Pets are an important part of our lives, providing companionship, love, and joy to their caretakers. While park regulations do not allow pets to join you on hiking trails, in the backcountry, or in park buildings, there are many great alternative areas to explore on a pet-friendly visit to Joshua Tree National Park.
"Why not take my pet wherever I want?"
For many visitors, seeing wildlife is a highlight of a national park visit. Unfortunately, the mere presence of pets in the park alters the natural behavior of native wildlife. In national parks, the native species have priority.
Odors left behind by dogs may prevent wildlife from returning to important habitats such as fan palm oases.
Sensitive archeological sites are often difficult to see and may inadvertently be disturbed by inquisitive four-legged visitors.
The safety of your pet is important as well.
Abundant cactus spines, rattlesnakes, and thorns are good reasons not to let your pet roam free. 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 though your pet follows instructions and is very well behaved, others do not know your pet and may feel uneasy when encountering an unleashed animal.
By following the park’s simple regulations and respecting fellow visitors, you and your pet can have a happy and healthy park outing.
Remember to bring plenty of water for your pet. Leaving pets in unattended vehicles is strongly discouraged – especially on warm days.
Picnic Areas and CampgroundsThese areas offer many opportunities to experience the park’s diverse scenery with your pet. Pets are also permitted on the paved Oasis of Mara trail. See park map for locations of picnic areas and campgrounds.
Unpaved RoadsUnpaved roads see little vehicle traffic, making them feel a lot like wide trails and a great place to hike with your pet. Anywhere you can drive your vehicle, you can go with your leashed pet.
Some unpaved roads require 4-wheel drive and/or high-clearance vehicles. Be sure you are 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. See park map for locations of unpaved roads.
Boarding Your PetThere are many local options for boarding your pet. Boarding your pet will give you the freedom to explore the park freely and more thoroughly. Boarding information can be found through local chambers of commerce.
Twentynine Palms Chamber of Commerce
Joshua Tree Chamber of Commerce
Yucca Valley Chamber of Commerce
Last updated: May 3, 2017