By Aurus Sy
Published: 11/12/2021, edited: 11/12/2021
National parks are a top destination for many people who are looking to take a break from everyday life. After all, these are where you can find some of the country’s most amazing landscapes, plus few things are more enjoyable than spending time in nature. And if you’re a pet parent, you’d likely agree that exploring the outdoors is even better when you’re with your pup. But are dogs allowed in US national parks?
Outdoor-loving dog parents and their fur kids will be happy to hear that most national parks welcome canines! Moreover, many parks often have events and activities “pupared” just for four-legged visitors.
Of course, there are some rules to follow to ensure everyone’s tails keep wagging. Rules vary across parks, so always check your destination’s website for specific information before you travel. But all pooch-friendly national parks adhere to the B.A.R.K. principles:
Though some areas are off-limits to dogs, US national parks still offer a number of things for Fido to do, including the B.A.R.K. Ranger program. In this short program, you and your pup will be asked to complete a few simple activities and demonstrate that you understand the B.A.R.K. principles. Once you have successfully completed the tasks and signed the pledge, your furry friend will be “sworn in” as a B.A.R.K. Ranger and receive an official B.A.R.K. Ranger dog tag or certificate!
In addition to the B.A.R.K. Ranger program, you can enjoy hiking, camping, questing, paddling, geocaching and self-guided tours with your pooch. In parks with lakes or rivers, you can often go fishing or boating. Visit the National Park Service website for a list of more pet-friendly activities.
Here are some tips to make your trip to a national park with Fido safe, fun, and memorable!
Before you go
What to bring
On the trail
At the campsite
National parks offer a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of modern life. Fortunately, you can bring your furry pal to most of them! Which one will you and your pooch visit first?
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