National parks have always been popular vacation destinations. And now some parks are making it easy for pets to join in the fun. Read on to learn where your dog can get his BARK Ranger tags!

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

Without compromising their rules or affecting the wildlife, some national parks are inviting dogs to become BARK Rangers. Originally meant to educate visitors with pets about the park’s pet policies, the program has become so popular that it’s spreading quickly.

Below you’ll find a list of national parks where your pup can join the leagues of BARK Rangers.

BARK Ranger Program

The national parks introduced the BARK Ranger program as a way to encourage responsible national park travel with dogs. It’s a fun way to make pet owners aware of the park’s rules regarding pets.

BARK stands for:

Bag your poop

Always wear a leash (6-foot max)

Respect wildlife (give them their space)

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

As you can see, though pets are invited to join the program, it’s the humans who are responsible for abiding by the BARK Ranger principles. Isn’t that how is always goes with pets?!

Pet Friendly National Parks and the B.A.R.K Ranger Program |
Bark Ranger Myles with human ranger Carol at Petrified Forest National Park

Collecting BARK Ranger Tags

Dogs participating in the BARK Ranger program are sworn in and their owners can purchase a special tag for their pup’s collar. Some parks have customized tags for their location, and others have generic BARK Ranger tags. But no matter which the park provides, it’s fun for your dog to 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 |

Where Can Your Dog Become A BARK Ranger

One thing we want to make clear is that national parks participating in the BARK Ranger program are not necessarily 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, though they invite dogs to be BARK Rangers.

However, there are others, like Petrified Forest and Acadia National Park, that are extremely pet friendly! In our post on the Best Pet Friendly National Parks, we share which of America’s national parks we consider the most pet friendly.

Here’s a map and a list of the national parks where your pet can become a BARK Ranger. Check back often, because we add locations as more parks going the program!

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

Map showing National Parks that have BARK Ranger programs

Eastern United States

Acadia National Park – Maine

Big Cypress National Park – Florida

Biscayne National Park – Florida

Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site – North Carolina

Castillo de San Marcos National Monument – Florida

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Park – Washington DC & Maryland

De Soto National Memorial – Florida

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area – Pennsylvania & New Jersey

Fort Matanzas National Monument – Florida

Friendship Hill National Historic Site – Pennsylvania

Great Smoky Mountains National Park – North Carolina & Tennessee

Gulf Islands National Seashore – Florida & Mississippi

Harper’s Ferry National Historical Park – Maryland, Virginia & West Virginia,

Independence Hall National Park – Pennsylvania

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Franklin Square - Philadelphia, PA

Lowell National Historical Park – Massachusetts

Minute Man National Historical Park – Massachusetts

Petersburg National Battlefield – Virginia

Prince William Forest Park – Virginia

Sagamore Hill National Historic Site – New York

Salem Maritime National Historic Site – Massachusetts

Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site – Massachusetts

READ MORE ⇒  The Ultimate Pet Friendly American Road Trip

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

Central United States

Agate Fossil Beds National Monument – Nebraska

Gateway Arch National Park – Missouri

George Washington Carver National Monument – Missouri

Hopewell Culture National Historic Site – Ohio

Indiana Dunes National Park – Indiana

Hot Springs National Park – Arkansas

Little River Canyon National Preserve – Alabama

Mt. Rushmore National Memorial – South Dakota

Follow the yellow paw prints painted on the sidewalk to an overlook of Mt. Rushmore. Then stop by the shop right inside the gate and buy a bark ranger tag for your pet.

