Welcome to Pawsitively Intrepid's National Park Adventure

Have you ever wanted to take a great American road trip with your dog? So did I! But the timing never seemed right. Then the perfect life opportunity came to take a few months off in between jobs. Inspired by some great blog posts written during the celebration of the United States National Parks’ 100th year, Glia and I have planned a 3 month road trip to visit all 46 of the National Parks in the contiguous United States. 

Since we can’t drive to them, we have excluded Dry Tortugas (several miles off the coast of Florida), as well as the parks in Alaska, Hawaii, the Virgin Islands, and American Samoa. Additionally, our visits to 2 of the 46 National Parks (Channel Islands and Isle Royale National Parks) will be limited to visiting the mainland headquarters. In addition to not being able to drive to these island parts of these parks, both Channel Islands and Isle Royale have protected ecosystems and do not allow dogs. But we do hope to find nearby dog-friendly activities to share with our readers. 

As we visit each National Park, we will be creating a blog post with information on exploring that National Park with pets. If the park is not that pet-friendly, we will aim to provide some alternative hiking trails and activities to explore. If you are looking for a brief overview of the national parks and their pet regulations, read our post – National Parks and Your Pet. For more in-depth information about each park, follow the links below.

There were two main road trip routes that we considered for this journey. The first was a trip plan created by Randal Olson and can be found here

The second trip route, and the one that we choose to mostly follow, is this one (pictured on the left side of the screen), created by Travis Tamez for Isle Box.

This trip route is technically longer than the route by Randal Olson. However, this 2nd route means exploring Utah earlier in the spring when the temperatures are more moderate. It also provides a convenient  access point for a couple of the visitors who will be joining Glia and I on our trip. 

Since Glia and I want to RV the western half of the United States and backpack the eastern half, we broke this route down into 2 main road trips and 3 small ones. 

  • Purple Highlighting (Parks 1 – 36) = RV Trip
  • Green Highlighting (Parks 38 – 43) = Backpacking Trip 
  • Yellow Highlighting (Park 44) = Voyageurs Trip (mode of transportation still to be determined)
  • Blue Highlighting (Park 37) = Isle Royale Trip
  • Pink Highlighting (Parks 45 – 46)= Florida Trip (mode of transportation still to be determined)

The National Parks:

Trip Progress (* = Visited Park)
36/46 National Parks Visited 78%

Hot Springs National Park was our first National Park visited on this trip – and it’s dog-friendly! 

Big Bend is a beautiful, vast National Park along the Rio Grande in a remote area of Texas. Click here for our post about Big Bend NP. 

Guadalupe National Park sits on the border of Texas and New Mexico. Our visit here, was beautiful, but windy. Check out our blog post here

Visiting Carlsbad Caverns is an almost mystical experience. The main cave is the fifth largest chamber in North America. 

Saguaro National Park can be enjoyed with a scenic drive on either the West or East side. Numerous hiking trails (a couple that are dog-friendly) branch out from the scenic routes. 

This famous, breathtaking canyon is a sight everyone should see at least once. And since the south rim is relatively dog-friendly, you can easily take your pup with you to visit Grand Canyon National Park

This often overlooked, dog-friendly national park is located just a few hours away from the Grand Canyon. Here you will find an ancient petrified forest, beautiful colored landscapes, and several hiking trails that you and your pup can explore together. Petrified Forest National Park is definitely worth the visit. 

This unique national park is home to the ancient cliff dwellings of the ancestral Puebloans. While the cliff dwellings themselves are off limits to dogs, Mesa Verde National Park is still worth the visit. 

Information to be added as we complete each park.

Information to be added as we complete each park.

Information to be added as we complete each park.

Information to be added as we complete each park.

Information to be added as we complete each park.

Information to be added as we complete each park.

Information to be added as we complete each park.

Information to be added as we complete each park.

Information to be added as we complete each park.

Information to be added as we complete each park.

Information to be added as we complete each park.

Information to be added as we complete each park.

Information to be added as we complete each park. 

Information to be added as we complete each park. 

Information to be added as we complete each park. 

Information to be added as we complete each park. 

Information to be added as we complete each park. 

Information to be added as we complete each park. 

Information to be added as we complete each park. 

Information to be added as we complete each park. 

Information to be added as we complete each park. 

Information to be added as we complete each park. 

Information to be added as we complete each park. 

Information to be added as we complete each park.

Information to be added as we complete each park.

Information to be added as we complete each park. 

Information to be added as we complete each park. 

Information to be added as we complete each park. 

Information to be added as we complete each park. 

Information to be added as we complete each park. 

Information to be added as we complete each park. 

Information to be added as we complete each park. 

Information to be added as we complete each park. 

Information to be added as we complete each park. 

Information to be added as we complete each park. 

Information to be added as we complete each park. 

Information to be added as we complete each park.