Words cannot describe, and pictures cannot capture, the magnificence of the Grand Canyon. It’s Mother Nature’s most stunning sculpture, stretching 277 river miles from Lees Ferry to the Grand Wash Cliffs. And, no matter how many times you visit, the views will never be the same. Sunlight and clouds, the bright green of spring, or a dusting of snow make each trip unique. But what makes the Grand Canyon truly special is how much of it you can experience with your dog.

German Shepherd Dog and Shar-pei on the pet friendly trail at Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

 

Pet Friendly Grand Canyon National Park

Most of the pet policies in our national parks make visiting with dogs a challenge. In fact, many times pets can’t go beyond paved parking lots or campgrounds. Fortunately, that is not the case at the Grand Canyon. This is one of the most pet friendly national parks in the country!

READ MORE ⇒  America’s Most Pet Friendly National Parks

German Shepherd Dog and Shar-pei on the pet friendly trail at Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Pet Policy the Grand Canyon

The South Rim of the Grand Canyon is a wonderful place to visit with a dog. You’ll find plenty to explore, pet friendly lodging, and a kennel where your pet can spend the day if you want to see parts of the park where pets aren’t allowed.

Leashed pets are welcome on the Rim and Greenway trails at the South Rim. Leashes must not be longer than 6-feet.

The Mather Campground, Desert View Campground, Trailer Village, and other developed areas of the park are pet friendly.

Yavapai Lodge has pet friendly rooms available for an additional fee of $25 and allows up to two pets per room.

Pets cannot go below the rim, inside the buildings, or on the shuttle buses.

Man and two dogs enjoying the view at Grand Canyon National Park

Arizona's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: The Grand Canyon | GoPetFriendly.com

 

Hiking at the Grand Canyon with a Dog

When you’re ready to hit the pet friendly trails, the best scenery is along the South Rim Trail. The 14-mile trail is paved, so it’s easy walking. And foot traffic is more concentrated near the shuttle stops, but most of the time it feels like you and your dog have the whole Grand Canyon to yourselves!

Keep in mind that the average elevation of the trail is about 6,800 feet – that makes it easy to get dehydrated. Be sure to carry plenty of water for you and your pet, because bottle filling stations don’t operate during the winter, and bottled water isn’t for sale.

In the summer, heat can be an issue. Consider a cooling vest and protective boots for your dog. And refresh your memory on the signs of dehydration and heat stroke in dogs, so you can recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency.

READ MORE ⇒  Recognizing Dehydration and Heat Stroke in Dogs

Finally, be aware that altitude sickness (nausea, shortness of breath, exhaustion, headache) can affect both humans and pets, so take it easy until you’ve acclimated to the elevation. If your pet is older or has health issues, using a pet stroller during your visit will allow you to see more together. And that makes everyone happy!

Man walking a German Shepherd Dog and Shar-pei on the pet friendly trail at Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Arizona's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: The Grand Canyon | GoPetFriendly.com

Grand Canyon In One Day

If you’re only in the park for a day, head for Hermit Road. From Hopi Point you can catch some views of the Colorado River, and from Pima Point you can hear the roar as the river crashes through Granite Rapid. Hermit Road is closed to personal vehicles from March 1st to October 31st, and pets can’t ride the shuttles, so accessing these spots requires a trip during the off-season, or a lot of walking!

Dogs posing for picture on the South Rim Trail at Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Arizona's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: The Grand Canyon | GoPetFriendly.com

 

Watch the Weather

At the Grand Canyon, storms can blow in quickly, so be sure to keep an eye on the sky as you’re hiking and move toward the nearest shelter if the clouds turn ominous.

READ MORE ⇒  The Ultimate Pet Friendly American Road Trip

Arizona's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: The Grand Canyon | GoPetFriendly.com

Arizona's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: The Grand Canyon | GoPetFriendly.com

Arizona's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: The Grand Canyon | GoPetFriendly.com

Pet Friendly Hotel in The Grand Canyon

The Yavapai Lodge has pet friendly rooms for an additional $25 fee per stay. They allow two pets per room with no restrictions on size. There are also two campgrounds without hookups, and one RV park with hookups inside the park. You can find additional pet friendly accommodations just south of the Grand Canyon in Tusayan, Arizona.

Finding pet friendly restaurants here is a bit more challenging. The closest we were able to locate was in Williams, Arizona. We packed picnics and ate take-out food during our visit. If that’s your plan, stock up before you arrive. Grocery options are limited once you’re in the park.

Grand Canyon Kennel

If you’re planning to take a trail down into the Grand Canyon you’ll need to make arrangements for your pet. The kennel at the Grand Canyon is open every day from 7:30am to 5pm, and is located on the South Rim near Maswik Lodge. Accepting dogs and cats for day or overnight boarding, the kennel recommends making reservations, especially during the summer months and holidays. Be sure to bring your pet’s vaccination records.

Gear Used in This Post:
(Affiliate Links)

Alcott Martingale Collar

Alcott Weekender Leash

PAWZ Dog Boots

Freedom No-Pull Harness

Sleepypod Clickit Car Safety Harness

See all the gear we use to make traveling with our pets easier, safer, and more fun!

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  • hi I was plaining to visit grand canyon in jan is the south rim only for dogs or can I take my dog any parts of grand canyon?

    • Hi Lovella! It sounds like you have a fun trip in the works. The trails mentioned in this article are all on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Dogs are not allowed on any trails below the rim, and my understanding is that pet friendly trails on the North Rim are limited. I hope that helps, and that you have a wonderful time together.

    • There is a pet friendly hotel at the Grand Canyon. It’s called the Yavapai Lodge, and we found it to be very convenient during our visit. The pet fee when we were there was $25 per stay.

