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1 00:00:00,474 --> 00:00:02,874 (upbeat music plays) 2 00:00:02,874 --> 00:00:05,283 Hi friend, welcome to Joshua Tree National Park. 3 00:00:06,043 --> 00:00:08,043 My name is Bark Ranger Winston. 4 00:00:09,541 --> 00:00:10,744 You're probably wondering, 5 00:00:10,998 --> 00:00:12,998 how can I be a good B.A.R.K. Ranger? 6 00:00:13,254 --> 00:00:17,351 B.A.R.K. is a simple way to remember the rules of bringing pets to Joshua Tree. 7 00:00:17,509 --> 00:00:21,701 By following these rules, you and your human can stay safe during your visit. 8 00:00:21,972 --> 00:00:24,947 The B is B.A.R.K. stands for Bag your poop. 9 00:00:26,468 --> 00:00:31,373 About three million visitors come to Joshua Tree every year, and many of them bring their pets. 10 00:00:31,952 --> 00:00:35,105 Help keep public lands natural by cleaning up after them. 11 00:00:36,508 --> 00:00:38,508 A is for Always wear a leash. 12 00:00:39,001 --> 00:00:42,899 There are many reasons why I never let my human walk me without one. 13 00:00:43,461 --> 00:00:45,461 Even if your pet is well behaved off leash 14 00:00:45,461 --> 00:00:50,565 My human doesn't know that, and they might become uneasy if an unleashed animal approaches us. 15 00:00:51,117 --> 00:00:55,340 Additionally, there are hazards in the park such as predators and cacti. 16 00:00:55,917 --> 00:01:00,350 For your safety, pets must be leashed at all times, and leashes may be no longer than six feet. 17 00:01:00,422 --> 00:01:02,422 This leads us to the R in B.A.R.K.! 18 00:01:02,688 --> 00:01:04,688 R is for Respect wildlife. 19 00:01:04,848 --> 00:01:08,798 For many visitors, seeing wildlife is a highlight of visiting National Parks. 20 00:01:09,448 --> 00:01:15,000 However, the scent of your pet negatively effects the natural behavior of wildlife, like Bighorn Sheep! 21 00:01:15,389 --> 00:01:18,689 In National Parks, the safety of our native species is a priority. 22 00:01:19,550 --> 00:01:22,431 Lastly, the K stands for Know where you can go. 23 00:01:22,438 --> 00:01:26,661 Pets are only allowed 100 feet from any road, picnic area, or campground. 24 00:01:27,159 --> 00:01:30,837 Taking pets on hiking trails or in the backcountry is strictly prohibited. 25 00:01:31,166 --> 00:01:33,627 Neglect of these rules may result in a fine. 26 00:01:34,629 --> 00:01:38,045 Always keep your pet with you, and carry enough drinking water and food! 27 00:01:38,318 --> 00:01:40,884 If you are thirsty or hungry, so are they. 28 00:01:41,792 --> 00:01:48,175 The best way to protect the park is to either leave your pet at home, or take them to a local pet daycare. 29 00:01:48,411 --> 00:01:54,750 However, we understand that your pet is like a family member, and you want to bring them on your trip to Joshua Tree. 30 00:01:55,478 --> 00:01:58,212 Its important that everyone knows the rules of B.A.R.K. 31 00:01:58,829 --> 00:02:04,163 If you Bag your poop, Always wear a leash, Respect wildlife, and Know where you can go, 32 00:02:04,293 --> 00:02:08,977 you and your pet will have a safe and enjoyable experience in Joshua Tree National Park. 33 00:02:09,266 --> 00:02:11,266 (upbeat music plays)

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Visiting with pets? Make sure to follow the B.A.R.K. ranger principles. Please note we no longer sell B.A.R.K. ranger tags in our visitor centers. Video: NPS / Kelsey Graczyk, Shay Spatz


We recognize pets play an important part of many people's lives and provide companionship, love, and joy. However, due to park regulations, pets are not allowed on hiking trails, in the backcountry, or in park buildings. Alternatively, the park offers many great areas to explore on a pet-friendly visit to Joshua Tree National Park. Leashed pets are allowed as long as they remain within 100 feet (30.5 m) of roads, picnic areas, and campgrounds. Check the park map for acceptable locations described below.

Do not rely on pet trackers. Pet trackers may advertise that they function without wifi or cell service. Unfortunately, in practice these trackers have not worked in crucial moments in the park, which has resulted in lost pets. Always keep your pet on a leash, including cats, rabbits, or any other furry, scaly, or feathered friend.

By following the park’s simple regulations and respecting fellow visitors, you and your pet can have a happy and safe park outing. Or consider leaving your pet at safely at home.

"Why not take my pet with me?"

Wildlife sightings highlight national park visits for many visitors. Unfortunately, the mere presence of pets in the park alters their natural behavior. In national parks, the native wildlife has priority.

Odors, especially urine and feces, left behind by dogs prevent wildlife from returning to important habitats such as fan palm oases.

Sensitive archeological sites are hard to see and may be inadvertently disturbed by inquisitive four-legged visitors.

Pet Safety: Abundant cactus spines, rattlesnakes, and sharp rocks will harm your pet. Dogs are natural hunters but can easily become the hunted. Predators, such as coyotes and mountain lions, can kill pets, even during daylight hours.

Even if your pet follows instructions and is well behaved, others do not know your pet and may feel uneasy when encountering you.


Pet Regulations

  • Pets are not allowed on hiking trails, in the backcountry, or in park buildings. Even if they are in a backpack or carried, they are still not allowed in these areas.
  • Pets must remain within 100 feet (30.5 m) of roads, parking areas, and campgrounds.
  • Pets must remain on a leash at all times.
  • Leashes must be 6 feet (1.8 m) long or less.
  • Owners must pick up any droppings and put them in the trash.
  • Regulation violators are subject to fine.
  • Bring plenty of water for your pet.

Leaving pets unattended or tied to an object is prohibited under 2.15 of 36 CFR. It can be lethal to leave your pet in your vehicle.

Service Animals

The 2010 revision to Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a “service animal” as an animal that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.

Animals that are not trained to perform tasks that mitigate the effects of a disability, including animals that provide comfort or emotional support (e.g. therapy animals), are considered pets and not service animals.

Service animals in training and pets are subject to the park’s pet regulations and are not allowed on trails or more than 100 feet (30.5m) from any road, picnic area, or campground. Falsely portraying a pet as a service animal is considered fraud and is subject to federal prosecution under 2.32(a)(3)(ii) of 36 CFR.


Areas to Walk Your Pet

Picnic Areas and Campgrounds

These areas offer many opportunities to experience the park’s diverse scenery with your pet. Pets are also permitted on the paved Oasis of Mara and Keys View trails. Be aware of hot sidewalks and pavement that will burn your pet’s feet—walk during the cooler parts of the day.

Unpaved Roads

Unpaved roads offer spectacular scenery and a chance to immerse yourself in the desert landscape with your pet while following park regulations and protecting the park. Anywhere you can drive your vehicle, you can go with your leashed pet. Some unpaved roads require 4-wheel drive and/or high-clearance. Be prepared with food and plenty of water before beginning your trip. Most roads have pullouts or nearby parking areas where you may park and begin hiking. Keep alert for traffic and move out of the way of vehicles.

One-Way Distances: All Vehicles

  • Queen Valley Road—one-way traffic
    2.9 miles (4.7 km)
  • Stirrup Tank Road
    1.5 miles (2.4 km)
  • Odell Road
    1.5 miles (2.4 km)
  • Geology Tour Road to mile 5.4 (km 8.7)
    5.4 miles (8.7 km)
  • Desert Queen Mine Road
    1.2 miles (1.9 km)
  • Bighorn Pass Road
    3.2 miles (5.1 km)

One-Way Distances: 4-wheel Drive Roads

  • Covington-area Roads
    9.9 miles (15.9 km)
  • Pinkham Canyon Road
    19.2 miles (30.9 km)
  • Old Dale Road
    12.6 miles (20.2 km)
  • Geology Tour Road past mile 5.4 (km 8.7)
    18 miles (29 km)
  • Black Eagle Mine Road
    9.6 miles (15.4 km)
  • Berdoo Canyon Road
    11.5 miles (18.5 km)

For more information, visit our Backcountry Roads page.

Climbing Areas Accessible with a Dog

The following areas are within 100 feet of a road, parking area, or campground.

  • Belle Campground: Castle Rock
  • Hidden Valley Campground: Many (but not all) of the climbs are within 100 feet of a road, parking area, or campsite.
  • Indian Cove Area: Billboard Buttress, King Otto's Castle, Pixie Rock, and Short Wall
  • Quail Springs Area: Trash Can

For Bouldering, check out the Hidden Valley picnic area and Hidden Valley Campground, where you can find many bouldering problems within 100 feet of a road, parking area, or campsite. A couple other options include trashcan boulders at Quail Springs and pixie boulder at Indian Cove.


Boarding Your Pet

Boarding your pet will give you the freedom to explore the park freely and more thoroughly. Boarding information can be found online by searching in the local communities: Twentynine Palms, Joshua Tree, and Yucca Valley. Boarding options may also be available in Palm Springs, Palm Desert, and the surrounding area.

Last updated: April 18, 2024

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74485 National Park Drive
Twentynine Palms, CA 92277-3597


760 367-5500

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