Dog-Friendly Day Trips from Las Vegas

As we’ve talked about on this blog before, Las Vegas isn’t the most pet-friendly city you’ll visit. It’s starting to change, with hotels like the Delano and the Cosmopolitan leading the way on the Strip, and businesses like Lazy Dog introducing the pet-friendly trend into the community. But dog-friendly spaces on the Strip are little to non-existent. You can’t walk them freely through casinos, there are time restrictions on when they can walk on Las Vegas Boulevard, and most hotels that allow them on the property want you to kennel them while you’re not with them.

So while you’re here, you might consider taking a day-trip. Your dog will enjoy the chance to stretch his legs and explore some new smells, and you’ll get to see more than just that 4-mile stretch of Vegas. Your trip doesn’t have to be elaborate; Sunset Park is about 15 minutes away and offers a great space for walking or socializing inside their dog parks. You can also check out some of the suggestions I listed in my Dog-Friendly Travel Guide to Las Vegas. In that case, consider leaving behind the bright lights of the Las Vegas Strip and taking a day trip to one of the places listed below.

Before you go:

* I consider a “day trip” anything I can do within the span 12-17 hours.
* The average drive time for these trips is 4 ½ hours or less, depending on traffic conditions – and how much you go over the speed limit. *

Big Bear

Big Bear and its beautiful lake are 3 ½ hours away from Las Vegas. It’s a popular place to go in the winter time for its skiing, but it’s gorgeous any time of year. You and your pooch have plenty of hiking trails to choose from, like Alpine Pedal or Castle Rock paths, or you can take a walk along the lake. When you’re done, you can reward them with a treat at Oliver’s Emporium or eat at Nottingham’s Tavern, where they have a menu curated for pets.

Valley of Fire

by Lauryn Howell
Located south of Las Vegas along the Interstate 15, Valley of Fire State Park about an hour drive away from the city. It’s a great place to take dynamic photographs, and if you’re traveling with pets, it’s a great option to visit in the spring and fall months. Explore places like Elephant Rock, hike up or check out the petroglyphs at Mouse’s Tank or Atlatl Rock.

Red Rock

Red Rock National Conservation Area is an ideal place for humans and pets alike to visit. Taking the necessary heat precautions are especially important in the summer in Red Rock; most of the trails don’t offer much in the way of shade from the hot sun. It’s gorgeous any of time of year, but winter adventurers can still bike, hike and camp to their heart’s content.
Death Valley Death Valley has the most restrictions on this list when it comes to pets, but it’s not an impossible place to visit. If you want to stay near Death Valley, check out the Stovepipe Wells Village for lodging. When you get to the park itself, you can camp and picnic with your dogs, but they aren’t allowed on any of the hiking trails. Instead, you can walk along Twenty Mule Team Canyon Road for some cool views, or Chloride City Road if it’s a little too hot in the valley itself.

Horseshoe Bend

Horseshoe Bend is a beautiful mountain view located in Northern Arizona. It’s the furthest place away from Vegas on this list, at 4 ½ to 5 hours, and is ideal to visit either at sunrise or sunset. I’d recommend this only if your dog is young or in good shape; it’s about a mile hike, but it’s not an easy one. If you and your dog want to avoid crowds, I’d suggest going at sunrise.


Flagstaff is a gorgeous little town in central Arizona, and is about fours away from Las Vegas. You and your dog can explore the snow-covered mountains in the winter or enjoy long walks through their picturesque parks. If you’re feeling even more adventurous, you can drive an additional forty minutes to Sedona, and explore the Coconino National Forest.

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