      As far as driving – it depends on when you visit. From November 1 and February 28, Hermit Road, which runs along the rim is open to vehicles. During the busy season they close the road and only have a shuttle (which isn’t pet friendly). I hope that helps!

  • Hi David! If you’re walking the South Rim Trail, it’s 13 miles (one way) from one end to the other. Adding time to take pictures, I think it’s more than most people would want to do in a day. Hope that helps!

  • Hi! We’re traveling with our dog to the Grand Canyon in mid June. I expect it will be hot, but we don’t have much choice. We will try to get there very early to avoid some of the heat. Will we be able to park at the Visitor’s Center and walk along the South Rim with our Kodi?

    • Absolutely, Beth! The parking area at the visitor’s center is just a short walk from the South Rim Trail. Remember to pack plenty of water for you all – the elevation dries you out quickly! And if it is hot, consider dog boots to protect for Kodi’s paws. We did reviews of some of the most popular dog boots here: https://www.gopetfriendly.com/blog/dog-boots/

  • GoPetFriendly.com Hi! I’m thinking about going there with the pup next March (probably middle of March). According to weather.com, looks like it was in the high of 53 and low of 40 something. In your opinion, how is the weather in March and are there a lot of tourists? Thank you!

    • Hi Reb! Weather that time of year is a little tricky – our last visit was during late February and I think the high was about 55 degrees, but with the sun we were fine in light jackets. I heard from someone who was there a week or so after us, and they had 4 inches of snow! But, there were hardly any tourists, which was awesome. For more predictable weather, you might be better waiting until the end of March, but be sure you avoid spring break! I hope that helps, and that you have a fantastic trip. Waggin’ trails!

  • Hailey Huff I’ve gone below the rim and it does get pretty hot. You are very exposed with little shade and the rocks soak up the sun’s heat. July/August are the hottest months. I went in September and temps were still over 80. Do not be put off if you really want to go, just come prepared with a ton of water, sun block, and give yourself an ample amount of time to not overexert yourself. Maybe even go WAY early in the morning to take advantage of the coolest parts of the day. Have a good trip!

    • Thanks so much for your insights, Miranda! For those of us who haven’t been below the rim, knowing what to expect is really helpful.

  • @GoPetFriendly.com thanks for the reply! I was looking more for some hiking but was wondering if it’s worth it to go with my dog. I also was looking at going in July(due to vacation time) and read that it’s best on the rim instead of the canyon because it actually gets hotter as you descend. Do you agree with that or know if that’s true?

  • Hi, I’m wondering about parking. Is the location marked on the map above (in Grand Canyon Village) where you parked and hiked from? I noticed a couple miles east is the Grand Canyon visitors center and it seems like they have a large parking lot as well. Any info would be appreciated!

    • Hi Ryan! Yes, we parked and walked from the visitor center. There’s a ton of parking there, and easy access to the trails. There’s also some interesting displays in the visitors center – though pets aren’t allowed inside the building. I hope you have a terrific trip!

  • What time of year did you visit during this post? I read how you said there’s easy access between nov-feb and was actually hoping of going over New Years and staying at the lodge (they seem to have dog friendly rooms available right now), but wonder how cold it will be during the day to hike them (and me) for maybe ab half the south rim trail. Hard to get an accurate average temp from googling bc it seems the temperatures can vary a lot depending on where in the park/canyon you are.

    • That sounds like a fantastic trip, Jennifer – though you will be gambling a bit with the weather. We were at the Canyon in late February and had a gorgeous day, but just a few days after our visit we saw photos of dogs on the trail with 4 inches of snow! Don’t get me wrong – it was beautiful – but it looked cold. The South Rim Trail and the lodge are at about 6,800 in elevation, so temps can get really cold, and then may warm up nicely during the day if the sun is out. It will be a bit of a roll of the dice, but you can aways cancel your reservation if it looks like the weather it’s going to cooperate! Waggin’ trails!

  • like your advice! We are staying in Williams at the Pet Friendly Quality Inn in early August and we will heed all of your advice! We have our college age daughters and my husband and I and our Golden Retriever also named Daisy. We will especially hold tight on to Daisy on the trails.

  • We just got back from the Grand Canyon and would like to suggest a closer town than Flagstaff (80 miles) for dining with your furry friend. We stayed two nights in Williams (60 miles south) and found several restaurants with outdoor patios – Cruisers with a 50s theme, The Red Garter, Station 66 Italian Bistro and Kicks on Route 66 to name a few. Most servers bring water bowls to the table, too. The cook at The Red Garter even brought two strips of bacon for Daisy. Also, at the canyon, we had lunch at a deli at the Village Center that had picnic tables outside. Thanks for all the tips on your site! We have gone to some interesting places because of the dog activities we found at gopetfriendly.com.Valerie, Scott and Daisy

    • Thanks so much for letting us know, Valerie, Scott, and Daisy. We’ve never stopped in Williams before – but it’s on our radar now! I’m so glad you’ve found the website helpful in planning dog friendly trips, and we wish you waggin’ trails on all your future adventures.

  • We visited last year and have one bit of advice: if your dog likes to chace critters, be extra careful! While we were walking along the rim trail, Opie, our black lab, saw a squirrel run right over the edge of the cliff (the squirrel was fine, just tucking himself into some rocky crevaces) and tried to chase after it… with us holding onto the leash! We had a good grip and stopped him (and us), but it got our hearts going! Always pays be extra cautious! -Mike & Kathie @ LifeRebooted

    • Excellent tip, Mike! I remember those little squirrels teasing Ty and Buster on one of our earlier visits – they’re devious little buggers. Luckily, they weren’t out on this trip. Thanks for your note!