15 Best Dog-Friendly Vacation Destinations in Arizona

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terrier is posing at the arizona safari jeep tours in sedona in a dog friendly vacation

Known for its wide-open spaces, including the Grand Canyon, Arizona is a large southwestern state with more than 7.1 million people and 1.1 million fur babies. Surrounded by California, New Mexico, Mexico, Nevada, Colorado, and Utah, the state is central to all your desert and mountain activities. You can go hiking in the desert in Arizona and then go skiing just minutes away in Colorado. 

Arizona is a popular winter getaway with warm winters in the upper 60s and lower 70s in January. There are 24 national parks, 33 state parks, and hundreds of county, city, and community parks in Arizona, so you can enjoy the year-round warm weather doing whatever outdoor activities you want. But some of the northern cities actually get snow. Flagstaff is one of the snowiest cities in the country!

However, it gets extremely hot in the summer, so you should keep that in mind, too. In July, it is common to see temperatures over 100 degrees. You and your fur baby can find plenty of places to cool off in Arizona, with huge forests of pine, fir, and spruce trees, 128 lakes, and five major rivers. There are also hundreds of streams, ponds, and other bodies of water to enjoy. Here are our picks for the top 15 dog-friendly vacation destinations in Arizona. 


In southeastern Arizona, Tucson is home to vast deserts, lots of cacti, and gorgeous sunsets as well as 542,000 residents with an estimated 90,000 dogs. And with an average high temperature of 67 degrees F in the winter, it is a popular spot for winter vacations. You will not need any snow boots or coats in Tucson! You and your pup will love the DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun Museum in that kind of weather. 

Another awesome thing in Tucson is the fact that they have eight dog parks. The most popular is Smiling Dog Ranch with a doggie fountain, shade ramadas, benches, waste stations, and tons of room to roam. However, there are no separate small dog areas. If you want that, you can go to Star Valley Park, McDonald District Park, Flowing Wells Park, ES Bud Walker Park, or Arthur Pack Park, which also has agility stations. 

Then, take Fido on the Sky Island Scenic Byway. The 27-mile-long trail is dog-friendly as long as your pup is on a leash. Bring doggie bags and extra water, too.


Another place to spend winter is Flagstaff, where they get over 100 inches of snow per year. It is right next to Mount Elden and is the perfect winter trip if you enjoy snow activities like snow tubing and snowball fights. At Flagstaff Snow Park, you can do all that and more. You can even build a snowman! However, dogs are not allowed. 

Although you will have to find a dog sitter while you are on the slopes, there is an awesome place where you and your fur baby can stay and play nearby. The Arizona Mountain Inn has whirlpool tubs, fireplaces, private patios, and BBQ pits. But there are only a few spots at this bed and breakfast, so plan ahead. 

Speaking of dog fun, Thorpe Bark Park is one of the local favorite parks because of its agility course. There are four tunnels made of different materials, A-frames, ramps, and a giant stack of tires for pups to play on. They also have a small dog area, water, and picnic tables. 

Grand Canyon National Park 

The Grand Canyon is one of the seven national wonders of the world, carved by the Colorado River over thousands of years. You will find it at Grand Canyon National Park in northern Arizona. If you want to stay close to nature, choose one of the seven campgrounds at the park instead of a hotel. You get to sleep under the stars and be the first one on the trails in the morning. There are also seven campgrounds at Kaibab National Forest nearby. 

If you plan to hike, remember that your pooch has to be on a leash and he is not allowed below the rim. There are over 100 trails, from an easy quarter-mile to a strenuous 13.1 miles. If you want something short and simple, try the quarter-mile Desert View Watchtower with its incredible views. For something longer, the 12.7 Grand Canyon Rim Trail takes you from the South Kaibab Trailhead to Hermit’s Rest.

If your legs get tired, grab a snack and take Fido on Desert View Drive. This part of SR-64 covers 23 miles with six canyon viewpoints, several picnic areas, and lots of beautiful country.


For a romantic trip with your two best friends, Sedona has two cozy bed and breakfasts that welcome dogs. The Lodge at Sedona has individually themed rooms that include a doggie gift basket and bowls. Some rooms have fireplaces and four-poster beds. The Whispering Creek Bed & Breakfast has a sun terrace, gourmet breakfasts, and outdoor fireplaces. There is also an off-leash dog park within walking distance as well as eight community parks that welcome leashed dogs!

Keep the romance going with a Sedona Wine Tour. Your pup can join you on your personalized private tour that includes wine tasting, photos, and snacks along the Verde Valley Wine Trail. Use the promo code DOGFRIENDLY, and you will get a 10% discount! Then, stop at the Crescent Moon Picnic Site, one of the most photographed sites in the southwestern United States. 

For something different, learn about the magic of the labyrinth on a Vortex Labyrinth Walk with Rosane. The soulful bonding experience is perfect for couples, and your pooch will love it too. 


Pack up the kids and head to Castles N Coasters Theme Park for a family fun trip you will never forget. Located in northern Phoenix, the 14-acre park is not huge but it has lots of fun packed in one place. There are 14 rides, including two roller coasters, two water rides, and an arcade full of games and prizes. However, you will need to leave Fido at doggie daycare because pups are not allowed. 

If you still have energy left, you can stop by Encanto Park where they have the Enchanted Island Amusement Park featuring a carousel, go-karts, bumper boats, and a splash zone for cooling off. Next, visit the wildlife at the Phoenix Zoo in Papago Park. There are over 100 acres with more than 3,000 animals to see.

After picking up your pup, take him to one (or more) of the 13 off-leash dog parks in Phoenix. Cesar Chavez Park has 2.3 acres and a small dog area, PetSmart Dog Park at Washington Park has 2.7 acres with water and a small dog section, and Pinnacle Dog Park has lighting for evening play. 

Saguaro National Park 

Named for the large cactus that is only native to the Sonoran Desert, Saguaro National Park has over 91,000 acres in southeastern Arizona by Tucson. This park is the perfect weekend getaway if you want some peace and quiet. The park is very rugged and even their campsites have to be hiked to. There are only five campgrounds, three sites each, and one with six sites. You will have to hike between four and 10 miles to get to any of these spots. 

If you want to stay but do not want to hike, there are other campgrounds nearby, like the Gilbert Ray Campground at Tucson Mountain Park. They have 130 sites for RVs and tents, and no hiking is required. For something with more amenities, South Forty RV Ranch has a pool, hot tub, live music, happy hours, games, and showers. 

Be sure to let your pup play off the leash a few times over the weekend. Ivan’s Place Dog Park in Tucson has a small dog space, water fountains, and lighting. Another dog park named after a fallen police dog, Miko’s Corner Playground is also fun with two acres to enjoy.


Why spend all your money on an expensive hotel if you are going to be out and about during your vacation getaway with Fido? Tombstone has numerous dog-friendly hotels with rooms starting under $100 per night. Sierra Suites is only $89 and features a huge pool, breakfast buffet, fitness center, terraces, a garden, and a restaurant. The Trail Rider’s Inn is just $96 and has a pool with a spa and free breakfast. At the Sagebrush Inn, they even have rooms with hot tubs for $90.

The name of the town may have something to do with it being the site of the famous Gunfight at the O.K. Corral in 1881. You and your pooch can even visit the site where they host a daily gunfight show at Old Tombstone Western Theme Park. The whole town is a big tourist attraction where you can get a dog-friendly trolley tour to see all the hotspots, enjoy a cold beer with Fido at Pancho’s Cantina, and share a meal at The Chuckwagon.

Don’t miss the Old Butterfield Stage Coach tour and the Good Enough Mine Trolley Tours. They are dog-friendly too!


With its population of more than 241,000 people and an estimated 40,000 fur babies, Scottsdale is one of the most populated cities in Arizona and a great place for a getaway. One thing about Scottsdale is that they love to shop! And your fur baby is welcome in almost all of the shopping centers. The Scottsdale Quarter, Seville Shopping Center, 5th Avenue Shops & Boutiques, and Old Town Scottsdale have over 100 shops, eateries, and bars where leashed pups are welcome. 

After shopping, take your pooch to the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park, where you can take a ride on the 1950s train and carousel. Another place where fur babies are allowed is WestWorld. They have all sorts of events, from car shows to horse shows where leashed dogs are welcome. 

The city also has several dog parks including Chaparral Dog Park with three acres of fun including agility tunnels, water fountains, and a special area for active dogs. Horizon Dog Park is a bit smaller and does not have a separate space for small dogs. Vista del Camino Dog Park has water fountains, shade trees, and seating for pup parents. 

Lake Mead National Recreation Area 

Lake Mead National Recreation Area was the very first national recreation area in the United States and has 1.5 million acres. You can find mountains, lakes, valleys, canyons, rivers, and streams for boating, fishing, swimming, hiking, biking, and camping. The main reservoir is Lake Mead, which is 158,000 acres with 760 miles of lakeshore. Lake Mohave has over 26,000 acres as well so there is plenty of space to play on, in, and around the water.

If you want to stay at the park, there are 15 campgrounds with more than 900 campsites for RVs and tents. Many have utilities, restrooms with showers, playgrounds, picnic tables, and fire pits. The largest is Katherine Landing with 143 campsites on Lake Mohave. Another large one is Boulder Beach on Lake Mead which has 135 sites. 

Be sure to take your cuddly canine companion to Rotary Dog Park in Bullhead City, right outside the park. It has a separate small dog area, water, and agility stations, as well as seating and shade for pup parents. 

Sierra Vista 

Lazy Dog Ranch in Sierra Vista is the perfect spot for couples with dogs because they welcome up to three pups of any size and breed for just $10 each per night. They also offer homemade dog treats and five acres of grassy space to walk around in. The city of Sierra Vista is not huge, with just 45,000 residents and about 7,000 fur babies. And with all those pups, there is plenty for pooches and their humans to do. 

First, take a dog-friendly tour of the city so you know where everything is. The guide even shows you where unsolved mysteries, murders, and curses are located and some dog-friendly establishments as well. The two-hour walk is just over a mile long and has nine stops. If you want to see more of the natural space, the Coronado National Forest is just to the north with 1.8 million acres. 

There are over a dozen pup popular eateries in town, including Papa’s 50s Diner, Native Grill & Wings, Landmark Cafe, 143 Street Tacos, and Josie’s Frozen Yogurt for dessert. 

Petrified Forest National Park

Located in northeastern Arizona, the Petrified Forest is known for its fossils and petroglyphs. The 221,000-acre park has Triassic fossils that include fallen trees from more than 225 years ago and reptiles like phytosaurs, which were similar to dinosaurs. They even have some dinosaur fossils. The earliest people to live in the area were 13,000 years ago, and the park has over a thousand archeological sites to prove it. Your leashed pup is welcome, but keep him from disturbing the sites. 

The best way to see these things is by hiking the seven dog-friendly trails. The Blue Mesa Trail is one of the most popular, with a mile of panoramic views. The Painted Desert Rim Trail is about 1.2 miles long and features some petrified wood and geological formations. The quarter-mile Puerco Pueblo Trail takes you to a 600-year-old pueblo with petroglyphs you can see. 

While you are nearby, stop at the Painted Desert Indian Center, where you can get some authentic Native American crafts and artwork. Dogs are welcome as long as they are leashed.


Tempe is a large city just east of Phoenix with over 180,000 residents and an estimated 30,000 dogs. You will likely see some of the local fur babies and their humans hanging out at Tempe Beach Park during the summer, where they can swim, float, and fish in the Salt River. The park also has playgrounds for the little humans, ballfields, picnic areas with barbecue grills, and a hiking trail. 

The city also has seven dog parks where pooches can play without a leash. The Bark Park at Papago Park is the most pup popular with picnic tables, shade, water, and lots of room. The Tempe Sports Complex Dog Park is two acres of grass and gravel with doggie pools. Also, Mitchell Dog Park has a vast area for off-leash play for fetch, frisbee, and chase. 

If you want to do some shopping in Tempe, take your fur baby to Downtown Tempe Mill Avenue District. The pet-friendly area has retail shops, bars, restaurants, and a park where dogs are welcome. 


Pack up the family and your fur baby and get to Glendale this summer for a fun vacation with water slides, wildlife, and walking in the park. First, drop Fido at Love Your Pets Too Pet Sitting, where he can play and be pampered in style. Then, you and the family can head to Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Water Park near Phoenix. The park has 35 acres with two pools, seven water slides, three little children’s areas, and a lazy river. 

Next stop, is Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium, and Safari Park where you will find 215 acres of fun featuring over 3,000 animals in 600 different species. The safari park has 15 acres with African lions, spider monkeys, and lemurs. Dragon world includes anacondas, iguanas, Gila monsters, and crocodiles. And the aquarium has fish, sea lions, penguins, and more. 

Then, go pick up your pup and take him with you to Martin Auto Museum. The dog-friendly museum features over 170 vehicles, including a 1915 Model T, a 1966 Corvette, and a variety of hot rods.

Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest 

Located in Springerville among the Gallo Mountains, Blue Range Primitive Area, Mogollon Rim, and White Mountains, you will find the 2.7 million-acre Apache Sitgreaves National Forest. The forest has nine major lakes including Bear Canyon, Luna, Crescent, Chevelon Canyon, Black Canyon, Willow Springs, Aker, and Big Lake as well as the Blue River. Your fur baby is welcome to join you in whatever activities you like from biking to water sports. 

With more than 40 campgrounds and over 1,000 campsites, you and your pooch will have fun choosing where to stay. Fishing is one of the most popular water sports with so many lakes and access to the river. Remember to get a fishing license first. Boating and swimming are also popular and you will find hundreds of spots to take Fido to splash in the water. 

Hiking is also popular in the forest, with almost 1,000 miles of trails, from short and easy to long and labored. Always bring lots of water and doggie bags. 


Filled with parks and nature, Chandler may be a big city, but it has a lot of green space to enjoy. In fact, it is one of the most populated cities, with almost 280,000 residents and about 45,000 dogs. It was named after the first veterinarian in Arizona, Dr. Alex John Chandler, which may be why the city is so fond of fur babies. First, check into one of the many dog-friendly hotels, including Crowne Plaza Resort San Marcos, which has its own golf course.

Then, go to Snedigar Sportsplex Dog Park, where your pooch can play in the tunnels, run up and down ramps, jump over hurdles, and pee on the hydrant. Shawnee Park also has a dog park where pups are allowed off the leash. They have agility equipment, too. Nozomi Park is another place with a pup park and it has a seesaw, balance beam, hurdles, and tunnels.

For something different, the KOLI Equestrian Center is also dog-friendly. You and your leashed pup can stroll along the grounds to see the horses, and you can even have a margarita. 

The Final Woof

Arizona is not huge, but it has lots of dogs and plenty of places for pet parents to stay. There are 7,550+ dog-friendly vacation rentals, including 650 hotels, 10 bed and breakfasts, and 150 campgrounds. There are also 2,000 pup-popular restaurants, over 100 dog parks, and hundreds of pet-friendly trails. Speaking of trails, there are more than 100 trails in Grand Canyon National Park and nearly 1,000 miles of trails in Apache Sitgreaves National Forest. For a winter trip, Tucson has lots of warmth to offer those who are coming from cold areas, and Flagstaff even has snow. If it is a family vacation, take them to Phoenix, where they have Castles N Coasters Theme Park, or Glendale’s Six Flags Water Park

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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