Do you love spending time outdoors with your furry friend? Then you’ll want to check out these 5 national parks that welcome pets (and their owners). I absolutely love national parks. They are nature’s amusement parks. From forests and mountains to beaches and lakes, there’s something for everyone in this great country. So load up Fido or your curious kitty, and get ready for some adventure!
1. Yosemite National Park, California
Yosemite National Park (one of my personal favorites) is one of the most popular national parks in the United States, and for a good reason! This park offers stunning views of waterfalls, mountains, and forests and plenty of opportunities for hiking and other outdoor activities. And best of all, your pet is welcome to join you on this adventure!
Here are some fun shots of my family (including our cat!) at Yosemite…
There are a few things you should keep in mind though. Pets are not allowed on all trails in Yosemite National Park, but there are still plenty of places you and your furry friend can explore together. The Wawona Meadow Loop trail is a popular option for dog owners. It offers beautiful views of the meadow and river. And of course, don’t forget that your pet is welcome on all the park’s roads, sidewalks, and bike paths.
Our teammate, Em, visited Yosemite recently and LOVED it! Here she is with "Half Dome" in the background.
Our teammate Marsha spent several days in Yosemite and capture some BEAUTIFUL shots...
Staying overnight at Yosemite National Park? Leashed pets are welcome at several campgrounds within the park, or you can board your pup for the night at their kennel, so you can have a little paws-free time. This is a super-easy way to make the camping experience a little less chaotic with little ones. We boarded our pups in the kennel the last time we visited and it was a breeze for overnights.
Insider info on insects: Fleas and ticks are prevalent at Yosemite and ticks can cause diseases like Lyme disease or relapsing fever (TBRF), so you’ll want to be sure you do everything you can to Protect Your Pack®. Grab a bottle of our Flea & Tick Spray for Pets + Home, and apply as directed before your outings to prevent any of those pesky bugs from taking a joy ride with your pet. For the fam, use our personal Insect Repellent for Kids + Family. Both come in four fresh scents so you’re sure to find one (or more!) you love.
2. Congaree National Park, South Carolina
Congaree National Park is a nature lover’s paradise; with over 26,000 acres of forest to explore. It is home to the largest old-growth hardwood forest in the Southeast. And, thanks to the park’s pet-friendly policies, you can take everyone along for the fun!
Leashed pets are welcome on all trails and boardwalks in the park. The uber-popular Boardwalk Loop is an easy trail that takes you through some of the park’s most beautiful scenery, and it’s stroller-friendly too. Lace-up your hiking boots and hit the trails with your canine or feline in tow.
Insider info on insects: Mosquitos are heavy hitters at this park. You can avoid being their next meal with our Insect Repellent for Kids + Family. It’s a great option for families looking for a bug spray made with steam-distilled natural essential oils. The whole family will smell good too. Don’t forget to apply Flea & Tick Spray for Pets + Home to the furry and fluffy ones.
3. Acadia National Park, Maine
This one’s on my bucket list: Acadia National Park. One of the most gorgeous parks in the country, it has it all: rocky coastline, lush forests, and stunning mountain views. And luckily for pet owners, the park is also very friendly to four-legged visitors. Leashed pups are welcome on 100 miles of trails and 45 miles of carriage roads, making it the perfect place to explore with your fur baby.
Overnight camping is available at Blackwoods and Seawall campgrounds. Dogs are even allowed to run off-leash at Little Long Pond. Acadia National Park makes a pawsome destination for you and your pet to camp under the stars this summer.
Insider info on insects: Bugs can be a real itchy problem in Acadia. From mosquitos to ticks, you’ll want plenty of options to keep you and your pets free from bug bites. Along with our sprays for pets, take an extra measure of defense by using our Flea & Tick Collar or Flea & Tick Spot-On. Both provide long-lasting protection from fleas and ticks, plus they help repel mosquitoes.
4. Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona
Petrified Forest National Park makes for one of the most unique destinations on our list, with its vast expanse of petrified wood. It’s also super pet-friendly so don’t forget your dog, cat, or even horse to explore this one-of-a-kind park. Leashed pets are welcome on all trails and in all camping areas. Take your pet on a hike through the Rainbow Forest (chock-full of colorful petrified wood) or explore the petroglyphs of Newspaper Rock together. If you plan to visit this summer, be mindful of the desert heat and stay hydrated.
5. White Sands National Park, New Mexico
A must-see wonder, White Sands National Park, will wow you with 225 miles of pearly dunes that can be seen from outer space! Take your leashed pet along to explore this sandy wilderness.
Because the dunes are comprised of gypsum, unlike typical silica sand, they don’t absorb heat which keeps the dunes cooler even on the hottest of days.
It’s still in the desert, remember, so it can still feel pretty hot and make you sweat. Take plenty of water for everyone to stay hydrated and plan your visit during the cooler parts of the day for the most comfortable hikes and hang outs.
Check out some sweet shots of Wondercide teammate, Em, at White Sands National Park, New Mexico ...
There you have it, a round-up of five of the purrfect national parks for you and your pet. Just remember to follow the BARKS guidelines when you visit any national park:
Bag your pet’s poop
Always keep them on a leash
Know where you can go
Stay protected with Wondercide (We added this one ;)
By following these simple guidelines, you and your pet can have a safe and enjoyable trip to any of these incredible parks.
Do you have a favorite National Park to visit with your pet? Share it in the comments below!