America is the land of the free and the home of the brave, and there's no better way to experience its purple mountains majesty and rolling rivers than by camping overnight at the best state and national parks that this country has to offer. What's even better is that these special parks even allow your four-legged friends to join you. Pack it up and hit the road for the best and most beautiful spots to put it in park and take a break!
Located in Acadia National Park, Seawall Campground is a great place for you to escape the bustle of Bar Harbor, but still feel like you are one with nature. The campground is a short walk away from its namesake—the Maine Seawall. Here you can witness the beautiful sunrise over Great Cranberry Island with your four-legged friend by your side.
The park's website has a list of trails that don't allow dogs, as well as a list of trails that aren't recommended for dogs. The carriage paths do allow them, as do some others, but it always helps to do some research before hitting the trails.
The only oceanfront reserve in Maryland, Assateague State Park is a beautiful spot to set up your tent right along the beach. Located on a barrier island, you will have the opportunity to swim, beachcomb, even surf in the waves. The park has secluded coves for you to explore by canoe or kayak. Plus, you (and your dog) will love watching and meeting the wild horses that run free throughout the park.
Pets are permitted only in specific areas of the Maryland portion of the National Seashore. They're not allowed on the trails, public beaches, or backcountry campsites. The campground sections that allow pets are Loop H, Loop I, and Loop J, and on the beach from the H Loop crossover to the south. Remember to register your pet in advance!
Known as the largest and most popular campground in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Elkmont Campground does not disappoint. The campground is located just eight miles from beautiful (and kitschy) Gatlinburg and is the home to multiple scenic trailheads, including Little River Trail and the Elkmont Nature Trail. Both Little River and Jakes Creek run straight through the campground, so make sure to reserve a camping spot along the water. The campground is also right next to the incredible abandoned resort town of Elkmont. That's right, you can camp out next to a ghost town deep within the Smokies... how cool is that?
Dogs are only allowed on two short walking paths in the Smokies: The Gatlinburg Trail and the Oconaluftee River Trail, and they must be kept on a 6-foot leash.
With unmatched views of the night sky, Glacier Basin Campground will have you keeping your eyes towards the stars all night. The campground is located just south of Rocky Mountain National Park and is at an elevation of 8,500 feet. This campground does not offer any hookups and only has water in the summer, but we can guarantee that the beautiful stars will be worth the stay. It's a rustic way to experience the rugged Rockies... a fitting way to appreciate the incredible mountains.
Pets are allowed in the campground but not on any of the surrounding trails.
One of the most popular campgrounds in Glacier National Park, Many Glacier Campground is the perfect place to stay during your journey. The campground is run on a first come, first serve basis, so make sure to arrive early, as campsites in this stunning park fill up extremely fast. The site has a unique opportunity for you to view the ample wildlife across the park, so make sure to bring your binoculars-- keep your eyes peeled for elk, foxes, bears, sheep, mountain goats, and more. The campground is also the starting point for some of the best day hikes that the park has to offer; Grinnell and Cracker Lakes can be reached from here, and are jaw-droppingly blue glacial lakes set in valleys of wildflowers and surrounded by glacier-capped mountains.
Pets are allowed in campgrounds but not on any trails in Glacier National Park.
Located along the Sol Duc River in Olympic National Park, Sol Duc Campground is easily one of the most picturesque campgrounds you will ever lay eyes on. The campground is in the middle of a temperate rainforest and is just a short walk away from the scenic Sol Duc Falls. Olympic National Park itself is composed of three unique ecosystems, with views of mountain vistas, wildflower meadows, and ocean tides. The campground is completely rustic, with no RV hookups and pit toilets. Get ready to truly live off the land here!
The areas in the park that allow pets include Peabody Creek Trail, Rialto Beach parking lot to Ellen Creek, the beaches between the Hoh and Quinault Reservations, Madison Falls Trail, and Spruce Railroad Trail.
Towering over the Big Sur River Gorge, Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park is a California adventure that you won't forget. The park allows you to walk along the scenic riverbanks and spot the iconic redwoods, conifers and other trees that are abundant throughout. The park is also right on the coast, allowing you to hike to the scenic overlook above McWay Falls, a gorgeous tidefall in a lush cove, and to the Sun Portal, a sea stack that the waves have bored a hole through; during December and January, the sun rises and shines right through the portal, creating an amazing photo op or sunrise-spotting experience. Oh, and the beaches here have purple sand, thanks to swirls of finely ground manganese garnet. The park's campground is located along the Big Sur River, and has a large space to accommodate lots of campers, including those with RVs. So no matter if you're in the most compact pop-up from Thor, or you're riding in a luxurious RV, there's space for you here.
Dogs are allowed in campgrounds and day use areas when on a leash. You can also bring your dog onto USFS property, like Pfeiffer Beach. You can also hike Pine Ridge Trail from Big Sur Station USFS's Ventana Wilderness with a leashed dog. Otherwise, check local regulations!
From the shores of Maine to the redwoods of California, you and your four-legged friend will be able to explore some of the best campsites that America has to offer. We can guarantee that you'll sleep easy every night, with beautiful stars in the night sky and babbling streams nearby.