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Arizona’s Top Pet Friendly Attraction: The Grand Canyon

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This post is part of a series on The Ultimate Pet Friendly Road Trip, our 10-month, 15,000-mile tour of the top pet friendly attraction in each of the lower 48 states.

Arizona’s Top Pet Friendly Attraction: The Grand Canyon

Arizona's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: The Grand Canyon |

Words cannot describe and pictures cannot capture the magnificence of the Grand Canyon. It’s Mother Nature’s most stunning sculpture, sliced to a depth of 5,000 feet by the Colorado River, spanning 10 to 16 miles from wall to wall, and stretching 277 river miles from Lees Ferry to the Grand Wash Cliffs. To stand on the rim of the chasm and gaze across the expanse is both inspirational and humbling at the same time.

Everyone should see the Grand Canyon at least once in their lives, but no matter how many times you visit, the panorama will never be the same. Erosion continues to carve the landscape, the interplay of sunlight and clouds changes by the minute, and viewing it during different seasons would only deepen your appreciation of this stunning masterpiece.

Pets at the Grand Canyon

What makes the Grand Canyon even more special is that you can share the experience with your pets in a way that’s not possible at most of our other national parks. Leashed pets are welcome on the Greenway Trail and South Rim Trail, which runs from Hermits Rest to South Kaibab Trailhead.

Pet Rules at the Grand Canyon

Leashed pets are welcome on the Rim and Greenway trails at the South Rim.

Leashed pets are welcome at Mather Campground, Desert View Campground, Trailer Village, and throughout the developed areas.

Leashes must not be longer than 6-feet.

Pets are not permitted below the rim, in the buildings, or on shuttle buses.

Yavapai Lodge has pet friendly rooms available for an additional fee of $25 and allows up to two pets per room.

Arizona's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: The Grand Canyon | Arizona's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: The Grand Canyon | Arizona's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: The Grand Canyon |

Pet Friendly Hiking at the Grand Canyon

The best scenery is found along the South Rim Trail, and its 14 paved miles give you plenty of space to explore! Keep in mind that the average elevation of the trail is about 6,800 feet, which makes it easy to get dehydrated. Bottle filling stations are not operational during the winter, and bottled water isn’t for sale, so carry plenty of water for you and your pup. Also be aware that altitude sickness (nausea, shortness of breath, exhaustion, headache) can affect both humans and pets, so take it easy until you’ve acclimated to the elevation.

Arizona's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: The Grand Canyon |

If you’re only in the park for a day, Hermit Road has some of the best views – from Hopi Point the Colorado River comes into view, and from Pima Point you can hear the roar as the river crashes through Granite Rapid. Hermit Road is closed to all but park shuttles most of the year, and pets are not allowed aboard the buses, so accessing these spectacular points on the trail requires a lot of walking!

Plan your visit between November 1st and February 28th, however, and the road is open to all vehicles. You and your furry travel companion will have easy access to Maricopa Point, Powell Point, Hopi Point, Mojave Point, The Abyss, Monument Creek Vista, Pima Point, and Hermits Rest.

There is a concentration of foot traffic along the trail near the shuttle stops, but most of the time it feels like you and your dog have the whole Grand Canyon to yourselves.

Arizona's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: The Grand Canyon | Arizona's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: The Grand Canyon | Arizona's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: The Grand Canyon |

The weather can come up quickly, so be sure to keep an eye on the sky as you’re hiking and move toward the nearest shelter if the clouds turn ominous.

Arizona's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: The Grand Canyon | Arizona's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: The Grand Canyon | Arizona's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: The Grand Canyon |

Arizona's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: The Grand Canyon | GoPetFriendly.comWhere to Stay

The Yavapai Lodge has pet friendly rooms for an additional $25 fee per stay. They allow two pets per room with no restrictions on size. There are also two campgrounds (without hookups), and one RV park (with hookups) inside the park. You can find additional pet friendly accommodations just south of the Grand Canyon in Tusayan, Arizona.

