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10 Dog-Friendly National Parks to Explore With Your Pooch

We love our pets like they are our children. We take them everywhere with us, always looking for new adventures to enjoy with our furry friends. The same old parks and walks around the block grow boring, after all. You might even travel across the country to enjoy a new walking route, as you discover parks and landscapes previously unexplored by you and your pup.

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National parks exist to provide this change in our routine as they send us on a new adventure, but not all areas are as pet-friendly as others. There are parks with stricter rules in regards to trail walking, limiting them to only a mile or so of trails, but that's not the case with these parks. Keep reading to learn about ten national parks you can explore with your pooch!

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10 Cuyahoga Valley National Park

This is the perfect place to camp and hike with your furry friend. The Stanford Campground allows your dog to stay with you and they are permitted on any of the hiking trails.

It is quite common to come across other dogs while you explore the park, providing plenty of new friends for your pet to play with. A recommended site for you to venture to is Brandywine Falls, which is just a short trek for you and your best friend to make together.

9 North Cascades National Park

This park allows you the freedom to explore with your furry friend, as you wander down the eighteen miles of the breathtaking Pacific Crest Trail. You and your pooch will feel like real backcountry trekkers, but if you are looking for something a little more subdued, you can visit the Ross Lake and Lake Chelan recreational areas.

The sights you will see together will be amazing; it'll be an adventure you won't soon forget as you journey across Washington's frontier.

8 Great Sand Dunes National Park

You and your pet can take a week vacation to explore the entirety of this national park, as you stay together in the Pinon Flats Campground. You can explore the Dunes Overlook Trail and travel down the Medano Pass Primitive Road. You may not be allowed in the backcountry, but the trails you can travel on will make it all worth it.

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They do recommend you bring a pair of tweezers in case your pet steps on a cactus spine, however, as the sand can cover them and they'll hurt your dog's delicate paws.

7 Zion National Park

This park may only allow pets on the Pa'rus trail, but the scenic views make it all worthwhile. It's a 3.5-mile trail and takes you down a paved road, where you are surrounded by the mountains and a flowing river entertains you with its clear water.

The trail may be busy at times, but what better way to experience nature than with other fellow adventure seekers? You can have them take pictures of you and your dog for you to frame and place on your wall of travel experiences.

6 Petrified Forest National Park

This park actually certifies your pooch as a Bark Ranger, complete with a treat for your four-legged friend. You can also make it official by purchasing a Bark Ranger tag to add to your pet's collar.

Dogs are allowed anywhere within the park, including trails and wilderness areas. You can also view plants and geological formations, fulfilling your craving for a new type of scenery. This park even has its own set of geocaches --or hidden treasures-- for you to find by figuring out the secret clue. Don't forget your dog-related trinket to add to the canister when you find it!

5 Grand Canyon National Park

The Grand Canyon National Park has several trails available for pets to explore, including three campgrounds for them to stay at. You can even stay at the lodge if you prefer something a little more luxurious.

You have the day to explore the trails above the South Rim or the bridle trail in the North Rim. If you want to experience the trails within the South Rim, they do offer a kennel service to alleviate the misfortune of not being able to bring your pet down with you.

4 Acadia National Park

This park includes over 100 miles of scenic trails for you and your pet to discover your next adventure, as well as three campgrounds for you to stay at. They do recommend you reserve your campsite in advance, as they tend to fill up quickly in good weather.

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Their website lists the trails you cannot venture upon, as well as areas (although dog-friendly) not necessarily recommended for you and your non-athletic pooch. You may not be able to explore the expansive beaches of Maine, but the other scenic spots will certainly satisfy you and your dog .

3 Shenandoah National Park

Here, there are over 500 miles of trails, and your pet is only restricted from entering 20 miles or so of them. You can view the Appalachian trail in all of its glory, as you climb rocks and travel into the wilderness together.

A few recommended trails are Land's Run and Forwindham Rocks, both of which take you to breathtaking sights for you and your pet to drool over. You can end your day lounging in front of a fire at your campsite or breathing in the luxury of your lodge.

2 Yosemite National Park

The rules at Yosemite are a bit stricter, only allowing you to travel upon paved roads and bicycle paths. They do also allow dogs at the campsites, though, so you don't have to be separated from your best friend.

They offer a dog kennel service if you decide to travel a trail your pup isn't allowed on, but your dog will forgive you as long (as you come back to get them). The sights at Yosemite are amazing; you and your dog will really be missing out if you fail to visit this scenic park.

1 Mammoth Cave National Park

You and your perfect pooch can stay at the quaint Woodlands Cottages to fully experience the beauty of Mammoth Cave National Park. You cannot take your adorable pet into the caves, but you can explore their 84 miles of trails. They span from rugged to perfectly paved, depending on the type of adventure your dog is looking for.

You won't regret deciding to travel here for a few days, as you take in the extraordinary sights and sounds of Mammoth Cave.

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