Monday, July 27, 2009

National Parks Part 1

Dog at the Park

Taking your dog to the national parks of the US are one of the best ways to enjoy the summer. All of them can be accessed by driving, and the ones featured in this article are where your dog can participate by either hiking swimming or both. Most parks require your dog to be on a leash of no more than six feet (two meters) long. Others have special hours of operation. Some charge a nominal fee but most are open 24/hours a day and are free. Although on August 15 and 16, all national parks in the US will be waiving their entrance fees. There are so many parks to visit so I will be writing this in two parts. Many places will restrict access for dogs so they do not disrupt the wildlife that is part of these parks heritage. If you are bringing your dog, it's a good idea to pack a portable water bowl, treats, pickup supplies and a first aid kit.

Russell Cave

Russell Cave in Bridgeport, AL

This park is located on the Northeast side of the state. Their hours of operation are 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Central Standard Time. They have no fees or admission charges. Pets on a leash are allowed on the tour to the cave shelter and the hiking trail, but are not permitted inside the visitor center.

Fort Bowie

Fort Bowie National Historic Site, Bowie, AZ

For more than 30 years Fort Bowie and Apache Pass were the focal point of military operations eventually culminating in the surrender of Geronimo in 1886 and the banishment of the Chiricahuas to Florida and Alabama. It was the site of the Bascom Affair, a wagon train massacre, and the battle of Apache Pass, where a large force of Chiricahua Apaches under Mangus Colorados and Cochise fought the California Volunteers.

They operate between 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., daily, Mountain Standard Time. Pets are allowed access in this site but they must be on a leash.

Grand Canyon

They are allowed above the rim. The only dogs allowed below the rim are guide dogs. Pets are also allowed on the bridle path that connects the lodge with the North Kailah trail. There are pet kennels in the South Rim area. On the South Rim, leashed pets are allowed on trails above the rim, Mather Campground, Desert View Campground, Trailer Village and throughout the developed areas as well.
Petrified Forest

Petrified Forest National Park

Pets are allowed on these maintained trails:
  • Painted Desert Rim Trail

  • Puerco Pueblo

  • Blue Mesa

  • Crystal Forest

  • Giant Logs

  • Long Logs


Wilcox: Chiricahua National Monument, Wilcox, AZ

Pets are allowed on the lower canyon trails like the Sugarloaf Mountain trail and the Natural Bridge Trail. Other trails are prohibited in order to ensure the safety of wildlife.

Manzanar National Historic Site, Independence, CA

This site is to remember the Japanese-American citizens who were interned here during World War II. This site only allows dogs if they are on a leash.

Lake Tahoe, CA

80% of the Lake Tahoe National Historic Sit is run by the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. It is this organization that determines where dogs can be allowed. Dogs are permitted almost anywhere in this national park except for designated swimming beaches and wildlife protected areas. You can see some of the wildlife in these photos. Dogs can go boating, and kayaking. They can swim at the Tallac Historic Site.
John Muir House

John Muir Historic Site, Martinez, CA

This park is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10am to 5pm. This area includes the home that John Muir lived in. Considered the father of the National Park Service, John Muir had a love of nature so great, he convinced Teddy Roosevelt to protect Sequoia, Kings Canyon, the Grand Canyon and Mount Rainier as national parks.

Redwood National Park, Crescent City, CA

Leashed dogs are allowed at Crescent Beach, Gold Bluff beach and the Freshwater Lagoon Spit. They can only access the Thomas Kuchel Visitor Center Parking Lot as well.

Golden Gate National Recreation Area

This area that is best known for the Golden Gate Bridge also is very dog-friendly. This is one of the few national park areas that allow dogs to be off-leash as long as they are voice-controlled.

Areas Open For On Leash or Voice Control Dog Walking

Marin County
-Rodeo Beach
-Muir Beach
-Oakwood Valley Road to Alta Avenue
-Alta Ave. between Marin City/Oakwood Valley
-Homestead Valley
-Specific trails in Marin Headlands:
1. Coastal Trail from Golden Gate Bridge to junction with Wolf Ridge Trail;
2. Loop Trail from Rodeo Beach parking lot up Coastal Trail paved road (Old Bunker Road) near Battery Townsley and return to Rodeo Beach on paved road;
3. Wolf Ridge Loop (Coastal Trail to Wolf Ridge Trail; Wolf Ridge Trail to Miwok Trail; Miwok Trail back down to Coastal Trail).