Finding pet friendly restaurants here is a bit more challenging. The closest we were able to locate was about 80 miles south in Flagstaff, Arizona, so we packed picnics and got take-out food during our visit. If you plan to do the same, be sure to stock up on groceries on the way – options are limited once you’re in the park.

Phoenix Meet-up

This was the second of 17 meet-ups and adoption events we’ll be hosting on our 48-state tour, and we were excited to partner with the Arizona Humane Society. We got to spend time with some on-line friends who came out and became in-real-life friends, which is always exiting! Catching up with great folks we’ve known for years, and getting to see little “Frank” go home with his new forever family were the highlights of our day.

Arizona's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: The Grand Canyon | Arizona's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: The Grand Canyon |

Thank You to our Sponsors

Visiting these attractions with Ty and Buster is a dream come true. We’ll be blogging about each one as we go along, so fasten your seatbelt and stay tuned!

The Ultimate Pet Friendly Road Trip wouldn’t be possible without the support of our wonderful sponsors: Winnebago2 Hounds Design, AlcottgoDog®PetGuide.comRed Roof InnsSleepypodThe Bark, PetHub,, and The Honest Kitchen. Please be sure to visit their websites and social media pages and thank them for their participation!

Planning a pet friendly trip of your own? We’ll make it easy:
Pet Friendly Hotels | Pet Friendly Destinations | Pet Friendly Activities

  • Beth says:

    Hi! We’re traveling with our dog to the Grand Canyon in mid June. I expect it will be hot, but we don’t have much choice. We will try to get there very early to avoid some of the heat. Will we be able to park at the Visitor’s Center and walk along the South Rim with our Kodi?

    • Amy at says:

      Absolutely, Beth! The parking area at the visitor’s center is just a short walk from the South Rim Trail. Remember to pack plenty of water for you all – the elevation dries you out quickly! And if it is hot, consider dog boots to protect for Kodi’s paws. We did reviews of some of the most popular dog boots here:

  • Reb Parb Hi Reb! Weather that time of year is a little tricky – our last visit was during late February and I think the high was about 55 degrees, but with the sun we were fine in light jackets. I heard from someone who was there a week or so after us, and they had 4 inches of snow! But, there were hardly any tourists, which was awesome. For more predictable weather, you might be better waiting until the end of March, but be sure you avoid spring break! I hope that helps, and that you have a fantastic trip. Waggin’ trails!

  • Reb Parb says: Hi! I’m thinking about going there with the pup next March (probably middle of March). According to, looks like it was in the high of 53 and low of 40 something. In your opinion, how is the weather in March and are there a lot of tourists? Thank you!

  • Miranda Hammer Thanks so much for your insights, Miranda! For those of us who haven’t been below the rim, knowing what to expect is really helpful.

  • Hailey Huff I’ve gone below the rim and it does get pretty hot. You are very exposed with little shade and the rocks soak up the sun’s heat. July/August are the hottest months. I went in September and temps were still over 80. Do not be put off if you really want to go, just come prepared with a ton of water, sun block, and give yourself an ample amount of time to not overexert yourself. Maybe even go WAY early in the morning to take advantage of the coolest parts of the day. Have a good trip!

  • Hailey Huff My pleasure! We’ve always had the dogs with us, so we’ve never been below the rim – but I can imagine it might get quite hot with little shade on the trails. Also, if you wanted to take your pup and still spend a day hiking below the rim, there is a kennel where he could spend the day but not have to miss the entire trip. I hope that helps!

  • Hailey Huff says: thanks for the reply! I was looking more for some hiking but was wondering if it’s worth it to go with my dog. I also was looking at going in July(due to vacation time) and read that it’s best on the rim instead of the canyon because it actually gets hotter as you descend. Do you agree with that or know if that’s true?

  • Everyone has their own distinctions, Hailey. I consider sidewalk / paved path to be “walking” and any trail to be “hiking” regardless of elevation changes. That being said, the South Rim Trail is pretty flat and easy-going, so it’s not much of a challenge if that’s what you’re looking for. Waggin’ trails!

  • Hailey Huff says:

    If you can only hike “above the rim” does that mean it’s all just flat walking and not so much hiking?

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