Can I Bring My Pet to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon?

The South Rim is one of the few places in the national park system that has a pet kennel for dogs and cats and pet-friendly hotel rooms in the park.

Headed to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and want to bring your dog?

The Grand Canyon’s South Rim is one of the few places in the national park system that has a pet kennel for dogs and cats in the park. It’s also one of the more dog friendly parks with the 12-mile-long, paved Rim Trail that you can hike with your pet.

However, don’t let the pet-friendly nature of the park conceal the potential hazards you may face with a pet in the Grand Canyon. Heat is your number one enemy, so if you plan to bring your pet with you, it’s important to know how to keep your pet safe during the day, whether you bring your dog on the paved, dog-friendly path or leave it behind while you explore the inner rim where pets are not allowed.

Never Leave Your Pet in a Parked Car

Because temperatures can soar in the Grand Canyon, it’s not safe to leave your pet inside your car, even for several minutes on a summer day. On an 85-degree day, temperatures inside your car with the windows slightly open can reach 102 degrees in 10 minutes, according to the Humane Society. After 30 minutes, temperatures can reach 120 degrees. In both scenarios, your pet can rapidly experience irreversible organ damage or die.

If you want to walk your dog, do it early in the morning or evening when the pavement on the Rim Trail is cooler than mid-day. Asphalt can get extremely hot and burn the pads of your dog’s feet in the heat of the day. Be sure to bring plastic bags that you can tie off to clean up after your pet. Rangers ask that you dispose of the bags in trash cans and not in the recycling cans that are also found around the park. Remember that your leash must be no longer than six feet long.

While dogs are welcome on the Rim Trail that follows Hermit Road, they are not allowed in the park’s buses. While many people walk Hermit Road and take the shuttle bus back to Grand Canyon Village, people with dogs cannot do that. Be sure to consider the mileage you are walking, so you and your dog have the energy to return to the village by foot (and paw).

Board at South Rim Kennel or Stay in Pet-Friendly Room

Keep your pet safe and comfortable by day boarding it at the South Rim Kennel. Tucked near the Maswik Lodge, which is a several-minute walk from the Bright Angel Lodge on the rim, the South Rim Kennel boards dogs and cats for the day and overnight. It’s open 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., although you can call the Xanterra Parks and Resorts’ Fire and Safety number at 928-638-2631 if you need to pick up your pet after hours.

You should definitely make kennel reservations in advance as the kennel is popular. The kennel number is 928-638-0534. Food is included in your pet’s boarding fee. Be sure to bring proof of vaccination because it is required.

There also are some pet-friendly rooms at the Yavapai Lodge West, so check in with the reservations desk there in advance to see if any pet-friendly rooms are available for the dates you will be in the Grand Canyon.

Pets in Campgrounds

Pets are allowed in the Mather Campground, Desert View Campground and Trailer Village. However, they must be leashed at all times.

Stroll the Little-Known Shoshone Point

Shoshone Point Event Area on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.
Shoshone Point Event Area on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Photo by NPS Michael QuinnNPS Michael Quinn

For a little-known but beautiful route with no asphalt, take your dog on a two-mile roundtrip hike to Shoshone Point. But before you go, check in at the Grand Canyon Village Visitor’s Center and find out if there is a permitted event happening at Shoshone Point. Shoshone Point is a popular place for weddings and other special events, so if there is a permitted event, you cannot go to Shoshone Point. However, if there is no event, treat you and your dog to a hike on a quiet, dirt-road trail tucked in a stunning ponderosa pine forest. After a mile, the forest opens up to fantastic views of the Grand Canyon, giving you a perspective of the canyon rarely seen by visitors.

Related: Can I Bring My Dog to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon?