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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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  • 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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