Dog-Friendly Off-Leash Federal Lands

National Conservation Lands
By The Bark, September 2016
Dog-Friendly Off-Leash Federal Lands

National Conservation Lands protect 32 million acres of this country’s most ecologically rich and culturally significant landscapes. Each is different, not only in terrain but also in history. These lands are made up of National Monuments and National Conservation Areas and similar designations, Wilderness and Wilderness Study Areas, Wild and Scenic Rivers, and National Scenic and Historic Trails.

They are overseen by the Bureau of Land Management and, unlike other public lands, such as those administered by the National Park Service, they have a much more tolerant policy about off-leash dogs.

There are more than 30 sites in the western states in which you and your dog can freely explore. It’s important to note that while dogs need to be on-leash in developed areas and campgrounds, generally, they are not required by law to be leashed in the backcountry. However, in some regions, for their own safety, dogs should be under leash control; hunting and fishing are allowed on most of these lands, more reason to keep the safety of your dog in mind. Be sure to follow the rules at each individual park, and—of course—to pick up and pack out your dog’s waste.

 

Alaska

Steese National Conservation Area

 

Arizona

Agua Fria National Monument

Gila Box Riparian National Conservation Area

Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument

Ironwood Forest National Monument

Las Cienegas National Conservation Area

San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area

Sonoran Desert National Monument

Vermilion Cliffs National Monument

 

California

Fort Ord National Monument

Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument

Carrizo Plain National Monument

King Range National Conservation Area

Mojave Trails National Monument

Piedras Blancas Outstanding Natural Area

Sand To Snow National Monument

Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument

 

Colorado

Browns Canyon National Monument

Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area

Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area

McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area

 

Nevada

Basin and Range National Monument

Black Rock Desert-High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area

 

New Mexico

El Malpais National Conservation Area

Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument

Prehistoric Trackways National Monument

Rio Grande del Norte National Monument

Fort Stanton-Snowy River Cave National Conservation Area: the cave is off-limits to all but scientists. Around the Fort and backcountry trails are fine.

 

Oregon

Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument

 

Washington

San Juan Islands National Monument

Fall is a great time to visit. For a complete listing of dog-friendly National Conservation Lands, see conservationlands.org