EXPLORE MORE ⇒ Pet Friendly Custer State Park and South Dakota’s Black Hills

Brindle dog on pet friendly Trail #9 to Black Elk Peak in Custer State Park, South Dakota

Missouri National Recreational River – Nebraska & South Dakota

Natchez Trace Parkway – Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore – Michigan

Pipestone National Monument – Minnesota

Russell Cave National Monument – Alabama

Vicksburg National Military Park – Mississippi

READ MORE ⇒ America’s Most Pet Friendly National Parks

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

Western United States

Bryce Canyon National Park – Utah

Chiriahua National Monument – Arizona

Craters Of The Moon National Monument And Preserve – Idaho

Curecanti National Recreation Area – Colorado

Devil’s Tower National Monument – Wyoming

Fort Vancouver National Historic Site – Oregon & Washington

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area – Arizona & Utah

Golden Spike National Historic Park – Utah

Grand Canyon National Park – Arizona

Great Sand Dunes National Park – Colorado

Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park– Hawai’i

Joshua Tree National Park – California

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Buster the dog at pet friendly Joshua Tree National Park - Palm Springs, CA

Lake Mead National Recreation Area – Arizona & Nevada

Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area – Washington

Montezuma Castle National Monument – Arizona

Olympic National Park – Washington

Pecos National Historical Park – New Mexico

Petrified Forest National Park – Arizona

Redwood National Park – California

San Juan Islands National Park – Washington

Tonto National Monument – Arizona

Tuzigoot National Monument – Arizona

Whiskeytown National Recreation Area – California

Yosemite National Park – California

Zion National Park – Utah

READ MORE ⇒ Tips For Planning A Pet Friendly Road Trip


Be A Good Ambassador

We are lucky to have so many wonderful national parks in America, and even luckier when they allow pets! Please take care to follow all the rules and set a good example for other pet owners.

It only takes a small effort on everyone’s part to ensure we can all continue to enjoy the national parks with our furry travel companions.

Petrified Forest National Park
Montezuma Castle National Monument

Avoiding Confusion

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!

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

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  • Wickliffe Mounds in KY is part of the Lewis & Clark trail and has Bark Ranger tags for purchase! Super dog-friendly, dogs allowed in the museum and gift shop too! Also a Lewis & Clark NPS Passport location. Also got a Bark Ranger tag at Stones River NB in Murfreesboro TN. Not sure if they do the certificate and swearing in – it was a long day and I didn’t ask and just purchased the tag.

  • I went to the Petrifed Forest with my dog and did the BARK RANGER PROGRAM but I couldn’t find where to get a tag. If someone could help please we would appreciate it and like to get a tag. Thank you

    • Hi Wayne! They sell the tags in the visitor center. If you didn’t see them during your visit, it’s possible they’re sold out. That’s happened to me at different parks.

  • We visited Mount Rushmore the first week in October and they have the bark ranger program. That’s the first time I’ve heard of it and I love it!

    • We are headed there later this week with our pup. Can you tell me where exactly to go to participate in the program and get the tag? I can’t find Mt. Rushmore info for the program anywhere.

      • I had never heard of it and it was the best surprise! A friendly worker at the gate told us about it. There are actually yellow paw prints painted on the sidewalk. You can walk that little path with your pup. It takes you to an overlook for Mt. Rushmore. Then you go to the shop right inside the gate and and for a bark ranger tag.

  • Caeros earned BARK Ranger badge #5! Acadia, Indiana Dunes, Petrified Forest, Hot Springs, and George Washington Carver. Hoping to pick up a few more this year, this is a fun program.

    • Woohoo!! Way to go, Caeros! I agree – this is a fun program. Myles is working on his collection of BARK Ranger badges, too.

    • That’s awesome, Sue! I agree – I love that more and more parks are joining the program. Waggin’ trails to you!

  • Very good, I was unaware of the dogs allowed in our beautiful national parks. I just wish the money was there to keep up our parks. We’ve visited about 11 national parks in the past. We love seeing the wild life. I go to our local national park with the elk project in North Carolina.
    I camp two weeks out of the spring and fall with these elk. Then visit during the rut. I’d like to thank all of those involved in the care and upkeep of all of our wonderful pet and people friendly parks.

  • Fort Matanzas and Castillo de San Marco in Florida do not provide dog tags as of Aug 2022. Only the virtual tags from

    • Bummer! I know that the program is so popular that some of the parks have been running out of tags, Finn. The same thing happened to us at Great Sand Dunes last summer. Hopefully, they get a better feel for the inventory they need and order more tags next year!