You can bring your pet on a Yellowstone National Park tour… but with plenty of restrictions. You need to ensure your pet is inside a vehicle, tent, or on a leash no shorter than 6 feet. And pets are not allowed on boardwalks or hiking trails, even with a leash.
If you don’t want to leave your pet in the car while you’re on your trip, a few pet boarding facilities are available outside the park boundary.
Why the strict rules and regulations?
There are plenty of reasons—to protect both the park and the pet. The smell of a dog can make small animals and birds afraid to leave their homes. Like coyotes and mountain lions, that same dog scent can attract dangerous animals to your hiking party. Yellowstone wants to limit exposure to outside diseases that your dog might accidentally bring in in the spirit of conservation. You don’t want to be the one who gets these protected populations sick!
By keeping your pets in check, you’re helping to support the whole ecosystem of Yellowstone to be safe and healthy!
What animals are in Yellowstone?
Aside from dogs, you are guaranteed to see at least a few creatures on your national park road trip. Yellowstone boasts the highest concentration of mammals anywhere in the lower 48 states!
The most common animal you’ll see is elk, with numbers in the tens of thousands. But there are plenty of other creatures, from grizzlies and wolves to sheep and otters.
Keep an eye on the skies for Yellowstone’s birds. Over 300 distinct species have been identified here. Fish-eating birds of prey are especially prevalent. Ospreys, golden eagles, and peregrine falcons are the most likely to appear on your Yellowstone tour.
The park’s most iconic animal is the bison. Yellowstone is home to the oldest and largest bison herd in the country. It’s truly magical to see them in their element.
If you’re ready to plan your road trip with your pet, download the complete Yellowstone National Park self-guided driving tour from the App Store or Google Play.