Many Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management wilderness areas allow dogs and they are very welcome. As long as the dogs are leashed or under voice control. Leashes must be no more than 6 feet in length and popular areas, trails and destinations may be closed to dogs, or leashes may be required. It is important to note that most National Parks and Fish and Wildlife Service wilderness areas do not allow dogs. Where they are allowed, dogs must be leashed at all times. Make sure to read the specific regulations on a park’s website or brochure before arriving. Regulations prohibiting dogs do not apply to service animals (dogs) accompanying a person with a disability. Emotional support or therapy dogs, or other animals, are not defined as service animals by the American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA) and thus are prohibited in areas where dogs are not allowed. Before departing on your trip, be sure to check the agency regulations regarding dogs for the wilderness you want to visit.
You should leash a dog when it’s required AND:
If your dog does not have a flawless recall.
If your dog is a wanderer. Lost dogs can be very difficult to find in the wilderness, so prevent your dog from becoming lost in the first place.
When meeting or passing other visitors on a trail. This is especially important if they have dogs and/or children with them.
When meeting or passing pack strings on a trail. Move well off the trail (to the downhill side if possible) and start talking in a calm voice to the riders and horses BEFORE they reach you. Stay still and avoid spooking stock.
When camping near other visitors.
At destinations where other visitors are present.
During storms, especially if your dog is afraid of thunder. Scared dogs tend to run and can easily become lost.