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Top Five Dog-Friendly National Parks


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Great Sand Dunes National Park
Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado

Dogs on the ridgeline at Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado.

© theilr via Flickr

If you are seeking a park that’s slightly off the beaten path with 100% access for you and your dog, Great Sand Dunes National Park is it! Pets are permitted in the main park, as well as the national preserve. With such an unusual combination of landscapes, this will be a fun trip for you both.

Take a terrace walk or nature walk if visiting in the summer months. Medano Creek is a good place to start to have some messy fun. Surges occur at this creek causing mounds of sand to collapse. You may have to peel your dog out of wet sand, but they are welcome to run, play, and dig.

The dunes are the must-see at this national park so be sure to save time for exploration. The High Dune is popular and even visible from the Visitor Center. There is no specific trail to the summit but you can zigzag your way through the dune ridge lines.

Wildlife watching is popular at Great Sand Dunes so make sure to keep your pup on a leash. Mule deer, squirrels, chipmunks, and coyotes are active in the warmer months, while elk roam in the fall and winter. Mosca Pass Trail is a great trail if you are looking to see birds and wildflowers.

Great Sand Dunes is a unique park to visit so be sure to bring your pup and camera. But remember, the dunes can get hot in the summer months, so keep those paws protected!

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