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10 National Parks You Can Explore With Your Dog

by Stephanie Grace Mejia Loleng May 6, 2017

ALTHOUGH most of the 58 national parks in the country don’t allow dogs, in order to not to disturb the wildlife, a few permit dogs on a leash and in designated areas (with the exception of service dogs who are allowed to move around more freely). Take your pooch out for some much deserved outdoorsy quality time at one of these pet-friendly national parks.

Yosemite National Park, California

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Dogs are allowed in developed areas, on fully paved roads, sidewalks, along bike paths (except for when signed) and in campgrounds (except for walk-in campgrounds). Your pup must be on a leash no more than six feet long at all times and may not be left unattended. Pets are not allowed on trails, in undeveloped wilderness areas, in public buildings, on shuttle buses, in lodging areas or in other signed areas. Yosemite offers a kennel from late June through Labor Day weekend.

Acadia National Park, Maine

One of the most dog-friendly of all national parks, pups are permitted on 100 miles of hiking trails and 45 miles of carriage roads throughout the park! They must be leashed at all times and are NOT allowed on Sand Beach, Echo Lake Beach, Isle au Haut campground, ladder trails, in public buildings or on lakes that are public drinking water supplies.

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Enjoy the amazing views of one of the Seven Wonders of the World with your dog in tow and leashed at all times. Dogs are only allowed on trails above the rim, Mather Campground, Desert View Campground, Trailer Village and throughout developed areas. Pets are not allowed below the rim (also called the inner canyon), on park buses, and in park lodging. Grand Canyon also offers a kennel for boarding.

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

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Dogs are permitted in Rocky Mountain National Park but are NOT permitted on trails or in the backcountry. Basically, pets are only allowed in areas accessible by vehicles, including roadsides, parking areas, picnic areas and campgrounds. They must be on a leash that’s no longer than six feet at all times.

Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

One of the few national parks that allow pets on most trails, Shenandoah National Park encompasses 200,000 acres of protected lands with cascading waterfalls and peaceful wooded hollows. Dogs must be on a leash no longer than six feet at all times. Pets are allowed in campgrounds and pet-friendly lodging. With over 500 miles of trails and with less than 20 miles of trails prohibited to pets, your pup can enjoy a majority of the park with you.

Zion National Park, Utah

In this 229-square-mile national park, dogs must be on a leash no longer than six feet at all times and are allowed on the Pa’rus Trail. All other trails and wilderness areas are off limits. Pets are allowed along public roads and parking areas, in developed campgrounds and picnic areas and on the grounds of Zion Lodge. No pets, other than service animals, are allowed on shuttle buses.

North Cascades National Parks, Washington

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The park encompasses a temperate rainforest on the west and a dry ponderosa pine ecosystem on the east. Beautiful landscapes include glaciers, streams and over 1,600 species of plants. Dogs need to be leashed at all times and are allowed on the Pacific Crest Trail and within 50 feet of roads. Pets are permitted within the Ross Lake and Lake Chelan National recreation areas and on most surrounding national forest lands.

Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky

The world’s longest known cave system, Mammoth Cave National Park has over 400 miles of explored caves. Pets are not allowed in any of the caves but are permitted on hiking trails, in campgrounds and guest rooms at the Mammoth Cave Hotel, Sunset Point Lodge, the Hotel Cottages and Woodland Cottages. The hotel also provides a kennel.

Badlands National Park, South Dakota

Ancient rhinos, horses, and saber-toothed cats once roamed the area that’s now home to bison, bighorn sheep, prairie dogs, and black-footed ferrets in 244,000 acres of protected grass and prairie lands. Dogs must be on a leash no longer than six feet at all times and are only allowed in developed areas such as campgrounds, picnic areas, and other areas open to motor vehicles. Pets are NOT allowed on hiking trails, public buildings, and backcountry areas.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio

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Located close to the urban areas of Cleveland and Akron, Cuyahoga offers a quick escape from the city. A refuge for native plants and wildlife, the Cayuga River winds its way amidst deep forests, rolling hills, and open farmlands. Dogs must be on a leash no longer than six feet and are allowed on over 110 miles of hiking trails and 20 miles of the Towpath Trail. Pets are also permitted in the Stanford Campground. They are NOT permitted in any park building or on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad Train.

This article originally appeared on BarkPost and is republished here with permission.

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