15 Best Dog-Friendly Vacation Destinations in Alaska

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dog is having fun in Juneau in a dog friendly vacation in alaska

When you think about Alaska, you may just think of cold, snow, and darkness. But did you know it can get up to 90 degrees in the summer? The average temperature from May to August is 74 degrees F. And that myth about it being dark six months of the year is not true. It is just darker than usual in the northernmost section of the state from mid-November to February.

But it is also the largest in the United States as well as the most northern state. The population is only 736,000, which is not much for such a large state. That is because much of Alaska is wild and rugged with a lot of water. In fact, it has more than three million lakes, 12,000 rivers, three seas, and 100,000 glaciers. There are more than 34,000 miles of coastline, which is more than all of the other US states combined. It also has over 130 volcanoes and 17 of the tallest mountains in the country. 

With more than 120,000 fur babies living in Alaska, there are lots of fun things to do and places to visit with your pooch during your visit. There are 15 national parks, two national forests, 120 state parks, 16 wildlife refuges, and hundreds of city, county, and community parks to explore and enjoy. Here are our favorite 15 dog-friendly destinations in Alaska. 


As the largest city in Alaska, you expect Anchorage to have the best activities. And you would be right! The city has the only waterpark in the state, H2Oasis Indoor Waterpark has more than 56,000 square feet of fun. However, they do not allow dogs, so your pup will have to stay behind. But don’t worry; there are over a dozen doggie daycares in town where he can be left. 

Being indoors, the water park is open all year long and has nine attractions, including a water roller coaster, a 43-foot body slide, a hot tub, a lazy river, and a wave pool. There is also a pirate ship play area for little tykes. They even have a waterfall and beached boat slide. 

After all that, pick up your pup and take him to Connors Bog Dog Park, where he can play around without a leash. The rest of the park is for skijoring, so put his leash on him and let him pull you around after a long day with the kids. 


For a special weekend with your honey and your pup, take them to Fairbanks, where you will find the cozy 7 Gables Inn & Suites. The most romantic room is the Bridal Room, which has a fireplace, jacuzzi, and gable dormer windows with a view of the garden. The inn also has a barbecue area, spa, solarium, and shared lounge, and your pup gets his own basket of goodies. It is also a perfect place to see the Northern Lights if you happen to come between October and April. 

After checking in, go for a riverside walk along the Chena River, where you can have a picnic or barbecue. The Chena River State Recreation Area even has three campgrounds with more than 60 sites if you want to stay for a while. Then, you and your two best buds can go to Black Spruce Brewing Company, where you can have a beer, and your fur baby can have a snack.

Finally, let Fido off the leash at Fairbanks Dog Park, where there are 20 acres of space including two fenced areas for small and large dogs.

Chugach National Forest 

Speaking of camping, if you really want to get closer to nature, Chugach National Forest has 14 different campgrounds with more than 450 campsites. The largest is Trail River Campground, which has 90 sites featuring picnic tables, fire pits, and restrooms with water, volleyball, and horseshoe games. It is also between the river and Kenai Lake so there are plenty of water sports opportunities too. Keep your pup leashed at all times and be aware there are bears around. 

Fishing is excellent throughout the forest as the rivers and streams are packed with two kinds of trout and six different kinds of salmon. Or do some saltwater fishing and picking for shrimp, halibut, mussels, and clams. If you think it is too cold, think again! Ice fishing in Alaska is very popular. Just be sure to get an Alaska fishing license. 

The forest has over 6.9 million acres of woods, wetlands, and wildlife to explore, including 22 tidewater glaciers. There are also 45+ trails ranging from an easy quarter-mile boardwalk along Copper River to a long and strenuous 21.8-mile hike around Russian Lakes. 


