Dog-Friendly Hikes at the Grand Canyon

Dog-Friendly Hikes at the Grand Canyon

Can dogs hike the Grand Canyon? If you're planning a visit to this area and you take your furry friend wherever you go, this question may be on your mind.

If you are searching for Grand Canyon pet-friendly hikes, you have come to the right spot! Read on for some helpful tips for hiking with pets and some excellent Grand Canyon trails to explore with your dog.

Is the Grand Canyon Dog-Friendly?

Certain parts of the Grand Canyon are dog-friendly. Leashed pets are permitted on the trails above the park's South Rim, as well as the North Rim's Bridle Trail.

Pets are not allowed below the canyon rim. Inner canyon trails are steep, narrow and often heavily occupied by humans, mules and other wildlife. The only exception to this rule is service animals assisting humans with disabilities. Additionally, the park requires that leashes are no longer than 6 feet.

Tips for Hiking at the Grand Canyon With a Dog

When visiting the Grand Canyon with dogs, it is important to be prepared. From keeping your pup cool and hydrated to avoiding potentially severe storms, ensuring both you and your dog are safe, happy and healthy during your travels is a top priority. 

Below are three things to keep in mind when hiking the Grand Canyon with your dog.

1. Check the Weather

Monsoonal thunderstorms are common in the Grand Canyon from July to September. As beautiful and exciting as they are to see, they can also be accompanied by dangerous and potentially life-threatening lightning. 

Before traveling or hiking in the Grand Canyon, be sure to check the weather forecast and arrange your activities to minimize your exposure to inclement weather. Reschedule your hike and seek immediate shelter if you hear thunder or spot dark clouds in the distance. 

Typically, the shoulder seasons of spring and fall are the best times of the year to visit and hike the Grand Canyon. Temperatures are usually between 50 and 60 degrees during the day — not to mention the smaller crowds that come with off-season hiking!

2. Keep Your Dog Cool

During the summer months, temperatures in the Grand Canyon can rise well above 100 degrees, and shade is minimal. Knowing how to keep your dog cool and adjusting your hikes accordingly is essential. Avoid hiking between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., as this is generally the hottest time of the day.

Check the temperature before hiking, and consider bringing protective boots and a cooling vest for your dog. Bring plenty of water for both you and your pet as well. Ensure you can recognize signs of dehydration and heat stroke in dogs — that way, you can catch an issue before it becomes an emergency.

3. Be Careful With Elevation

Grand Canyon's South Rim sits at about 7,000 feet, while the North Rim's elevation is about 8,000. High elevation can cause altitude sickness and dehydration — once again, carry plenty of water for both your dog and yourself. 

To gradually increase your pet's exposure to higher altitudes, start lower and take brief hikes at increasing elevations over the course of several weeks. You can increase your hiking distance in the same manner if your dog adjusts well to these rising elevations.

List of Dog-Friendly Grand Canyon Hikes

If you are looking for Grand Canyon hikes with dogs, below are three excellent options to add to your list!

1. South Rim Trail

Not only is South Rim Trail pet-friendly, but it also has some of the best scenery in the park! Connecting Hermits Rest Point with the Grand Canyon Village, the 14-mile trail boasts picture-perfect views of the canyon and Colorado River. The trail is paved and almost entirely flat, making it an easy walk for you and your canine companion. It's no wonder South Rim Trail is one of the most beloved hikes in the park.

2. Shoshone Point Trail

This short and sweet two-mile roundtrip walk provides a much-needed break from the hard pavement. The wide, unpaved dirt path can be a great option on sunny days when paved trails may be too hot for your pooch's paws.

The quiet, pine forest-secluded dirt road leads to a stunning and lesser-known view of the Grand Canyon. The end of Shoshone Point Trail reveals a vast clearing with a covered picnic area, bathrooms and a peninsula jutting out over the canyon. Remember to bring your camera so you can capture this stellar panoramic view!

This picturesque overlook makes for a perfect sunset picnic with your pup. Despite the simple hike and incredible scenery, Shoshone Point is one of the more laid-back Grand Canyon Trails. Even during the park's busy months, it is not uncommon to encounter only a handful of visitors on the trail. Before you set out, consider calling the Visitor Center to ensure the picnic area has not been reserved for an event.

3. Bridle Trail

Known as the Grand Canyon's “Other Side,” exploring the North Rim is another way to experience the park's natural wonders with your furry friend. Leashed dogs are permitted on the hard-packed 3.2-mile Bridle Trail, which connects the Arizona and North Kaibab Trails to the Grand Canyon's North Rim entrance.

This versatile trail is a good fit for human and canine hikers of all experience levels, and the surrounding forests offer minimal elevation gain and a chance to see some beautiful wildlife. Hiking this side of the canyon is also an excellent opportunity to visit some other nearby dog-friendly attractions like Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks and the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, a no-kill rescue shelter.

Keep in mind that the North Rim entrance is only open from mid-May through October since the winter and early spring months typically bring snow. While the Bridle Trail is popular for hiking, biking and bird-watching, you can still enjoy some solitude during quieter times of the day.

Plan Your Stay at Grand Canyon / Williams KOA Journey

Besides ensuring a fun and safe hike for you and your pet, a comfortable place to stay during your travels is a must. The Grand Canyon / Williams KOA Journey campground is conveniently located near the town of Williams, Arizona and the Grand Canyon, making it easy to plan your ideal hike. Campground amenities include a pool, hot tub, sauna, bike rentals — and, of course, a dog park for your furry companion!

Ready to plan an unforgettable trip to the Grand Canyon? The pet-friendly lodging and RV Sites at Grand Canyon / Williams KOA Journey offers various recreational opportunities and an enjoyable, comfortable stay for you and your favorite canine. Book your RV Site or Deluxe Cabin today!

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