Do you feel a sense of freedom when staring at a map or atlas, knowing that you can just pick any one of the roads you see, hop on it and let it take you to somewhere new?

This feeling of freedom is why road trips have long been a favorite activity for adventurers worldwide. As temperatures rise and the frost-covered trails begin to thaw, our minds wander to destinations we’ve put on hold for the winter.  If your dog is anything like mine, as you pack for your trip, your pup follows you EVERWHERE as if to say “you’re taking me with you right?” Then when he sees “his pack” come out, his tail starts flying, swinging his entire body back and forth. This time he’s saying, “yup! I call shotgun!”

If you have a dog friendly road trip planned this spring, we’d love to hear about it. Where are you heading, what will you do when you get there and what are you packing specifically for your dog?

If you’re not sure where to go, here are a few recommendations from our friends, dealers and ambassadors.

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe, CA (and NV)

If you like to hike, bike, paddle, swim, camp, backpack, the list goes on and on, Lake Tahoe has it. When we asked George Richter of Dog Dog Cat ( if he thought Lake Tahoe was a dog friendly road trip destination, he had this to say:

“South Lake Tahoe has an incredible environment for adventurous pet lovers.   Dogs or no dogs Lake Tahoe is spectacular and bringing your pet along for the experience makes it even better.   My favorite places to go with our dogs are the amazing Tahoe Rim Trail, or Nevada Beach.   The “Rim Trail” is fantastic for trail runners, hikers, or Mt. Bikers in the summer months, and cross country skiing in the winter and it stretches 100+ miles around the mountain tops surrounding Lake Tahoe.   Nevada Beach is a sandy beach with beautiful clear Lake Tahoe water and an amazing view of Mt. Tallac Tahoe’s highest peak and it is located next to a dog friendly campground just a few minutes from South Lake Tahoe.    Lastly SLT has a long list of Pet Friendly hotels for any budget.”


Cajun in Moab

Moab, UT

Famous for its mountain biking, splitter crack rock climbing and canyon exploring, Moab is always a great road trip destination. Plenty of dog friendly camping and lodging options await is this southern Utah high desert town. Don’t take it from us that this place is dog friendly, but definitely take it from local Moab rock climber, base jumper and major dog lover Steph Davis.

“Moab is very dog friendly: most of the trails and things to do are on BLM land which does not discriminate against dog friends. The famous desert climber Jimmie Dunn always says “Any place that’s good for dogs is good for humans!”  And that pretty much sums up Moab :)”.


Animas River Durango

Durango, CO

Just a short two to three hours from Moab lies the slightly larger mountain town of Durango, CO. Don’t let the “slightly larger” comment throw you off. Durango is a quaint town with a strong outdoor mountain culture home to just over 17,000 residents as well as one of our favorite brands, Zuke’s Pet Treats! We had to ask them why they thought Durango is a great dog friendly destination. Grant Berry said “Durango is a community that is absolutely full of dogs, and people who are passionate about dogs. Whether it is the local off-leash dog park, or the world class singletrack available minutes from downtown, there is no shortage of places to have fun with your mutt. The Animas River provides a great place for all to cool off in the summer, and businesses downtown often put out water bowls and treats to keep pups fueled. Overall, Durango is a great place to be a dog.


Blue Ridge Mountains, NC

Asheville, NC

Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina lies one of the southeast’s premier road trip destination for outdoor enthusiasts of all types, artists, families and anyone seeking mountain landscapes and fresh air. If you need a little help finding pet friendly adventures when you get there, stop by and ask our friends at Diamond Brand Outdoors. Sarah Merrell of Diamond Brand recently sent us this note:

“Asheville is a very dog friendly destination, we have many locations that not only allow dogs, but are fun for dog owners and have amazing scenery.  Some great destinations in the Asheville area include the Mountains to Sea Trail, Bent Creek, and also a number of trails in Pisgah National Forest like Looking Glass Rock Trail and John Rock Trail, which both offer breath taking views, and Grave Yard Fields which includes a beautiful waterfall.  Many of these trails include streams so that your dog can stop for a drink, and thanks to Asheville’s climate, you can usually hike any time during the year without it being unbearably hot or cold. ”



Adirondacks, NY

No matter the season, there are multiple recreation opportunities in the Adirondacks. According to, this park is over 6 million acres and has over 2,000 mountains, 40 high peaks, and more than 2,300 lakes and ponds connected by 1,500 miles of rivers and 30,000 miles of brooks and streams. This park has it all! Spend the summer paddling miles of lakes, hiking multiple peaks and climbing clean granite. In the winter, you can ski, snowshoe, ice climb and more. “The Adirondacks are most certainly a Dog Friendly Destination!” said Sara Ellis of Dawgdom in Saratoga Springs, NY.   “Whether it is a quick easy hike or an all day adventure our trails are dog friendly, often welcoming off leash goers!  Favorites are the less known – Shelving Rock State Park, tucked away on the Southeastern side of Lake George is a favorite of mine so much so we ended up wedding there with all 3 dogs of the time, Sadie, MavDog & Fred.”


