Are Dogs Allowed In Glacier National Park?

Jason Gass
Last Updated: February 27th, 2023

For many of us, traveling with our dogs is part of the fun of exploring new places. Also, for many of us, the thought of leaving our pups at a kennel or pet sitter makes us cringe. So, there will eventually come a time when you’ll be traveling and want or need to go to a National Park.

If you’re planning to travel to Montana, and Glacier National Park is on your list, you’re in for a real treat. It’s such a beautiful place. If you’re planning to bring your dogs, or any pet for that matter, you need to be aware of the rules for having pets in national parks, and Glacier National Park specifically.

To answer the question of ‘are dogs allowed in Glacier National Park’ we have outlined important rules and considerations for you and your furry friend.

Rules for Pets in Glacier National Park

rules for pets

Whether you are traveling to Glacier National Park or any other national park in the United States, the rules for pets are the same. The National Park Service understands that people like to travel with their pets, but they also need to take steps to protect wildlife and fragile ecosystems from our furry family members.

In all national parks, there are limitations to where your pet can go. Rules vary from park to park, so it is important that you know what applies to each park you visit. Glacier National Park is one of the most pet restrictive national parks – and for good reason.

Glacier National Park is home to some of the most pristine alpine ecosystems in North America. It is also home to some pretty dangerous wildlife that can injure you or your pets.

With that said, it doesn’t mean that you’re not allowed to have your pets in the park. You are limited in the places where you can take your pets, however.  In Glacier, your pets are only allowed in developed park areas.

This means parking lots, scenic overview pull-offs, picnic areas, and front-country campgrounds. Dogs and other pets are absolutely not allowed on any trails or in the backcountry.

Dogs must be kept on a leash, no longer than 6-feet, at all times. And leaving your pet tied to objects is prohibited.

Since the most popular activity in Glacier National Park is driving the Going-to-the-Sun Road, you and your pets can enjoy the scenic, 50-mile drive together, and there are plenty of places for them to hop out and stretch their legs.

If you want to hike with your pup, check out the McDonald Creek bike path. It runs 2.5 miles from West Glacier to Apgar Village. This in-park trail is the only one that allows dogs.

Dog-Friendly Spots Near Glacier National Park

spots near glacier national park

As soon as you leave the boundaries of Glacier National Park, you are back in dog-friendly territory. If you want to hike with your dogs, there are tons of great hiking trails in the surrounding national forests. Flathead, Kootenai and Lewis and Clark National forests border the park and have plenty of great hikes for you and your dog.

If you are determined to hike in Glacier National Park, there are dog boarding facilities right outside of the park that will provide doggy daycare or a few nights of boarding should you want to hike or camp in the backcountry.

Conclusion – Are Dogs Allowed in Glacier National Park?

Our final thoughts on dogs in Glacier National Park or any national park or forest for that matter. Please be responsible for your pets.

Keep them on a leash, never leave them in your car on a hot day, and please pick up after your dogs. Nothing ruins a visit to a beautiful place like piles of dog mess.

That said, to answer the questions of ‘are dogs allowed in Glacier National Park?’, the answer is yes, but there are restrictions as to where they can go due to the protected ecosystem.

So, make sure you plan in advance and are aware of all the restrictions before heading on your trip.

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About The Author

Jason Gass

Jason Gass is a Colorado based freelance writer and blogger whose goal is to share a good cup of coffee and great stories around a campfire with close friends. When he’s not working, he spends most of his time traveling, searching for the best breweries, and road-tripping in his teardrop trailer with his wife, daughter, and two dogs.

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