Pet-Friendly Camping Sites to Explore

Taking your furry friend along on camping trips adds an extra layer of fun and companionship to your outdoor adventures. Luckily, many campgrounds welcome pets, providing an opportunity for both you and your four-legged pals to enjoy nature together. Here’s a guide to some of the best pet-friendly camping sites to explore that offer spectacular scenery, ample amenities, and exciting activities for everyone in the family.

Yosemite National Park, California

Yosemite National Park is a stunning destination with towering cliffs, majestic waterfalls, and ancient sequoias. Fortunately, it’s also one of the top pet-friendly camping sites to explore. Pets are welcome in all developed campgrounds, and many trails are accessible to dogs on a leash. Upper Pines Campground is a popular choice, offering breathtaking views and easy access to pet-friendly areas. Remember to keep your pet on a leash and stick to designated pet areas to preserve the park’s natural beauty.

Acadia National Park, Maine

Acadia National Park, located on the rugged coast of Maine, is another fantastic option for pet owners. The park offers numerous pet-friendly trails, such as the Carriage Roads, which provide over 45 miles of scenic paths perfect for walking with your dog. Blackwoods Campground and Seawall Campground both allow pets, making it easy to find a comfortable spot to set up camp. Enjoy the stunning ocean views, lush forests, and granite peaks as you explore this beautiful park with your furry companion.

Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

Shenandoah National Park is renowned for its picturesque landscapes and abundant wildlife. It’s also incredibly pet-friendly, with over 500 miles of trails open to pets. Big Meadows Campground is a favorite among visitors, offering spacious sites and easy access to hiking trails like the Appalachian Trail. Your dog will love sniffing out new scents and exploring the diverse terrain, from rolling hills to cascading waterfalls.

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

While pets aren’t allowed on the inner canyon trails, the South Rim of the Grand Canyon offers several pet-friendly areas to explore. Mather Campground is an excellent choice for pet owners, providing access to paved trails along the rim where pets can join you on a leash. The scenic overlooks and breathtaking vistas make this an unforgettable destination for you and your pet. Be sure to check out the South Rim Trail, which offers stunning views and is accessible to pets.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee/North Carolina

Straddling the border between Tennessee and North Carolina, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a haven for nature lovers and their pets. The park allows pets on several trails, including the Oconaluftee River Trail and the Gatlinburg Trail, both of which offer scenic walks through lush forests and along picturesque rivers. Elkmont Campground is a great pet-friendly option, providing a tranquil setting with plenty of space for your pet to roam.

Olympic National Park, Washington

Olympic National Park’s diverse ecosystems range from temperate rainforests to rugged coastlines, offering a variety of landscapes for you and your pet to explore. While pets are restricted in certain areas, they are welcome on several trails and campgrounds. Kalaloch Campground, located on the coast, is a pet-friendly site with stunning ocean views and access to pet-friendly beaches. Enjoy the fresh sea breeze and the sound of crashing waves as you and your pet explore this unique environment.

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Nevada

For those who prefer desert landscapes, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area in Nevada is a fantastic destination. The area features dramatic red rock formations, scenic canyons, and pet-friendly trails. Red Rock Campground allows pets and provides a convenient base for exploring the surrounding area. Be sure to check out the Calico Tanks Trail, which offers beautiful views and interesting rock formations that your pet will love to explore.

Custer State Park, South Dakota

Custer State Park in South Dakota is a gem in the Black Hills, offering a wide range of pet-friendly activities and camping options. Sylvan Lake Campground is a top choice, located near the picturesque Sylvan Lake and numerous pet-friendly trails. Your pet will enjoy the open spaces, fresh air, and opportunities to spot wildlife like bison and elk. The Sunday Gulch Trail is a great hike to embark on with your pet, featuring scenic views and a variety of terrains.

Tips for Camping with Pets

When planning a trip to these pet-friendly camping sites to explore, consider the following tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for both you and your pet:

  • Preparation: Make sure your pet is up-to-date on vaccinations and is comfortable with travel. Bring a copy of their medical records just in case.
  • Gear: Pack essentials like a sturdy leash, collapsible water bowls, pet food, and a comfortable bed or blanket for your pet.
  • Safety: Always keep your pet on a leash to protect them from wildlife and prevent them from disturbing the environment.
  • Respect: Follow park rules and clean up after your pet to ensure these beautiful areas remain welcoming to other visitors and their pets.
  • Hydration and Nutrition: Ensure your pet stays hydrated and has access to food, especially after long hikes or during hot weather.


Exploring the great outdoors with your pet can be an incredibly rewarding experience, and these pet-friendly camping sites to explore offer some of the best opportunities for adventure. From the towering cliffs of Yosemite to the rugged coastlines of Acadia, each destination provides unique landscapes and activities that both you and your furry friend will love. So pack your gear, grab your leash, and head out for an unforgettable camping trip with your pet!