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A Dog Friendly Guide to the Grand Canyon

A Dog Friendly Guide to the Grand Canyon

I partnered with to bring you this dog-friendly guide the Grand Canyon.

The Grand Canyon is the second-most visited national park in the US, and for good reason. The mile-deep gorge located in Arizona stretches over 270 miles long and up to 18 miles wide, making it one of the biggest canyons on earth.

Because it is a National Park, dogs have limited access, however the Grand Canyon is fairly dog friendly as far as national parks go!

Visiting the Grand Canyon with your dog is well worth the visit, even with the limited access.

Hikes Where Dogs are Allowed at the Grand Canyon

Because the Grand Canyon is a national park, rules for dogs are quite strict.

As with all national parks, the rules for dogs remain the same:

  • Dogs must remain on a six-foot leash at all times
  • Dogs are restricted to paved trails only

The Grand Canyon is divided into the South Rim and the North Rim. Dogs are not allowed below the rim or on shuttle buses.

Depending on how far you are willing to walk, you will be able to see more or less of the Grand Canyon with your dog.

Dog-Friendly Hiking Options in the South Rim

Leashed pets are allowed on the following trails:

South Rim Trail – a 13-mile paved path that follows the southern edge of the canyon. The South Rim Trail starts at Mather Point near the Grand Canyon Village and continues to Hermits Rest.

There are no pet-friendly accommodations along the South Rim Trail, so only go as far as you and your dog are able to handle.

The Grand Canyon Kennel South Rim is an option for those who want to take a day to explore the trails where pets are not allowed.

It is open daily from 7:30 am to 5:00 pm 365 days a year and permits cats and dogs. Owners can make arrangements at Maswik Lodge. Owners must provide proof of vaccination.

Grand Canyon Bridal Trail – a 3.2-mile paved bicycle path that starts in the North Rim village and sees fewer visitors due to its isolation. The road is closed during the winter and it is a long drive from the main South Rim area.

There are no kennel options for pets in the North Rim.

Shoshone Point – This short, two-mile roundtrip walk is a nice break from the pavement. The quiet dirt road among ponderosa pine forest leads to a wonderful, and lesser-known view of the Grand Canyon.

Be sure to ask at the Visitor Center if there are any events taking place at Shoshone Point before heading out there.

Things to Keep in Mind when Visiting the Grand Canyon with Your Dog

Aside from the regulations surrounding access and leash laws, a trip to the Grand Canyon with your dog means being aware of the harsh environment in which it sits.

Elevation – Grand Canyon Village sits at 6,800 feet, so be aware of altitude sickness for both yourself and your dog.

Heat – During the summer months, the temperatures can rise well above 100° and there is limited shade. Know how to keep your dog cool in hot weather and adjust your hikes accordingly.

Inclement weather – The Grand Canyon experiences seasonal monsoonal thunderstorms from July to September. As awesome as they are to witness, they are also dangerous.

Check the weather before you head out for a hike, and go indoors immediately if you hear thunder or see clouds in the distance.

The best time of the year to visit the Grand Canyon is during the spring and fall, which are the shoulder seasons. Temperatures range between 50° and 60° during the day and there are fewer crowds.

See more from the NPS guide to safety in storms in the Grand Canyon.

Dog-Friendly Hotels in the Grand Canyon

Pet-friendly accommodation options are limited in the Grand Canyon, with just one hotel in the in the South Rim Village. There are a couple options located in the town of Tusayan, 15 minutes from the South Rim Village.

Williams and Flagstaff, 60 and 90 minutes respectively from the South Rim have abundant options, including common chains, like Motel 6, Econo Lodge, and Best Western.

Since travel today looks a bit different from normal, I encourage you to keep your safety and the safety of others in mind. Please travel responsibly.

If you do decide to travel during the pandemic, here is how I recommend doing so safely:

  • Wear a face mask. 
  • Bring hand sanitizer and wash your hands regularly
  • Check official websites before your trip for the latest updates on policies, closures, and status of local businesses.
  • Fill up with gas before you leave
  • Bring your own food and limit trips to local shops
  • Book a hotel with free cancellation in case you need to change your plans

Where to Stay with a dog in the Grand Canyon

Dog-Friendly Camping in the Grand Canyon

If you prefer to camp, there are three dog-friendly campgrounds within the Grand Canyon:

  • Mather Campground
  • Desert View Campground
  • Trailer Village

Dogs must be leashed at all times when in the campgrounds.

Looking for more pet-friendly travel guides?

A Dog-Friendly Guide to Bend, Oregon
A Dog-Friendly Guide to the Olympic Peninsula
Traveling to Canada with a Dog from the US
A Dog-friendly Guide to Jackson Hole
A Dog-friendly Guide to Lake Tahoe

Have you visited the Grand Canyon with your dog?

What were some of your favorite places to visit?