Located on the Kenai Peninsula in southeastern Alaska, Seward is a port city at the northern end of Resurrection Bay. In a town of just over 2,700 people and 450 dogs, there are several great pet-friendly hotels including Angels Rest on Resurrection Bay with its private beach and outdoor areas with fireplaces, barbecues, and picnic areas. Also, Hotel Seward has a restaurant, bar, and fitness center as well as a free shuttle service.

While you are in town, take your fur baby to Caines Head State Recreation Area. There are almost 6,000 acres with historical buildings and sites as well as 4.5 miles of trails and some fantastic fishing spots. You can learn a lot about the area by walking the two-mile Fort Trail to Fort McGilvray or just meander along the waterfront on the three-mile Coastal Trail that takes you from Tonsina Point to Derby Cove. 

After working up an appetite, share a meal with your puppers at Alaska Seafood Grill right on the water. They have some unique foods like reindeer corn dogs and chili or rockfish burgers.  


Ready for a summer break with your cuddly canine companion? Juneau has everything you need, from campgrounds to an actual dog beach. The state capital gets pretty warm in the summer, too, with highs in the upper 60s during July. It is in the extreme southeastern tip of Alaska, where it gets the warmest, so outdoor sports are popular most of the year. And with its own island, the city has miles of waterfront to enjoy.

Savikko Park, also known as Sandy Beach, welcomes leashed dogs all year long, so you can let Fido swim and splash around when it is warm enough. It also has a playground, picnic areas, and trails. One of them, the Treadwell Mine Historic Trail, is a great way to learn about the history. Grab a cold beer at Alaskan Brewing Public House when you are done, where your pooch can join you on the deck.

If you would rather have something harder, Amalga Distillery is also dog-friendly and has whiskey, gin, and cocktails. Fido is allowed indoors and out on the patio here.

Chugach State Park 

Right along the Eagle River, Chugach State Park has over 495,200 acres of mountains, canyons, and glaciers. The main attraction in this park is Eklutna Lake, which has 3,520 acres of its own. The crystal clear water is protected by the fact that only electric motors are allowed on it and that there is only one road leading to it. It is the main source of drinking water and electricity for Anchorage so its cleanliness is important. 

If you like to fish, the lake is full of salmon and trout, so bring a license. The Eagle River is another place for visitors to enjoy some fishing and boating. Most people do not swim, though, because the temperatures in summer barely reach 50 degrees. Camping is popular, though, with 170+ campsites in four campgrounds.

For something you can only do in Alaska, take Fido on the Glacier Blue Kayak Tour where you can get up close and personal with some humongous icebergs. It takes 12 hours so be sure to bring plenty of water, food, and doggie bags. It is perfect for a weekend getaway. 


In southcentral Alaska, Homer is on the Kenai Peninsula, surrounded by the Gulf of Alaska and Kachemak Bay. Known as the Halibut Fishing Capital of the World, be sure to pack your fishing gear and get a fishing license. Beluga Lake is one of the hot spots, and there is a fantastic lodge called Beluga Lake Lodge that welcomes up to two dogs for an extra $15 per night per dog.

If you want to get in on the halibut craze, Homer Alaska Halibut Fishing is a pup-friendly eight hours on the water. They provide all the bait and tackle and will even clean and fillet your catch when you get back. Or take a tour of Kachemak Bay with 49North Alaskan Adventures. Leashed dogs are always welcome and they operate year-round.

Then, take your fluffy pup to Bishop’s Beach for some fun in the water and on the sand. You can also meander along the Beluga Slough Trail. Just remember to bring doggie bags and water. 


One of the first stops along the famous Iditarod Trail Dog Sled Race, Wasilla has over 9,000 residents, making it one of the most populated areas in the state. Because of that, you will see more than the normal number of dogs with an estimated 2,500 fur babies in Wasilla. You can choose between several hotels and suites including Best Western on Lake Lucille featuring a water view, fitness center, and free breakfast. 

Speaking of Lake Lucile, the park has over 100 acres along the water with a large picnic area, a playground for the kiddos, a campground with 57 sites, trails to explore, and a dog park where your cuddly canine companion can run around off the leash. It is not far from the Iditarod Trails, so you and your pooch can check it out.  

Afterward, enjoy a cold craft brew at Bearpaw River Brewing Company. They have two locations that are both dog-friendly. The one on Railroad Avenue also serves pizza, cheesy bread, and salads too.  

Glacier Bay National Park

In southeastern Alaska, Glacier Bay National Park has 3.3 million acres of wilderness, rainforest, glaciers, mountains, and fjords. It is a part of the 25 million-acre World Heritage Site. Near Juneau, the park has plenty of opportunities for those who want to stay close to the “city” while enjoying the beauty and tranquility of the forest. However, to get to the park, you have to jump on a tour boat or a ferry from Bartlett Cove because there are no roads.

Inside the huge park, you will have plenty of opportunities for hiking, kayaking, and fishing on the Gulf of Alaska. The place is incredible to see, with its majestic glaciers and limestone mountains. In fact, there are 1,045 glaciers in the park, which is how it got its name. Because of glacial melting, the pristine lakes are also incredible and great for fishing. 

You will need to keep your canine compadre on a short leash, though, because there is a lot of wildlife in the park, including both black and brown bears, wolverines, wolves, moose, coyotes, and mountain goats. Be sure to pack lots of doggie bags for cleanup, too. 

Kodiak Island 

The second-largest island in the United States, Kodiak Island has 3,670 square miles of wilderness and water with flora and fauna you cannot see anywhere else. For example, the Kodiak Bear, which is the largest brown break in the world, outnumbers the human population with more than 3,500 of them living there. But they are typically in the remote areas of the most rugged terrain so you will not see any unless you go looking. It is a good idea to bring bear spray though. 

There are six large recreational areas in Kodiak, including Woody Island State Recreation Site, Shuyak Island State Park, Pasagshak River State Recreation Site, Fort Abercrombie State Historical Park, Buskin River State Recreation Site, and Afognak Island State Park. Some are easy to get to by road, but a Shuyak and Afognak have to be reached by boat. 

You will need to bring a lot of provisions if you plan to hike but Kodiak has several places to shop in town. However, it is important to keep your food and other items in bear boxes or other safe spots to prevent attracting any unwanted attention. 


Of course, there are plenty of places for skiing and snowboarding as well as sledding, snowshoeing, and skimobile riding in Alaska just about anywhere. But Girdwood has the Alyeska Resort for those who want to do some real alpine skiing. Although Alyeska Resort does not allow pets, Ski Inn on Hightower Road welcomes dogs and they are only 1.4 miles from the slopes. The rooms range from basic queen rooms with 118 square feet to the deluxe double room with 258 square feet.

Leave your pooch with a dog sitter and jump on one of the eight lifts that will take you up there. Alyeska Mountain has a vertical elevation of 3,200 feet with a top elevation of 3,939 feet. The base elevation is 250 feet and there are 1,400 skiable acres with 73+ trails. Besides all that, the base has a cafe, restaurant, and bar, halfway up the mountain. 

After you pick up your pooch, take him with you to The Grind Coffeehouse for the freshest coffee in town to warm you up and give you a boost. They also have snacks and other beverages to enjoy.

North Pole

It may not be the real North Pole, but you can enjoy all sorts of holiday fun and entertainment at North Pole, Alaska. Many of them are even dog-friendly. The quaint city has a population of 2,244, with an estimated 374 fur babies. The whole place is Christmas-themed, including the Santa Claus House, which has the world’s largest statue of Santa Claus. North Pole, Alaska, is actually about 1,700 miles from the real one but this one is much warmer.   

Take your pooch to the Antler Academy where you can feed the reindeer and even get some selfies with them. Even in such a small town, there are seven parks including the North Pole Dog Park. The fully-fenced poochie playground on 3rd Avenue with a small dog area as well as waste stations with doggie bags and picnic tables for pup parents to sit. 

Put your pup’s leash back on, and you can have a barbecue and enjoy the nature trail at 5th Avenue Park or Morning Star Park. 

Lake Clark National Park

With more than four million acres in southern Alaska, Lake Clark National Park has a lot to do, and your pooch is welcome to join you as long as you keep him on a leash at all times. With so much space, you will need to walk or hike to many spots you want to visit. Like Beaver Pond. If you want to check out the beaver pond, this 3.4-mile hike is a good, easy choice. Continue along the same trail and you will find a spur trail to Tanalian Falls, which is an incredible sight to see. 

If you want to camp, you have your choice of pitching your tent just about anywhere or staying at one of the campgrounds. 

The Tulchina Adventures Campground has large tent platforms with mosquito netting. They also have huts and cabins. Just be aware that there is a large concentration of brown bears in this park. Use bear boxes and bear spray and keep your pooch on a short leash.    

Ketchikan couples with 

For a cozy stay with your two best friends, check out Black Bear Inn located in Ketchikan. The rooms have fireplaces, ocean views, bathrobes and linens, as well as the usual amenities like TVs, cable, and phones. The place also has its own private beach area, outdoor seating with a fireplace, a hot tub, free breakfast daily, and a variety of activities nearby. They even have walking tours and live music. 

One of the more populated cities, Ketchikan is located as far southeast as you can go and is still in Alaska. It is known for having the largest collection of totem poles in the world. This is a great place to get some unique selfies with your pooch. Totem Bight State Historical Park has 15 of these totem poles on 30+ acres with trails, picnic areas, and access to some incredible fishing. 

Stop at Oceanview Restaurant, where they serve everything from Mexican to Italian cuisines, including burritos, tacos, chicken alfredo, ravioli, and pasta. They even have burgers and pizzas. 

Tongass National Forest 

With almost 17,000 acres, Tongass National Forest is the largest in the country and the largest temperate rainforest in the world. You and your cuddly buddy can spend a weekend here exploring the rainforest, climbing mountains, and walking on the beaches. In southeastern Alaska near Juneau, with 500 miles of Inside Passage as well as thousands of miles of rugged trails and wilderness areas. 

The forest has a variety of protected and unique wildlife, such as the ermine weasel, five different species of salmon, black bears, and brown bears. Hiking and camping are both very popular here with 700 miles of trails, 20 campgrounds, and over 1,000 campsites. Some of the easy trails include the Connel Lake Trail, Ward Lake Trail, and Mount Roberts Alpine Loop Trail. Be sure to keep your pup on a leash and bring lots of doggie bags. 

If your pooch needs to run around off the leash for a while, you can find Cope Park nearby with an off-leash dog area. They also have disc golf, pickleball, and playgrounds. 

The Final Woof

Full of natural beauty, wildlife, and fun activities year-round, Alaska has a little bit of something for everyone. You will not have any trouble finding a place to stay with 750+ dog-friendly vacation rentals, including over 100 hotels, motels, and resorts. There are also more than 100 pup popular restaurants, 15 off-leash pooch parks, five dog beaches, and hundreds of pet-friendly trails. For something more specific, Anchorage is a great family spot with H2Oasis Indoor Waterpark, and North Pole has the Santa Claus House and other holiday activities. For a romantic trip with your honey, Ketchikan has an adorable bed and breakfast on the ocean, and Fairbanks has a stunning Inn with a jacuzzi, fireplaces, and spa.  

Photo of author
Patty Oelze is a freelance writer who is also in the process of getting her PhD in Psychology. She has been writing about dogs and other critters for about 10 years and has a plethora of animals at her home including several cats, some chipmunks, a dozen raccoons, two foxes, one coyote, and herds of deer. She and her husband have been living in the Missouri Ozarks for years where she enjoys taking care of wildlife, fishing, photography, boating, and of course, writing.

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