Updated: November 2021
Originally Posted: May 2018

More Americans are traveling with their pets, and national parks are always popular destinations. Now your pet can also join the fun by collecting Bark Ranger tags at more than thirty locations across the country!

Pet Friendly National Parks and the B.A.R.K Ranger Program | GoPetFriendly.com

Without compromising their rules or affecting the wildlife, some national parks have started a Bark Ranger program. Originally meant to educate visitors with pets about the park’s rules, the program has become so popular that it’s spreading quickly.

Below you’ll find a list of national parks where your pup can become a Bark Ranger.

Bark Ranger Program

The Bark Ranger program was introduced as a way to encourage responsible national park travel with dogs.

BARK stands for:

Bag your poop

Always wear a leash (6-foot max)

Respect wildlife (give them their space)

Know where you can go (which trails/areas are pet friendly)

As you can see, though the pet joins the program, their human is responsible for most of the work. Isn’t that how is always goes with pets?!

Pet Friendly National Parks and the B.A.R.K Ranger Program | GoPetFriendly.com

READ MORE ⇒  The Ultimate Pet Friendly American Road Trip

A colorful map of the U.S. with pins locating pet friendly attractions

Collect Bark Ranger Tags

Dogs participating in the program are sworn in as Bark Rangers, and their owners can purchase a special tag for their pup’s collar. Each participating park has their own tag, so your dog can collect them all!

Bark Ranger tag display in the counter at Petrified Forest National Park

Pet Friendly National Parks and the B.A.R.K Ranger Program | GoPetFriendly.com


Become A Bark Ranger

We don’t want you to confuse national parks with Bark Ranger programs as being the most pet friendly. For example, Olympic National Park and Devil’s Tower National Monument are both very restrictive when it comes to pets on the trails.

But others, like Petrified Forest and Acadia National Park are fantastic! In our post on the Best Pet Friendly National Parks, we share which parks we consider the most pet friendly.

Bark Ranger Myles with human ranger Carol at Petrified Forest National Park

Here’s a list of the national parks where your pet can become a Bark Ranger. Check back often, because we update the locations regularly!

Acadia National Park – Maine

Agate Fossil Beds National Monument – Nebraska

Biscayne National Park – Florida

Bryce National Park – Utah

Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site – North Carolina

Castillo de San Marcos National Monument – Florida

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Park – Washington DC & Maryland

Chiriahua National Monument – Arizona

De Soto National Memorial – Florida

Death Valley National Park – California & Nevada

Devil’s Tower National Monument – Wyoming

Fort Matanzas National Monument – Florida

Fort Vancouver National Historic Site – Oregon & Washington

Friendship Hill National Historic Site – Pennsylvania

Gateway Arch National Park – Missouri

George Washington Carver National Monument – Missouri

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area – Utah & Arizona

Golden Spike National Historic Park – Utah

Grand Canyon National Park – Arizona

Great Sand Dunes National Park – Colorado

Gulf Islands National Seashore – Florida & Mississippi

Harper’s Ferry National Historic Park– West Virginia

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park– Hawaii

Hopewell Culture National Historic Site – Ohio

Independence Hall National Park – Pennsylvania

Indiana Dunes National Park – Indiana

Joshua Tree National Park – California

Lake Mead National Recreation Area – Arizona & Nevada

Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area – Washington

Little River Canyon National Preserve – Alabama

Minute Man National Historic Park – Massachusetts

Montezuma Castle National Monument – Arizona

Natchez Trace Parkway – Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee

Olympic National Park – Washington

Pecos National Historical Park – New Mexico

Petersburg National Battlefield – Virginia

Petrified Forest National Park – Arizona

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore – Michigan

Pipestone National Monument – Minnesota

Redwood National Park – California

Russel Cave National Monument – Alabama

Sagamore Hill National Historic Site – New York

Salem Maritime National Historic Site – Massachusetts

San Juan Islands National Park – Washington

Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site – Massachusetts

Tonto National Monument – Arizona

Tuzigoot National Monument – Arizona

Vicksburg National Military Park – Mississippi

Zion National Park – Utah

READ MORE ⇒  The Most Dog Friendly National Parks in the U.S.

Man and dog standing on a rim overlooking the landscape at Petrified Forest National Park in AZ

Be A Good Ambassador

When visiting any national park, monument, or historical site, be sure to ask about the Bark Ranger program. As the program expands, simply asking could encourage more parks to participate!

Petrified Forest National Park

We are so lucky to have so many wonderful national parks, and even luckier when they allow pets! Please take care to follow all the rules and set a good example for other pet owners. That way we can all continue to enjoy the parks with our furry travel companions.

Montezuma Castle National Monument

A Quick Note

Some national parks, such as Glacier, Denali, and Sleeping Bear Dunes have a Bark Ranger programs that employ dogs to control or protect wildlife. If you’re not sure which program is offered by a particular park, a quick phone call to the visitor center will clear things up!

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  • Manatee Springs State Park has a BARK program as of January 2022. You have to do at least one of the challenges (take a walk, etc) then you get a picture with the park ranger. No tags so far as I’m aware.

  • Category: Travel Resources / Tagged with: National Parks