Friday, January 30, 2015

Visiting National Parks With Dogs

A few days ago me, Kerrigan, Ben and his Mom took a trip to Death Valley National Park.  Visiting National Parks with the dogs is not something I love to do but it is certainly something that can be done.  I am not talking about all of the areas that are managed by the National Parks Service, just the Parks.  National Recreation Areas, National Monuments and other areas all have different policies and some are more dog friendly than the parks.  For a lot of good reasons National Parks tend to have a very restrictive dog policy.  For the most part pets are limited to paved areas and campsites.  They are not allowed down trails or in buildings and must always be on a 6 foot or shorter fixed leash.  Honestly I think this is a great policy.  The National Parks are great for observing wildlife and a natural habitat- dogs are not a part of that.  Also many parks have a lot of wildlife that can be dangerous to dogs.  While eating lunch at Death Valley there we had a coyote walk about 50 feet away from our picnic area.  Kerri was not upset but if she was off leash it could have been a very different story!

Due to all the rules we tend to stick to BLM land, National Forests or other outdoor areas but occasionally we are out and about and stop by a park with the dogs.  They really are the most beautiful places in the United States and sometimes we can't pass by the opportunity to check them out with the dogs.  Last week was one of those days and I think me and Kerrigan made the best of the trip.  We did have to sit on a bench while everyone else enjoyed the Visitor Center, then sit on a bench while everyone else went on a hike but we got to see a beautiful sunset while waiting there so it was totally worth it.  Kerrigan also got to do some other fun things like...

  • Give Ben kisses at the lowest point in the western hemisphere!  Do you see that little white sign way up on the mountain?  That is SEA LEVEL!  We were standing at about 280 feet below sea level.

  • Take Artists Drive.  A beautiful scenic drive full of volcanic rocks that make the mountainside look like it was painted.
  • Visit the Devils Golf Course.  According to the Park Service it is an immense area of rock salt eroded by wind and rain into jagged spires. So incredibly serrated that “only the devil could play golf on such rough links.” 

  • And finally do a lot of sitting around near No Dogs Beyond This Point signs waiting for the family to come back.  Luckily this often involved treats so that's ok.


  1. Those were some sweet kisses indeed. Have a fabulous Friday.
    Best wishes Molly