest and swamp of Congaree National Park
digidreamgrafix / Getty Images
100 National Park Rd, Hopkins, SC 29061, USA
Phone +1 803-776-4396

One of the smallest and newest national parks, the 26,276-acre Congaree National Park in central South Carolina is a hidden gem. Just 18 miles southeast of the state's capital, Columbia, the park contains the country's largest tract of old-growth bottomland hardwood forest and one of the world's largest concentrations of champion trees, including a 167-foot point loblolly pine and 500-year-old cypress trees. The terrain is mostly easy and level, making it ideal for exploring with furry friends, which are allowed on all trails and campgrounds. Park highlights include the 2.6-mile Boardwalk Loop Trail, which departs from the Harry Hampton Visitor Center and traverses through old-growth hardwood forest featuring bald cypress, tupelo, oak, and maple trees.

Stay overnight at the Longleaf Campground, conveniently located near the park entrance, which allows tent and hammock camping with pets and has two vault toilets, fire rings, and picnic tables. Or trek the park's remote backcountry trails to set up camp for the night. Advanced reservations are required via or by calling 1-877-444-6777 and permits are required for backcountry campsites.

10 of 10

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Cuyahoga Valley National Park
benedek / Getty Images
Ohio, USA
Phone +1 330-657-2752

With more than 100 miles of hiking trails open as well as the Towpath Trail—a compact, gravel multi-use trail that follows the historic 19th century Ohio & Erie Canal—Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Cleveland, Ohio offers scenic walking, running, and hiking trails to enjoy with your pet. For an easy hike, try the flat, one-mile loop Lake Trail, which winds around Kendall Lake. Looking for more of a challenge? The 7.1-mile Buckeye Trail Loop is a steep mix of dirt, gravel, and limestone surfaces and passes several scenic overlooks. While there is no lodging inside the park, there are several pet-friendly hotels and Airbnbs in the area.

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The Most Dog-Friendly National Parks in the U.S.