April 22nd through April 30th is National Park Week here in the United States! Last year I had the opportunity to visit four amazing national parks – Gateway Arch National Park, Arches National Park, Zion National Park, and Hawai’i Volcano National Park. My Corgis, Gizmo and Stormy came along with me to the first four. They stayed put on Oahu when we visited the Big Island to see the lava flowing!
Some national parks are more accessible for pets than others and for good reasons. National parks hold some of the country’s greatest scenic views, wildlife, and adventurous hikes. When bringing pets along it is good to familiarize yourself with the parks pet policies. Some parks has strict no pet policies due to the wildlife, hazardous conditions, or plant life that is in the park. No one wants a bison chasing their little pup around, right?!
Gateway Arch National Park – Extremely pet-friendly! This park has few crowds and has plenty of paved walking paths that people and pets can enjoy. This park doesn’t offer the same dramatic natural views as many other parks, but it did offer plenty of great walking space for pets. I highly recommend the Arch as a stop if you are taking a journey out west with your pets.
Arches National Park – Pets can enjoy the views from inside the car, but not outside on the rock formations. Temperatures at Arches are extremely hot due to its location in a desert region. We saw many unique plants in Moab and Arches while exploring due to the climate. Many places in Moab offer amazing views much like Arches, but are dog-friendly so it is still a great place to visit with pets. We explored bridges, walking paths, and rivers that were dog-friendly in Moab. Be prepared with plenty of water and find shaded areas due to the extreme summer heat. This was my favorite park we visited on our trip due to its unique plant life, huge rock formations, and scenery unlike what I had ever seen before.
Zion National Park – Zion offers one pet-friendly hiking trail to enjoy. Many of the hikes as Zion are more difficult such as Angels Landing, or the Narrows which would not allow for a safe stroll with pets. Zion was much more crowded than other parks so we shared much of the path with other hikes, bike riders, and many camped along the path. The great thing about Zion is many of the hotels, restaurants, and shops are located right outside the parks entrance which means they are all surrounded by beautiful red rock formations. One of the only issues we had at Zion was Gizmo stepped on a pack of fire ants while we were walking the trail! No worries though, we carried him to the car and go Cortisone on his paws. He was back to exploring in just a few hours.
Hawai’i Volcano National Park – On their website it states that are some areas that pets are welcome, but our pups stayed home for this visit. We viewed the lava flow during this visit! We loved viewing the lava at night and I feel it would be best to explore the park after dark without pets.
National Park Week has me reminiscing on all of the beautiful places I have traveled throughout the United States. It also reminds me to be mindful and respectful when traveling to ensure these places stay beautiful for years to come. What is your favorite national park to explore with your pets?