Situated in the state of Montana, just close to the US-Canadian border, Glacier National Park is one of the country’s most impressive and famous national parks. In fact, Glacier National Park has been dubbed the “Crown of the Continent Ecosystem” due to its enormous pristine ecosystem, including over 130 lakes, hundreds of species of animals and over a thousand species of plants, among others. With all the remarkable sights and activities, it’s no wonder that Glacier National Park is a popular destination for vacationers. However, like most national parks in the United States, this destination has some restrictions for those traveling with pets. Luckily, there’s still enough to do for patrons who want their furry friends to tag along.
There are only two main roads in Glacier National Park; the first one is the road that goes from south to north along the park’s western edge and the other is the 50-mile road that runs from east to west across the park. The latter is popularly known as the Going-to-the-Sun Road and is the more preferred method of getting to the park because of the picturesque views. It takes about 3 hours each direction to drive through the road, particularly if you stop to take in the views and capture some photos. Driving through Going-to-the-Sun Road is a fun way to start your adventure through the national park with your dog.
Despite the impressive number of trails and hiking spots in the entire Glacier National Park, there is only one trail that is open for those traveling with their pets – the McDonald Creek Bike path. This paved trail is a 2.5-mile trail that runs between Apgar Village and West Glacier. You can get to the beginning of the trail by car and park it there. From there, you can take your time exploring the different sights with your pooch. Since the trail also happens to be a bike path, you can even bring your own bike and go bikejoring with your dog. This activity, however, is recommended only for dogs who are well-behaved and non-aggressive towards others, since there will likely be other bikers in the area.
After exploring the Going-to-the-Sun Road and the McDonald Creek Bike path, there is not much more left to do within the Glacier National Park for those visiting with their four-legged friends. However, this does not mean that the fun and adventure has to stop for you and your pooch. In fact, there are several other dog-friendly spots close to the park and within the Glacier Country that are just as worthwhile to check out. There are a number of national forests, paved trails and swimming spots close to Glacier National Park that are completely dog-friendly and would help complete your trip.
Even though pets are not allowed in the backcountry and trails of the Glacier National Park, they are allowed within the drive-in campgrounds. Glacier National Park has 13 different campgrounds with over a thousand individual campsites. If you decide to camp with your pooch, take note that they should always be kept on a leash that is no longer than six feet.
If you do not feel like camping, you have the option of staying in a pet-friendly lodge. There are only a handful of places which accommodate dogs. One of the most popular ones, located just along the Going-to-the-Sun Road, is St. Mary Lodge and Resort. This place offers “Canine Companion” rooms in its East Lodge.
National parks usually turn off a lot of pet owners because of the restrictions that are imposed against bringing of pets. Fortunately, Glacier National Park is one of the select few national parks in the country where dogs are allowed, albeit only in limited areas. When visiting Glacier National Park, you have a couple of dog-friendly options so that both you and your pooch can have a grand time.