Dog-Friendly RV Vacations to America’s Best National Parks

Posted on June 11th, 2013 in Canine Corner, Dogs, Pet Travel

Leaving your pet at home or at a kennel while you vacation can be both expensive and disheartening. They’re a member of the family, right? The best vacations are those where your dog can join you and everyone can enjoy time away from home together. We have some great vacation destinations in our national parks, but only some are truly dog-friendly. Following are the best parks where you can bring your best friend on your next vacation.

In the great majority of national parks, you can only have your pet in your vehicle, in parking lots or within campgrounds, and usually on a leash the whole time. You may not be able to get away from the leash rule, but there are parks that allow dogs on hiking trails, beaches and in the backcountry. For many of those on an RV vacation, hiking and getting out into the wilderness is what a vacation is all about.

Grand Canyon National Park is known as a very dog-friendly park. The South Rim, one of the most popular spots in the park and where you get a huge amount of scenery, allows dogs on the trails in this area. Walk your pooch along the rim for more than two miles while you take in the glorious colors of the canyon. Your doggie will also enjoy the Geology Walk along with you and the ranger guide.

Travel north to Zion National Park in Utah for a chance to see amazing rock formations and the colorful red rock canyons. Of course, you can keep your pet with you in your RV as you drive the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway. When you want to park and get out for some hiking, your pet is allowed on the Pa’rus Trail, the trailhead of which is at the South Campground. Besides incredible sandstone cliffs and a wide array of plants and animals here, you will love learning some of the history of this region.

Heading west now! Another favorite American national park which allows dogs to hike with you is Yosemite National Park in California. Take your best friend on any paved trail in the valley, where you will view waterfalls, towering cliffs and clear, blue skies above. This is where most of the most amazing landmarks exist and you can marvel at these wonders without worrying where your pet is and if he or she is getting into mischief.

In Washington State there are two marvelous pet-friendly parks. One is the North Cascades National Park. The Pacific Crest Trail invites you and your pet to hike this moderate to difficult trail with some of the best scenery in the state. If you want to get out into the wilderness a lot more, you can also go right next door to the Ross Lake National Recreation Area where dogs are allowed on the trails.

A pooch enjoying The Grand Canyon....

A pooch enjoying The Grand Canyon….

Not as dog-friendly as some, Olympic National Park in Washington does allow your pet on Kalaloch Beach during the day if on a leash. This is acceptable since this beach is a lot of fun for the whole family. And again, if you wish to get more wilderness experience and see some incredible views, try the adjacent Olympic National Forest where pets are allowed on the forest trails.

Now if you are traveling on the East Coast, there are some parks that will be your top choice of RV vacation destinations. Acadia National Park in the beautiful state of Maine is a great pick for doggie fun. You can take your pet on most of the hiking trails and on the carriage roads as long as he or she is on a leash. If you want your pooch to have a little time off-leash, you can visit Little Long Pond. There are only a few exceptions (steep trails and sand beaches).

Discover one of the best dog-friendly parks in the United States. At Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, your pooch can hit the trail with you on any number of paths in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Take your exercise and give your dog exercise as well on miles and miles of fabulous hiking trails.

And finally, if you have never visited Kentucky, now is your chance. Take your pet with you to Mammoth Cave National Park. Here leashed dogs can enjoy the hiking trails and stay with you in the campgrounds. When you want to visit Mammoth Cave, you can put your pet for a short time in one of the kennels offered for convenience. They are inexpensive and will give you a chance to see the main attraction in this park.

There you have it, a choice of many wonderful parks where you can delight in an exciting RV vacation along with your very best friend.

About the Author

Joe Laing is the Marketing Director for El Monte RV, your nationwide source for RV rentals. El Monte RV also sells used motorhomes through eight different locations across the United States. For more information on purchasing a used motorhome see

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