Pet Friendly Grand Canyon Hotels and Other Tips for Traveling With Pets

Good morning, travelers – or shall I say “woof?” Today’s Grand Canyon vacation  planning question revolves around Grand Canyon hotels, in particular, are any of them pet-friendly?

‘sativabaker’ writes:

I’m headed to the Grand Canyon last minute on my way to San Diego. Where should I stay? Flagstaff? I’m a 21 year old female going with my dog.

My reply:

The Red Feather Lodge is the only pet friendly Grand Canyon hotel in the immediate vicinity of the Grand Canyon (Tusayan/Grand Canyon Village South just outside the park), but if your trip is last minute, you’ll probably find it sold out. Another downside to that property is that their pet rooms also double as their smoking rooms. Williams, 1 hour South of the Grand Canyon has several pet-friendly Grand Canyon hotels, as does Flagstaff, 90 minutes from the park [editor’s note: Williams and Flagstaff are referred to as ‘Grand Canyon Gateway Communities‘].

Check out this video for more information on Williams, Flagstaff, Page and other Grand Canyon Gateway Communities:

Some other insights on bringing your dog to the Grand Canyon:

If you want to take your dog into the park, he/she must be on a leash at all times and will be limited to walking on paved rimside trails with you. Dogs are not allowed in any of the buildings or on the shuttle buses. Another option you might consider is boarding your dog for the day at the Grand Canyon Railway Pet Resort in Williams or the Grand Canyon Kennel inside the park. The former  is quite new and very nice from what I’ve heard.

The Grand Canyon National Park Service goes as far as to say leave your dog at home when visiting the park. Having taken my dog(s) to many National Parks (Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, the Rocky Mountains), and enjoying their company thoroughly, I don’t fully agree with that assessment, but be aware that having a pet in tow does limit where you can go and what you can do. For instance, finding a pet-friendly hotel may be difficult last minute as ‘sativabaker’ is surely finding out. If all else fails, you might consider camping. Another thing to keep in mind is that your dog will not be allowed inside any buildings such as hotels, restaurants, gift shops, etc. The only exception: service dogs for the disabled, but they absolutely must be properly certified!

Another consideration: pets are NOT allowed on any Grand Canyon tours, even if they’re little! Sorry, Paris Hilton, you’re not gonna carry your little doggie in your purse on the Grand Canyon River Adventure or the Inner Grand Canyon Jeep Tour. If you’re traveling with a pet and plan to take a full day Grand Canyon tour, you’ll need to arrange to have your pet boarded for not one but two nights.  The reason: many of these tours start at 6 AM or similarly early departures. Area kennels typically do not open until 8-9 AM, so it will be impossible to get your pet into boarding that same morning. Similarly, since most full day tours end after 5 PM, by which time most kennels will be closed, you won’t be able to pick your dog up the night you return from your tour.

One last thing and we’ll wrap this up: If you plan on using any of the Grand Canyon area’s local pet boarding facilities, remember to bring your pet’s vaccination records. All shots must be current, or Fido won’t walk through the door.

So till next time, make it a “grand” day, even if it is a “dog day afternoon!”

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