If you’ve never taken your dog along on one of your family’s road trips, especially those out west, you may wish to reconsider. You’ll be surprised to find out how many places in the Great American West not only accept dogs but welcome them. Here are some great places in six western states where you and your entire family, including your dog, can find plenty of adventure and family fun. But no matter where you go don’t forget these road trip essentials.
Undoubtedly the Grand Canyon is on your bucket list, but your dog will enjoy going there, too. You can keep him or her with you at your campsite and along all the above-rim trails at both the North and South Rims. (S)he shouldn’t, however, go inside any of the park buildings or on any of the shuttle buses. Also, be aware that there are plenty of lookout points along both the North and South Rim roads where (s)he and your whole family will enjoy spectacular views. But safety first! Many of these lookout points have sheer drop-offs with no guardrails. Be sure to keep hold of your young kids’ hands and definitely keep your dog on a leash.
Yosemite National Park welcomes your leashed dog in all outdoor areas and offers numerous Ranger programs, hiking, camping, fishing, swimming, and other outdoor activities. You’ll also find plenty of dog-friendly motels, campgrounds and RV parks in the areas around Yosemite.
If you’re in the Los Angeles area, of course you’ll need to take your kids to Disneyland, Walt Disney’s original Magic Kingdom. While you can’t take your dog inside Disneyland, you can board him or her very reasonably at the park’s day kennel located right outside the main entrance. It’s open the same hours as the park itself, always has an attendant on duty, and you can visit and/or walk your dog whenever you wish.
The incredible Colorado Trail goes from Denver to Durango, 486 miles away. It has numerous on/off places that you can get to by car. You can hike with your leashed dog on virtually the entire Trail, and in some places (s)he can even be off lead as long as you supervise and control him or her.
If your road trip takes you through Albuquerque, you can enjoy an 85-minute open-air trolley tour with your family and your leashed dog. Hosted by the ABQ Trolley Company, the tours start in Historic Old Town, which itself welcomes your leashed dog.
If you’ve never been to Utah, it’s an absolutely incredible state with no less than five National Parks as follows:
- Arches National Park
- Bryce Canyon National Park
- Canyonlands National Park
- Capitol Reef National Park
- Zion National Park
Your leashed dog is welcome in all of them anywhere except in the visitor centers, on the various hiking trails, or in the various backcountries.
If your Road Trip takes you to Wyoming, of course you have to go to Yellowstone National Park, home of Old Faithful and other magnificent geysers. You can’t take your dog on the boardwalks, but you can take him or her, leashed, of course, in the campground and throughout the front country.