Are you heading to Joshua Tree with your dog? Worried you won’t see much in this national park, where dogs are not allowed on the trails? We cover you!
Most national parks have quite strict restrictions when it comes to pets on the trails. There are several national parks suitable for pets that do their best to make our furry travel companions welcome. But, as a general rule, finding a pet in a national park suitable for pets is rare. This makes a visit to Joshua Tree with dogs a pleasant surprise!
Rules for pets in national parks
With few exceptions, most national parks require pets to be within 100 feet of a paved road, parking lot, or campsite. And when outside your vehicle, pets should be placed in a crate, carrier or leash no longer than six feet at all times.
Many trails in the national park are completely forbidden for pets. So your experience in the park is limited to the detours and views along the road. Not that these views are bad! There’s just a lot more to see when you can get out of the beaten path.
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Hiking in Joshua Tree with dogs
Before going to Joshua Tree, I checked the website for their pet policy. I was pleased to see that although pets are not allowed on the trails or in the backcountry, they are welcome to walk on all unpaved roads.
Joshua Tree has miles and miles of dirt roads that provide access to a wide variety of terrain. And they get very little vehicle traffic, so the study on foot is perfect!
Of course, the standard leash and pick-up label is always applied after your dog. And don’t forget to pack a lot of water for you and your pet. The combination of altitude and desert air can quickly lead to dehydration.
READ MORE ⇒ Your dog can become a barking ranger at Joshua Tree!
Unpaved roads in Joshua Tree National Park
The dirt roads of Joshua Tree provide access to amazing nature and the opportunity to immerse yourself in the desert landscape with your pet. According to the rules of the park, wherever you can drive your car, your dog on a leash can walk with you.
Most roads have sections or nearby parking spaces where you can park and start hiking. And some roads are more uneven than others, so choose a route that works for you.
Although these roads do not receive much traffic, you need to be vigilant and move away from the road of vehicles.
Available for all vehicles (one-way distances)
Queen Valley Road – 2.9 miles of one-way traffic Stirrup Tank Road – 1.5 miles Odell Road – 1.5 miles Geology Tour Road – 5.4 miles Desert Queen Mine Road – 1.2 miles Bighorn Pass Road – 3.2 miles (5.1 km)
Available for vehicles with 4 drive wheels (one-way distances)
Roads in the Covington area – 9.9 miles Pinkham Canyon Road – 29.2 miles Old Dale Road – 12.6 miles Geology Tour Road along the Mile 5.4 – 18 miles Black Eagle Mine Road – 9.6 miles Berdoo Canyon Road – 11.5 miles
Explore Joshua tree with dogs
Joshua Tree is one of the national parks, which is quite easy to see without having to walk miles on backcountry trails. I was able to drive on side roads or even turn off the main road and see the rock formations and Joshua trees that make this park famous.
We started from the south entrance and by the middle of the afternoon we were quite at the northern end of the park. We stopped there to enjoy a picnic and watch a bunch of rock climbers soak up the sun on a beautiful day. It was a fun trip to a place I’ve always wanted to see.
READ MORE ⇒ 7 basic things for hiking in the desert with dogs
When visiting Joshua Tree with your dogs, be sure to bring a map of the park showing all the dirt roads you can walk. Rangers are also useful to help you decide which roads offer the best nature and are suitable for your skill level.
Whatever you choose to do, it will be a journey you will never forget!
About the author: Mary Hawn is a photographer, artist and author of Tales From The Back Road, an art, travel and life blog. She and her husband Al, also a talented artist, travel full-time to RV with their adorable dog Tori.
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