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Dogs Dig the Grand Canyon

Are you wondering if taking your dogs to the Grand Canyon is a good idea? Most of the pet policies in our national parks make visiting with dogs a challenge. In fact, many times pets are not allowed outside your vehicle except in paved parking lots or campgrounds.

We’re happy to report that is absolutely NOT the case at the Grand Canyon! This is one of the most pet friendly national parks in the country.

Dogs Dig the Grand Canyon - Hiking the South Rim Trail

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Dogs at the Grand Canyon

Dogs visiting the Grand Canyon should be prepared for a real treat. Leashed pets are welcome on the entire South Rim Trail, which runs along the canyon’s edge for 13 miles!

We parked at the Grand Canyon Visitor Center (right side of map), which was a short walk from the trail at Mather Point. The pathways and at the lookouts close to the visitor center were crowded, but a quarter mile down the trail it was wide open.

South Rim Trail Map - Grand Canyon Rim Trail - Grand Canyon

The Grandness of the Grand Canyon

The most difficult thing to convey about the Grand Canyon is its enormity. It’s almost too big to be real. In fact, gazing out over the vistas, we could easily have been convinced that we were looking at a Hollywood backdrop.

Grand Canyon, Arizona

So, like a couple of addicts (and their dogs), we started walking. And walking. And walking.

Signs along the trail noted the distance to the next point of interest, and it’s never very far. “It’s only a mile to Bright Angel Lodge. We’ll just be getting warmed up.”

Grand Canyon, Arizona

“Hey, it’s not even a mile to Trailview Overlook – let’s do it!”

Grand Canyon, Arizona

And so on … until five miles (and 200 photos) later we finally got a hold of ourselves. The dogs were pooped, and Ty was giving us his take-me-home look.

READ MORE ⇒  America’s Most Pet Friendly National Parks

Be Aware of the Weather

We were lucky to visit on a cloudy, cool day. If it had been warmer, we wouldn’t have been able to walk so far with the boys. Though the path is easy to navigate, the high elevation and dry climate can quickly lead to dehydration for you and your dog. Even if you’re only planning a short stroll, bring plenty of water and a collapsible bowl.

We made it back to the Winnebago fairly quickly. Ty seemed to sense we were heading toward his bed, and got his second wind. He wouldn’t even move over for people on the trail!

 

Pet Friendly Camping at the Grand Canyon

We spent the night at Trailer Village, one of the three pet friendly campgrounds in the park. The campground itself was nothing spectacular, but it was really convenient to the South Rim amenities and attractions.

READ MORE ⇒  Pet Friendly Campgrounds At America’s National Parks

The next day the weather was still cool and cloudy, and the dogs were not interested in taking another hike! So, we let them catch up on their rest and Rod and I jumped on the shuttle to visit a few points further down the Rim Trail.

One of the most interesting stops was Hermit’s Rest. Built in 1914, and designed by Mary Coulter, Hermit’s Rest was – you guessed it – a rest stop for travelers back in the day. Now a gift shop and snack bar, the fireplace is still a great place to relax.

Hermit's Rest - Grand Canyon, Arizona Fireplace at Hermit's Rest

Staying At The Grand Canyon With Pets

There are two pet friendly hotels and two campgrounds (without hookups) and one RV park (with hookups) inside the park. There are additional pet friendly options available just south of the park in the town of Tusayan, AZ.

Finding a pet friendly restaurant there is a bit of a challenge. The closest we were able to find was about 80 miles south in Flagstaff, Arizona.

 

Update

We made a second visit to the Grand Canyon and explored a different section of the South Rim Trail. We’re happy to report that the park is just as pet friendly as our last visit. See what we found to do the second time around! > Going Back To The Grand Canyon.

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

 

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  • Lena says:

    Do you know of anyone who has stayed at one of the Grand Canyon pet friendly hotels? The reason I’m asking is because reviews can be deceiving. Or maybe I should ask…is there a site/blog that rates pet friendly lodging from their experience? This will be our first time traveling to the Canyon & first time taking an “extended vacation” with our two small dogs. Thank you for your help!
    Lena

    • Amy at GoPetFriendly.com says:

      Hi Lena! Luckily we stayed at Yavapai Lodge on our last visit to the Grand Canyon. The room was nothing fancy, but it was very clean and comfortable. And being so close to the everything was so convenient. I hope that helps and that you have a wonderful trip!

  • Olivia says:

    Hi there. I loved reading about your first and second experience at the Grand Canyon with your pups. I was wondering what you suggest to help protect their paws? I’m going in June (the end of June) which I’m sure means high temps and I don’t want them to get hurt. Any recommendations? I’m tempted to buy a pull wagon just in case.

    • Amy at GoPetFriendly.com says:

      Hello Olivia! Thanks so much for your note – I’m so glad you enjoyed the posts. My recommendation would be to get boots for them, and give them time to get used to them before you leave on your trip. We use PAWZ booties for Buster because they feel very natural and he doesn’t mind wearing them. But, some people think they’re hard to get on and off. We did a whole blog post comparing the best booties for dogs, and you can find it here: https://blog.gopetfriendly.com/dog-boots/

      Taking a wagon or stroller with you is also a good idea if you don’t think the boots will work out. We recently compared a bunch of pet strollers that might be helpful for you: https://blog.gopetfriendly.com/best-dog-stroller/

      I hope that helps and that you have a fantastic time!

  • LORRAINE JOHNSON says:

    We stayed at one of the FREE campsites about 4 miles outside the Grand Canyon. We were one of the only ones that stayed there. There were fire rings and very remote. It was great because we were able to take our dogs leashes off (keeping a close eye) and let them run around. Very relaxing. Its on the free overnight parking APP.

    • Amy at GoPetFriendly.com says:

      Thanks so much for sharing, Lorraine! That sounds like a fantastic option – especially because the developed campgrounds in the national park get full. Waggin’ trails to you!

  • Juleen Wright says:

    At Williams several dog freindly places to eat on Patio

  • Christy Findley says:

    When you say the dogs begged off and you guys went out on your own, where did the dogs stay? We are traveling for the first time with our 4 year old dog and I was worried what we would do if we had to leave her alone at all?

    • Amy at GoPetFriendly.com says:

      Hi Christy! Our dogs stayed in our motorhome the day Rod and I explored by ourselves. We’ve been traveling full-time for years, and for Ty and Buster, the RV is home, so there’s no worry they’re going to bark and disturb other guests.

      There’s also a kennel service at the south rim if that would be helpful for you. Just call in advance, because it books up.

      I hope that helps and that you have an amazing trip!

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