Can you take dogs to Grand Canyon? A Step-by-Step Guide

Hikes Where Dogs are Allowed at the Grand Canyon

Because the Grand Canyon is a national park, rules for dogs are quite strict.

As with all national parks, the rules for dogs remain the same:

  • Dogs must remain on a six-foot leash at all times
  • Dogs are restricted to paved trails only
  • The Grand Canyon is divided into the South Rim and the North Rim. Dogs are not allowed below the rim or on shuttle buses.

    Depending on how far you are willing to walk, you will be able to see more or less of the Grand Canyon with your dog.

    Where Else Are Dogs Allowed at the Grand Canyon?

    At the South Rim, dogs are also permitted on the Greenway Trail, which connects the the main Visitor Centre, Market Plaza, Village and Tusayan precincts. It’s a paved bicycle path more of a practical rather than sightseeing nature.

    The North Rim unfortunately isn’t as dog-friendly as the South Rim. Leased pets are only allowed on the Greenway Trail that connects the North Kaibab Trail and the portion of the Arizona Trail north to the park entrance station. We didn’t have time to also visit the North Rim.

    Things to Keep in Mind when Visiting the Grand Canyon with Your Dog

    Aside from the regulations surrounding access and leash laws, a trip to the Grand Canyon with your dog means being aware of the harsh environment in which it sits.

    Elevation – Grand Canyon Village sits at 6,800 feet, so be aware of altitude sickness for both yourself and your dog.

    Heat – During the summer months, the temperatures can rise well above 100° and there is limited shade. Know how to keep your dog cool in hot weather and adjust your hikes accordingly.

    Inclement weather – The Grand Canyon experiences seasonal monsoonal thunderstorms from July to September. As awesome as they are to witness, they are also dangerous.

    Check the weather before you head out for a hike, and go indoors immediately if you hear thunder or see clouds in the distance.

    The best time of the year to visit the Grand Canyon is during the spring and fall, which are the shoulder seasons. Temperatures range between 50° and 60° during the day and there are fewer crowds.

    See more from the NPS guide to safety in storms in the Grand Canyon.

    Can I Bring a Dog to the Grand Canyon?

    The Grand Canyon’s South Rim is one of the few places in the national park system that has a pet kennel for dogs and cats in the park. It’s also one of the more dog friendly parks with the 12-mile-long, paved Rim Trail that you can hike with your pet.

    However, don’t let the pet-friendly nature of the park conceal the potential hazards you may face with a pet in the Grand Canyon. Heat is your number one enemy, so if you plan to bring your pet with you, it’s important to know how to keep your pet safe during the day, whether you bring your dog on the paved, dog-friendly path or leave it behind while you explore the inner rim where pets are not allowed.