One of the draws of Jackson Hole, WY is its proximity to National Parks like Yellowstone and Grand Tetons. Of course, if you travel with a dog, like I do, then visiting the parks becomes a bit challenging.
Fortunately, the area offers plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy with your pup, without having to forego the spectacular nature of the special region.
If you can swing it, plan for a September or early October visit. There will be fewer crowds and the fall colors will leave your jaw on the floor.
I have never visited the region, but have been considering planning a trip there for a while now. After writing this, that trip may happen before too long!
I partnered with Hotels.com to bring you this dog-friendly guide to Jackson Hole in Wyoming.
Dogs and Jackson Hole National Park
Like most national parks, pet access to the trails is very limited, usually reserved to short paved trails, campgrounds, and inside the car. In the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone, the general rule of thumb is: dogs can go where cars can go.
Unfortunately, dogs aren’t allowed on any of the unpaved trails within either park, so if you want to spend a day exploring one of the national parks, you’ll have to leave your dog with a boarding facility for the day.
There are a couple in the area:
If you do choose to bring your pet to Jackson Hole, they must be on a 6ft leash at all times and always pick up their poop.
Dog-Friendly Hotels in Jackson Hole
The town of Jackson Hole itself loves and welcomes dogs. There are a number of hotels and restaurants that allow dogs.
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
Pet-friendly Hotel Chains in Jackson Hole
Independent Dog-Friendly Hotels in Jackson Hole
Dog-Friendly Camping in Jackson Hole
Dogs are welcome in most campgrounds located within the Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton, however, keep in mind that this does not mean that they are allowed to venture much further once you leave the campground.
If you want to camp with your dogs, then choose spots located near the hikes and listed above. Here are a few suggestions:
- Atherton Creek Campground
- Curtis Canyon Campground
- Shadow Mountain Dispersed Camping (there are toilets, but no water)
- Signal Mountain Campground
- Granite Creek Campground
Visit the Gros Venture Wilderness in Bridger-Teton National Forest Instead
Skip the entry fees, crowds, and traffic and head to the Gros Venture Wilderness with your pup instead.
The Gros Venture Wilderness boasts miles and miles of trails, including plenty with views of the Tetons. It is also famous for its geological features, like the Gros Venture Slide National Geological Site.
Dogs are welcome off leash in this area, as long as they are under voice control at all times. There is a lot of wildlife, including grizzly bears, so if your dog has a high prey drive, then they’d better have solid recall.
Gros Venture does not require permits for most activities, however, group size is limited to 15 people and you can camp for a maximum of 16 days in the same spot.
The Best Dog-Friendly Hikes near Jackson Hole
The nearby Gros Venture Wilderness offers options for short or long day hikes, as well as longer, multi-day treks. There are no permits required for overnighting in the backcountry, just be sure to camp at least 200′ away from any waterways.
The best part about hiking outside of the National Parks is that the trails are pretty empty, since most other visitors come for Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons.
As I mentioned earlier, this is bear country, so bring your bear spray and know how to use it!
This lightly-trafficked 10-mile hike is great for a long day out on the trail or make it an overnight trip and take your time. Sheep Mountain is known for the beautiful display of wildflowers, generally in late summer, once the snow has melted.
The elevation gain is fairly significant (over 4,000′), so fitness is required. There is also little water available along the route, so bring plenty for both you and your pup.
This off-the-beaten-path hike features a beautiful alpine lake, open meadows, and views of the Tetons. The catch is that you need a high-clearance AWD or 4WD vehicle to make it to the trail head. Some reports say they parked the car about a mile to 1.5 miles from the trailhead.
The elevation remains fairly steady throughout much of the hike, but is doable for most who are in decent shape. Bring a swimsuit to cool off in the crystal waters for a mid-hike dip.
Table Mountain Trail
This steep, but rewarding hike totals about 11 miles, so prepare for a full day on the trail. The hike gains 4,100 feet over the entire course, and the top features views of the Tetons, especially exciting if you are in the region with a dog since you can’t explore inside the park.
The weather can change in an instant and it’s windy at the top, so be sure to bring layers!
Jackson Peak Trail
This popular hike is close to town and relatively easy, despite the 10-miles of hiking. If you’re camping at Curtis Canyon, the trailhead is just a short drive from the campground.
Goodwin Lake (mentioned above) shares the same trail, so you can easily knock off two sites in one day if you like. From the top, you’ll have views of the Tetons. Gros Ventre, and the Snake River Valley.