Here’s some gear you should consider bringing for your road-tripping canine:


  •    Packable Dog Bowl – keep your dog hydrated whether being active or spending hours in route.
  •    Dog Bed – dog beds are a signal to dogs that they have a place that they can rest and let their guard down – especially in unfamiliar environments. Plus they just like them!
  •    Dog Pack – if you are heading out for long day hikes, mountain bike rides or overnight hikes, dogs packs are a great way to let your dog carry their own gear and water.
  •    Extra Leash – It’s always good to keep an extra leash handy in the car. One of our favorite road trip leashes is the Just-a-Cinch Leash that you can quickly slip on and off for quick pit stops.
  •  Dog Toys – Because fetch is fun anywhere!


Do you have a favorite dog-friendly road trip destination? Please share by leaving a comment below or tell us on our Facebook page.


28 thoughts

  1. Some really great destinations and they all look really nice. Are some of these destinations based upon travelling with pets? The services sound great. It is always worth taking some time out to find destinations that will cater to your pet. A road trip is the perfect holiday to bring your pet along with after all. As you said, it is all about freedom.

  2. FLAGSTAFF AZ has been a great escape from the heat of Phoenix in the summer. We have enjoyed hiking the LAVA TUBES which is really cold on the warmest days. He’s proud after a good day of spelunking and squirrel chasing. Your shoes have really made this possible for him on the rough lava floor, on our third set from all our different adventures. When he see’s me pull them out he knows its time to put his game face on. Its more then just pulling the pack out. It’s a Climbing, spelunking, canyoneering adventure time, he sits by the garage door waiting into get to the car occasionally checking on if I am ready yet or not as if to say “Hurry Up! Lets go climbing! Waisting Daylight!”. He actually will seek his shoes out and bring them to me when we haven’t been in awhile. SEDONA has also been a great place for a swim and hike with it more than beautiful scenery on the trip back to the Valley. SLIDE ROCK, in SEDONA AZ, is a dog friendly place to swim. Loads of fun great place to cool off after a good day of warm weather hiking in such a beautiful place.

  3. Most likely the beach is near Sand Harbor on the Nevada side, although the Sand Harbor park is off limits to dogs. Plenty of dog & kayak friendly spots along the lake.

      1. My two beagles have no interest in getting in the water. Now…if there was a squirrel swimming in the lake, that would be a different story.
        My son’s beagle loved the water.

    1. Hi Chris. We are not exactly sure. It looks like it is. If you look closely, you can see some beach chairs on the beach to the right. We don’t know exactly where this beach is. There there are a lot of amazing places to kayak in Tahoe!

  4. I took my dog to Canadian Rockies last summer (Banff & Jasper mainly) and had a great time. Dogs are allowed on most of the national park trails. Take a bear spray though. Needless to say, do not let dog off leash.

  5. My dogs LOVED the Carolinas and Tennessee. We spent summers hiking and camping there when we lived in Florida. It’s been awhile since we have taken a dog friendly trip. Maybe this summer. And probably just to the Ozarks in Arkansas or Missouri.

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  7. We are taking our two basset hounds and Shih-tzu to travel all of the Blue Ridge Parkway with us next month. Traveling the parkway and camping with them should be an interesting adventure. We love adventure and they love experiencing it with us.

    1. Another great place to take dogs is the Colorado Springs, CO area. We took the hounds a couple of years ago there. Colorado Springs is very dog-friendly and great for hiking.

  8. We are headed to Oregon!!! Portland, Bend, Crater Lake, Ashland. So many of Oregon’s state parks allow dogs, not just in the campgrounds but on the trails too! Coming from California this is going to be a treat for our four legged babe!!!

    1. Hi Emily. We hope you love our home state of Oregon! If you need some dog friendly tips for Bend let us know. We are located in Bend and love to play out here !

  9. Hiawatha National Forest in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. 900,000 acres of pure awesomeness. So many lakes and streams to dive in. So many trails to go down. Actually, there’s so many winding trails I’m afraid to even go out by myself for fear of getting lost! Summer is probably best for dogs as the area is usually loaded with snowmobilers going down every which trail in the winter.

    There are camp grounds if you choose, rental cabins anywhere from quaint houses in town to totally off the grid in the middle of nowhere, horse back riding, natural landscapes like Pictured Rocks or Miners Castle.

    I often find new trails every year I go up there around the town of Munising. There are so many “hidden” beaches along Lake Superior that any dog would have a blast romping around out there.

  10. I hear Bar Harbor Maine is super dog friendly! We are hoping to head up there next month with our 2 Australian Shepherds, a paddleboard, a kayak, and some mountain bikes to see what kind of dog friendly adventure we can find!

    1. Hi Maria. Please let us know how your experience is in Bar Harbor. If you want to send us a guest blog post about your trip we’d love to share it with the rest of the community!

  11. You forgot Bozeman, MT! Consistently ranked as one of the best dog towns in the USA … and, home to Dee-O-Gee (Ruffwear retailer)! Really close to Yellowstone National Park, Bridger Bowl, Big Sky Resort, Moonlight Basin and lots of amazing, easily accesible back-country areas.

  12. New Orleans ! Dogs are allowed INSIDE many cafes and bars, there are heaps of dog parks and its a beautiful city to stroll through with your pooch.

    1. New Orleans sounds wonderful. We are planning on going down there this summer with our two beagles. We travel everywhere with them.
      We are planning on going on a haunted tour with them. I’ll let you know how that turned out.

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