America’s national parks are magnificent destinations for people but not so much for dogs. Thankfully, you can still experience many park service landmarks with your dog by choosing these lesser-known but equally as beautiful dog friendly national parks in the west:
Arizona: Petrified Forest National Park
The Grand Canyon has a few paved trails for dogs but the real fun is nearby at Petrified Forest National Park. Located east of Flagstaff along Interstate 40, dogs can go anywhere with their humans in this fascinating geological wonder. Furry friends are welcome on trails, even backpacking in the Wilderness Area.
California: Devil’s Postpile National Monument
Skip the crowds at Yosemite National Park and plan a pet-friendly stay at Devil’s Postpile instead. Take your dogs for tour of these unusual rock formations in the Sierra Nevada mountains near Mammoth Lakes. Leashed pets are welcomed anywhere within the monument—even on shuttle buses (as long as they’re sporting a muzzle).
California: Redwood National Park
Six hours north of San Francisco, you’ll find some of California’s most dramatic and secluded coastline at Redwood National Park. The park’s PDF brochure of pet policies outlines where leashed pets can play on the wide open park beaches and along nearby public riverfront areas and coastline.
Colorado: Great Sand Dunes National Park
Everyone wants to visit Rocky Mountain National Park—but your dog wants you to head southwest of Colorado Springs to these magnificent dunes. Park policies outlined in this PDF brochure ensure a warm reception by stating, “Pets are permitted in most commonly used areas of the park and all of the preserve.”
You can bring the whole family to this dramatic coastline where, according to the park’s website, “Padre Island National Seashore is pet-friendly! Pets are welcome almost everywhere in the park as long as they are on a leash at all times.”
As always, keep your buddy leashed and practice good pet etiquette to preserve your dog’s right to visit these pet-friendly national parks in the west.