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The Best National Parks For You and Your Dog

National Parks are often a place of beauty, tranquility, and wilderness. They're the perfect vacation spot if you're looking for something in the open air for a chance to reset your batteries and get some peace of mind.

If you're a dog owner, you know the struggles of finding places that welcome your furry friend without stringent rules. Finding a location to travel to that'll allow your pup to explore by your side will make for a forgettable and fantastic experience.

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01Biscayne National Park

In Florida, Biscayne National Park is essentially a water-based park (which a lot of dogs would love but sadly isn't explicitly pet friendly). The land, however, within the park is pro-dog! Your furry companion will be able to explore the visitor grounds, including twisted mangroves and slender keys. The good news is that your dog will not only be able to rest while camping with you but trek on hikes by your side as well! Of course, pups will have to be leashed while hiking on the Elliott Key to ensure safety and enjoyment for everyone.

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02Wind Cave National Park

Landscape of Wind Cave National Park

In South Dakota, the beautiful prairie of the Wind Cave National Park is something not to be missed. Thankfully your dog can enjoy it too: they're allowed to sprint through the visitor center and the grassy area surrounding it as well as walk alongside you on the long trails. You can also rest with your furry friend while camping as long as they're not left alone (you want to have all the fun with your best pal anyway!)

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03Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

A large red mountain sits against a blue sky and in front is flat green land dotted with bushes. A large barn is fenced off to the right Mitch Diamond / Getty Images

In Utah, Capitol Reef National Park holds a number of trails you'll be able to walk your dog along. Your pup will be able to visit the visitor center, the Fremont River Trail, rest in the campground, and explore Hattie's Field. Not only that, you'll be able to pick fruit from orchards with your dog by your side! The fruit on offer changes depending on the time of the year, so you and your furry best friend will always be in for a pleasant surprise.

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04Bryce Canyon National Park

Great spires carved away by erosion in Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah, USA. The largest spire is called Thor's Hammer. lucky-photographer / Getty Images

In Utah once again, Bryce Canyon National Park welcomes dogs along its paved roads and campgrounds. Not only that, your leashed pup can walk with you along the beautiful mile-long path (don't worry, it's a round-trip) between the Sunrise and Sunset Points. From here, you'll be able to view breathtaking sights of the canyon with your dog by your side.

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05Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve

Light sand dunes next to dark blue water Franz Marc Frei / Getty Images

In Colorado, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve offers some fantastic opportunities for your dog to play. They can race up the sand-covered hills and explore for miles across the park. Once your pup has used their energy, they can rest up at the Medano Creek and cool down. It's important to note that in the afternoon summer sun, it can come scorching, so make sure you and your dog are not overheating. As well as the dunes, your furry friend can walk along the park's trails and rest at the campground and picnic sites.

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06Hot Springs National Park

A small waterfall flowing out of a large rock face surrounded with greenery. The waterfall is falling into a body of water zrfphoto / Getty Images

The Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas may not be a wild and open location, but the benefit of that is dogs are welcome almost everywhere. As long as your pup is leashed, you can walk with your furry friend for 26 miles along trails that are also kept clean with dog waste stations. While your best friend can relax with you at the campground, they're not allowed inside the park's buildings.

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07White Sands National Park

Deep root systems hold these Plant stands in the middle of the Sand Dunes while wind shifts the sand around them at the White Sands national Monument,New Mexico,USA Peter Unger / Getty Images

New Mexico is home to the White Sands National Park. Unlike a lot of other parks, your dog is allowed to mostly explore everywhere that you're able to go. The only exception is within the park's buildings. Your pup can walk along nine miles of park trails and explore the majestic dunes. One important note is to take care on the very hot sand in high temperatures, so your dog's paws aren't burnt.

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08Petrified Forest National Park

Petrified logs sat up close with a desert reaching out and meeting a blue sky on the horizon Atlantide Phototravel / Getty Images

In Arizona, the Petrified Forest National Park is great for dogs as they're welcome on all the park's trails and roads. As long as they're leashed, your pup will also be able to roam the wild areas of the national park, but like many other places, they are not allowed into buildings.

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09Shenandoah National Park

Camping in the the woods of Shenandoah Mountain with a bonfire

In Virginia, Shenandoah National Park has over 100 miles of the Appalachian trail that your dog can hike through. Your furry friend is also welcome at the campgrounds to have a rest after a long walk and drive through the park. The rest of the trails are closed off to pups, so you can take a quiet walk by yourself while your canine companion has a snooze.

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10Acadia National Park

A lake surrounded with lush greenery including shrubs and trees. A mountain sits in the distance on the left with blue sky behind it Peter Unger / Getty Images

Acadia National Park, found in Maine, is very dog friendly. Your canine friend is welcome on almost 150 miles of trails and roads; however, they're not allowed to roam on very steep trails or within the gardens, and swimming in the lakes isn't permitted for humans or dogs. Your pup can rest at all campgrounds within Acadia apart from one: Duck Harbor.

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