San Francisco
-Fort Funston (excluding the 12-acre closure in northwest Ft. Funston)
-Ocean Beach (excluding the Plover Protection Area from Sloat Blvd. north to Stairwell 21 where leashes are required all year except from May 15 to July 1)
-Lands End
-Fort Miley
-Baker Beach, north of Lobos Creek
-Crissy Field (excluding the Wildlife Protection Area at the west end of Crissy field beach where leashes are required all year except from May 15 to July 1)
Parking Lots and Picnic Areas
Dogs must be on leash in picnic areas and parking lots at Baker Beach and Crissy Field.


Yosemite, CA

Pets are allowed in developed areas, on fully paved trails, and campgrounds. They also can be on the Meadow Look and Fog Mile fire roads in Wawona as well as Carlon Road, and on the Old Big Oak Flat Road between Hodgdon Meadow and Hazel Green Creek.

Black Canyon

Black Canyon of the Gunnison, CO

Black Canyon of the Gunnison's landscape was formed slowly by the action of water and rock scouring down through the hard Proterozoic crystalline rock.

Leashed pets are allowed on Rim Rock Trail, and Cedar Point Nature Trail. Also dogs can roam the North Rim Chasm Trail to the overlooks. Black Canyon also offers boarding services.
Great Sand Dunes

Great Sand Dunes National Park, Mosca, CO

Pets are allowed in the main national park day use areas and the national preserve. All dogs must be on a leash and are not allowed in the back country.

Rocky Mountain National Historic Site

Rocky Mountains National Park, Estes Park, CO

Pets are permitted in the national park but are not permitted on trails or in the back country. This is due to the fact that dogs and cats are considered to be unnatural predators to some of the smaller wildlife and prey for larger carnivorous animals such as mountain lions and coyote packs.

Weir Farm National Historic Site, Wilton, CT

In June of 1882, painter J. Alden Weir boarded a train from New York bound for his modest farm among the hills of Branchville, CT. Once here, Weir and his family transformed their summer retreat into a creative refuge for friends and fellow artists. After Weir, artists Mahonri Young and Sperry Andrews lived and worked here, continuing the legacy of artistic expression that still inspires today.

Years later, painters Mahonri Young and Sperry Andrews lived there and painted. When Sperry and his wife became stewards of the property, the daughter of J. Alden Weir asked them to save her father's land, especially the pond that it was known for. As a result of the Andrews' preservation efforts, we know have most of the land that was part of the original farm to enjoy.

Weir Farm allows dogs on the property with no restrictions except for needing to be on a leash. Their hours of operation are from dawn to dusk.


Chattahoochee River, Sandy Springs, GA

Dogs are allowed on the trails as long as they are on a leash. The park is open from dawn to dusk year round.

Indiana Dunes

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Porter, IN

Dogs can be taken to the following areas:
  • Mount Baldy

  • Central Beach

  • Lakeview Beach

  • Kemil Beach

  • All hiking trails

Herbert Hoover National Historic Site, West Branch, IA

This is President Hoover's birthplace. The president was born in a two room cottage which is still preserved today. Pets are allowed without restriction on the premises, but must be on a leash. This site also contains the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library.

Fort Scott

Fort Scott National Historic Site, Fort Scott, KS

Fort Scott was first established in 1842 and limited to the area east of the Mississippi River. It played a fundamental role during the Civil War.

Pets are allowed on site but not allowed in the building. Hours of operation are:
8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. April-October and 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. from November-March.

Cumberland Gap

Cumberland Gap National Park, Middlesboro, KY

This park is know as the "First GreatGateway to the West". Modern day explorers and travelers stand in awe at this great gateway and the many miles of trails and scenic features found in the park.

Pets are welcome but must be on a leash or in a carrier at all times while in the park.

Mammoth Cave

Mammoth Cave National Park, Mammoth Cave, KY

ammoth Cave National Park preserves the cave system and a part of the Green River valley and hilly country of south central Kentucky. This is the world's longest known cave system, with more than 367 miles explored.

ets must be on a leash at all times at Mammoth Cave National Park. No pets are permitted in any cave with the exception of designated service animals.

Part II will be coming out next week. I hope you guys all enjoyed this and thank you for stopping in. Any feedback would be fantastic. Have a Happy Tuesday everyone!

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