Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is the United States’ first national park that opened on March 1, 1872. It comprises 2.2 million acres of wildlife, geysers, and other geologic wonders of nature, such as the Grand Canyon.

Thousands of visitors come to camp, explore, or lodge in Yellowstone, and some wonder if they can bring their dogs along, which poses the question: Are dogs allowed in Yellowstone?

Yes, dogs are allowed, but only with limited access. Read on to learn the specifics about where you can take your dog within the park so that you can plan your visit accordingly, as it may limit your experience.

Where Are Dogs Allowed in Yellowstone National Park?

With 2.2 million acres, you may be confused about where you can take your dog within the park. Dogs are allowed in developed areas and only within 100 feet of campgrounds, roads, and parking areas. Dogs must be on a leash no longer than 6 feet long or be in a crate or a car and must be accompanied by you at all times. You may not tie your dog to any object under any circumstances.

Pets are allowed inside vehicles for only short periods for safety reasons. Your dog needs to have ventilation and access to water, food, and shade. Yellowstone National Park recommends one person stay back with the dog for the utmost safety and well-being of the dog.

National Park Mountain Yellowstone NP1
National Park Mountain Yellowstone NP1 (Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons CC SA 3.0 Unported)

Where Are Dogs Not Allowed?

Dogs are not allowed on hiking trails, boardwalks, thermal areas, or backcountry. While Yellowstone has incredible natural scenery, those areas could be dangerous for your pup.

Wildlife is abundant, including bears and coyotes, which is not safe for dogs. The natural hot springs could burn or even kill your dog, and infectious diseases could be exchanged between the park’s wildlife and domesticated animals. These are the reasons why your dog has such limited access to the park.

Dogs are not permitted in any hotels within the park, but there are dog-friendly cabins you can book. However, be prepared to pay a pet cleaning fee. There are also dog-friendly trails nearby and outside of the park.

Service Animals

Service animals are an exception to the rule regarding dogs. They are allowed in all areas of the park but must be on a leash no longer than 6 feet long for their safety. You also must accompany your dog at all times and pick up their waste.

Final Thoughts

Yellowstone is one of the most incredible parks in the United States with an abundance of nature to explore up close and personal. While you can take your dog with you, remember that you will have limited access to the park, which may damper your experience. If you can leave your dog at home while visiting, that would be your best bet to get the most out of your trip.

If leaving your dog behind is not an option, boarding facilities in surrounding communities can accommodate you so that you can explore the park without the worry of ensuring your dog’s safety.

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay