We welcome your furry friends here in the Tetons with a wide variety of pet-friendly accommodations, restaurants, and trails you can enjoy together.
Deciding whether or not to bring your dog to Jackson is an important decision that requires planning, especially if you intend to visit the national parks. To protect local wildlife, dogs aren’t welcome everywhere, so it’s important to know before you go to ensure everyone has a great time exploring this beautiful area together.
Recreating with dogs
We consider it a privilege to be able to enjoy these wild spaces with our pets. We know if you made it this far you’re a conscientious pet owner and you always pick up and properly dispose of dog waste, follow local leash laws, and make sure your dog is under strict voice control if not on a leash. In Jackson, it’s especially important to ensure your dog doesn’t disturb wildlife, other dogs, or even the occasional horse you may pass on the trails.
Here are a few local regulations for recreating with dogs specific to each land management entity:
- In Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks and the National Elk Refuge, a good rule of thumb is that dogs can only go where cars can (paved and gravel roads, campgrounds, picnic areas, etc.) as long as they’re leashed at all times. Dogs are NOT allowed on any trails in these areas.
- On national forest and Bureau of Land Management lands, pets are allowed on trails and in the backcountry unless otherwise posted. Dogs are required to be leashed in many trailhead areas and must be leashed at all times if not under strict voice control. The trailhead area includes roads, parking areas, and kiosk areas. Sometimes the leash law extends further up the trail in particularly busy areas.
- Each of our three ski areas has their own policy, but generally dogs are prohibited on ski runs in the winter and are allowed off leash on hiking trails (but not mountain biking trails) in the summer. Snow King Mountain is the most pet-friendly place to bring your pooch in the summer, with an extensive trail system and plenty of other furry friends to meet.
- When visiting towns, dogs are welcome in public areas as long as they’re leashed except for most Town of Jackson parks, where dogs are prohibited (with the exception of service dogs).
- At this time the Town of Jackson doesn’t have a permanent dog park, but in the winter a temporary park can be found at the Teton County Fairgrounds on Snow King Avenue.
Trails for dogs
There are thousands of miles of trails in the forest to explore, but here are a few of our close-to-town year-round favorites:
Rendezvous Park, Emily’s Pond, Snake River Levee
These easy to moderate year-round stroll along the Snake River is a popular spot for a quick jaunt and is groomed for skiing in the winter. You’ll meet lots of other locals and their pups, enjoy spectacular views of the Tetons, and see a variety of birds and river wildlife. Be sure to keep your dog close since moose are common in the area. Dogs must be leashed at the trailhead.
Cache Creek trails
Close to downtown Jackson, these trails are a fairly easy trek that are great for dogs on vacation. The trails — including the Putt Putt, Ferrin’s, and Hagen — are accessible year-round, but some of the adjacent trails are closed for winter, so please respect those closures. These trails are groomed for skiing and snow biking in the winter, and sometimes the snow is packed down enough that you may not need your skis or snowshoes — but be sure to pack them just in case! Dogs must be leashed at the trailhead, and rangers/ambassadors frequent the area to remind you.
Snow King Mountain trail
This heart-pumping 3.8-mile trail leads to the top of Snow King Mountain and offers stunning views of the surrounding area, including the Town of Jackson and the Tetons. Open to dogs from April through December when the ski area is closed.
This is a 5.0-mile out-and-back moderately challenging trail on Teton Pass with a nice place to cool off at the end. It’s a very popular area for birding, hiking, and walking, so you’ll likely encounter other people and dogs while exploring. Open year-round, but going in winter requires snowshoes or a backcountry skiing setup, as the trail is not maintained.
Perfect for a hot afternoon dip, Slide Lake is named for a historic slide that interrupted the flow of the Gros Ventre River and created a natural dam. There’s only about a mile or so of trail around the lake, but the surrounding Gros Ventre wilderness has trails galore. We recommend you rent a paddleboard or practice your fly fishing technique while you’re there, or just take a picnic and sit on the beach while you watch your pup happily play in the mountain water with new friends. Best on warm spring, summer, and fall days.
Join the local ranks as a “poop fairy” by picking up at least one extra bag during each outing and leaving the trails better than you found them. After all, we all forget sometimes.
Après hike: Where to dine with your pup
Dogs aren’t allowed inside most restaurants unless considered a service or companion dog. However, they’re welcome on just about any deck. You’ll likely rub elbows with local pups at:
- Healthy Being Juicery
- Persephone Bakery
- Haydens Pos
- Hatch Taqueria
- The Bird
- Cafe Genevieve
- Cutty’s Bar and Grill
- Snake River Brewing
- Dornans Chuckwagon
Bringing your pup along for the day isn’t always practical or possible, especially as you head into the national parks, so plan ahead to leave your dog on a play day of their own at a local border.
Experienced and trail-savvy locals happy to spoil your pooch for the day can be found on the Rover app.
How to give back
More than 75 mutt mitt stations in Teton County service 10,000 dogs and their owners. The stations are paid for and managed by PAWS, Parks & Recreation, Pathways, and various businesses and HOAs. Mutt mitts are free to everyone, but a donation to support PAWS is a great way to give back to our community if you and your pup enjoyed your visit.