The Best of Spring / Early Summer Dog-Friendly Vacations!
Best Dog Friendly Vacations
Find the best spring & early vacations for you and your dog – see lush waterfall landscapes, wildflowers, and beat the heat of the desert landscape!
1. Acadia National Park, Maine
2. Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio
3. Kootenai National Forest, Montana
4. San Juan Islands, Washington
5. Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Nevada
6. Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah
7. Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah
8. Coyote Buttes / The Wave, Arizona
9. Paria Canyon & Buckskin Gulch, Arizona / Utah
10. White Sands National Monument, New Mexico
11. Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve, Colorado
12. Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona
13. Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, Arizona
14. John Muir Wilderness, California
1 Acadia National Park, Maine
Acadia National Park is consistently rated as one the nation’s best national parks, especially for hiking and camping. Terrain extends from the beach to the mountains so there’s a lot to do. The park is located in Bar Harbor, Maine. Acadia is one of the most picturesque parks – so you’ll surely enjoy some majestic views, green evergreen trees, beautiful ponds, and a stunning sunrise if you go early. Don’t miss Cadillac Mountain, Mount Desert Island, and Jordan Pond. The city of Bar Harbor is also dog friendly if you want to stay for a weekender. While the park is beautiful anytime of year, you can come across some rain and fog during spring months. Still worth it to get a glimpse of almost untouched, pure serene beauty. Read our listing for more information.
2 Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio
Cuyahoga Valley National Park is located in Peninsula, Ohio just outside Cleveland, Ohio. It’s an amazing park for those that live in the area simply because you can do so much there, including some wonderful dog friendly hiking trails. Other things you can do with your dog include camping, fishing, biking, running, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. The Cuyahoga River runs through the park which brings a lot of water features and waterfalls to explore. Read our destination guide for more information.
3 Kootenai National Forest, Montana
Kootenai National Forest is located in Montana and Idaho, and borders Canada. Sub-alpine scenic views will leave your breathless as you hike near cliffs, giant cedars, and large fields. There’s a lot to here from hiking, camping, biking, fishing, camping, and even morel mushroom picking. Winter adds in some snowshoeing or cross-country skiing fun. Read our listing for more information.
4 San Juan Islands, Washington
North of Seattle, Washington sits that San Juan Islands. Many come out for some whale watching, kayaking, hiking, and biking. It’s a great place to just go exploring, go on a romantic getaway, and see some different scenery than the typical lush forests and mountains of Washington. Love art? There’s a small community of artists here along with some fabulous food and fun. Read our listing for more information.
5 Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Nevada
Come out in the spring or early summer to Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. You’ll see a whole new world in the Mojave Desert and avoid the hot tortuous heat of the summers . Enjoy breathtaking views of red and orange sandstone cliffs and wildflowers dotting the landscape. You may also come across some petroglyphs or an oasis in the middle of a the desert. Read our destination guide for more information.
6 Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah
Ever hike or drive on a salt flat? Come on out to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Tooele County, Utah and dazzle your senses. You’ll likely see nothing for miles, but will be mesmerized and enchanted all the same by start white beauty of the salt flats. Don’t forget your sunglasses!
It’s best to avoid the area during later summer as it gets very hot. One of the busiest times of the year is during Speed Week, when racers actually race on the flats. You’ll feel like you stepped back in time seeing all the classic hot rods that come out that week. Read our listing for more information.
7 Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah
The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah is one of the truly majestic areas that is dog friendly! It’s a great place to go backcountry camping and hiking. You’ll see so many sedimentary rock formations, arches, waterfalls, and mystical slot canyons. Avoid the summer heat by going in the spring or summer. It’s just too hot for the dogs. The best times to go are early spring and fall. Read our listing for more information.
8 Coyote Buttes / The Wave, Utah
Coyote Buttes / The Wave is located in Utah (Kanab, UT). This is one the greatest adventures for you and your dog. Get out an see colorful, swirling sandstone rock formations. Don’t forget to take some memorable photos too in one of the most photographed landmarks in the United States. You’ll need advanced planning as entry to the area is by lottery only. Read our destination guide for more information.
9 Paria Canyon & Buckskin Gulch, Arizona / Utah
Want to see some amazing slot canyons? Visit Paria Canyon & Buckskin Gulch located in Arizona and Utah. The area is best known for it’s colorful and twisted sandstone landscapes, slot canyons, tall cliffs, carved formations, and ancient petroglyphs on deep canyon walls. Each time you go, you may get a different adventure altogether. Be prepared to help you dog up canyon walls or wade through some muddy water. Dogs will need their own permit. Read our destination guide for more information.
10 White Sands National Monument, New Mexico
Go hiking, backcountry hiking or even sledding on the white sand dunes in New Mexico’s White Sands National Monument. It is recommended to stick with marked trails, but this is one adventure you surely don’t want to miss especially if you drive through New Mexico on a road trip! Get out on an early summer road trip with your dog before temperatures really go up! Read our listing for more information.
11 Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve, Colorado
Another sand dune you can’t miss out on is the Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve in Colorado. Pay attention to signs as dogs are allowed in certain areas on leash. And don’t forget to sign up for some sandboarding and sand sledding! You will need specific boards out on the dunes. Read our listing for more information.
12 Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona
Here’s a unique adventure for you and your dog that’s one of a kind. Go to the Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona to see trees older than 218 million years. Trees feature colorful bands. The area is worth exploring. You can also see some petroglyphs or visit an ancient Publoan village. Read our listing for more information.
13 Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, Arizona
The Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park is for the most adventurous hikers that want a breathtaking view of the desert. Or, opt for the scenic drive that goes around the park. You’ll see rock pinnacles all around you. Respect area rules and regulations, especially if you are inside the Indian reservation. Camping options are available. Read our listing for more information.
14 John Muir Wilderness, California
Want to see some spring flowers and the best of the Sierra Nevada. Head out on a hiking and camping trip to John Muir Wilderness in California. A great beginner trail to see flowers is the Little Lakes Trail. Head on out late spring to early summer if you are going at higher elevations. Read our destination guide for more information.
Do you have any other recommendations for dog friendly vacations to take during the spring or early summer periods?
Is there a great dog-friendly activity or event missing from our list? Contact us so we can share it with the community!
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