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!

Without compromising their rules or affecting the wildlife, some national parks have started Bark Ranger programs. 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.

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

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 |

READ MORE ⇒  The Ultimate Pet Friendly American Road Trip


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 |


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 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 think are 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!

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


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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  • Hi, my name is Christopher Messier. I am a Visitor Services Supervisor at Pilgrim Memorial State Park in Plymouth, MA. Massachusetts State parks, run by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation have enjoyed a long partnership, particularly regarding the Boston Harbor Islands. I am reaching out to you for guidance/ collaboration in hopes that we may begin such a program in DCR but I am only in the information gathering phase of this. I am hoping that you might be able to help so that we can improve the relationship between dogs and people in our parks here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Any information that you could send would be appreciated. Thank You.

    • Hi Christopher! Thanks so much for your note. You’ve reached us here at and I love that you’re looking to improve the parks’ relationship with dogs and their people. The details available for the BARK Ranger program in each of the national parks mentioned in the article can be found by clicking the links to their websites. If there is other information you’re hoping to gather, perhaps it would be best to contact those parks directly. I wish you all the best!

  • Category: Travel Resources / Tagged with: National Parks