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Camping trip summer 2013 with dog

Vancouver, Canada
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Camping trip summer 2013 with dog

Hi all! Ok, I really should know better than this, but I'm posting before reading too much, so if the answers to my questions are already common in the forums, save your breath - I'll find them. :>

The big picture is a 2 week driving trip from Vancouver, heading east out through southern BC, down through Waterton Glacier to Yellowstone for 4 or 5 days. The rest of the trip is pretty vague, but I'm thinking probably Grand Teton and Eastern Washington and hit the I-5 for the trip home somewhere between Portland and Seattle. We will have a tent trailer and I'm planning to bring our very small dog. I am aware of the dog policies in Yellowstone.

I thought I'd try to get started on just the Yellowstone part of the trip, as that is the main focus, and then nail down the rest of the details later. I'm also under the impression that I need to get going on my bookings for the NP as it fills up quickly.

A couple, front of mind questions as I start to put this together:

- I've had it recommended to me that we kennel the dog while we visit Yellowstone, but if we come in via Glacier and leave towards Grand Teton, then we have a logistics problem. Any suggestions for the best way to resolve this? Perhaps we have the dog with us for a couple of days, then head to the closest dog kennel and just kennel him while we visit the key attractions where dogs are not welcome. He's a very small dog - I call him our "bait dog" for a reason - so I do understand the risks of bringing him into the park.

Ok, I had another fairly specific question, which I've completely forgotten now. I hate that. Anyway, any information that might be helpful with relation to camping and campsites within Yellowstone, and also supplies - I find I need to shop almost every day when camping.

Thanks! I will do my own reading as well and promise to return better informed. :>

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: Camping trip summer 2013 with dog

I remember! It was about timing (and I see a TQ there about that). I was thinking of getting going as soon as the kids get out of school at the end of June, but then it occurred to me that many of the US schools head back at the end of August, while we're out until Labour Day, so doing the trip at the end of August might be better. Thoughts?

N. Idaho
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2. Re: Camping trip summer 2013 with dog

Either is a good time. Weather will probably be better the end of August, but it can snow at either time. That likely won't be as much an issue for you as for someone coming from Florida!

I do not think the kennel thing will be easy to work out. Last time someone asked, I believe the nearest kennel facilities were in Bozeman. In thinking about logistics, I wonder if kenneling in Idaho Falls might be a possibility (and I do NOT know anything about kennels there!). You could then enter thru the West gate, do Yellowstone, drop down to Grand Teton and then head over Teton Pass to Idaho Falls to pick up your dog.

Pam

Gardiner, Montana
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3. Re: Camping trip summer 2013 with dog

As Pam said, weather should be fairly similar in both late June and late August, but the crowds will be very different. Since a good number of kids have gone back to school in AUgust, you will see many more single travelers, couples, and then the other families that were thinking the same as you. While the destinations within the park are a bit more sporadic in terms of crowds, I personally find that traffic is a bit worse in August and September because more couples traveling means there is a car for every 2 people rather than a car per family.

For kennels, there is also one in the Paradise Valley area between Livingston and Gardiner called Querencia Kennels which could be an option depending upon where you decide to stay. There is also a kennel in Victor, ID (I can't remember the name, but I have used them and they were very nice - great clean kennels with a dog run and yard for dogs who socialize well!). That would work similarly to the Idaho Falls itinerary Pam suggested - the drive time to drop him off in VIctor and return to the West Gate at West Yellowstone would be similar, but your return time to pick him up would be much less as it is only about 25 miles/35 minutes from Jackson to Victor over Teton Pass.

USA
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4. Re: Camping trip summer 2013 with dog

I see a lot of folks in the campgrounds with dogs. They then take the dog with them, leaving the pup in the vehicle while walking the boardwalks & trails, returning to the vehicle to walk the dog along the side of the parking lot. Lots of folks are walking dogs in the campgrounds. Of course, one has to pick up after one's pup!

Dogs should have all shots, including parvo, for any national park.

Edited: 16 November 2012, 18:03
Billings, Montana
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5. Re: Camping trip summer 2013 with dog

I go to the park multiple times each year and always see dogs in the park. I no longer take my dog with me to because my grandson and I take numerous hikes that are sometimes between 2-8 hours in length and leaving a dog in a car with the windows up is just not fair or right. That being said, before I got into hiking I took my dog many times and it worked out fine. There are still times, especially when I see other dogs, that I wish I had mine with me. I will probably take him with us on our April to May trips next year as we do not hike on those trips.

However, you do have to realize that bringing a dog will curtail or affect what attractions you will be able to see/experience. You will not be able to have a window cracked when you leave your dog in your vehicle so you really have to be aware of where you park your car and how long you leave the dog in the car. Most parking lots will not have shaded areas. There is an area at Old Faithful that I've been able to get a shaded parking spot. Going in early to mid-June would be better than later in the summer for daily temperatures.

You can not leave animals in any of the cabins/hotel rooms inside the park.

Earlier this year we were at one of the lookouts at the lower falls. A lady had her dog in one of the "dog strollers" that you can buy. It was actually a medium size dog. It had water with it and was able to get air because of the mesh. She didn't have to worry about it being on a leash (though she had one with her) or getting into trouble. I thought it was a neat idea.

Deb

USA
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6. Re: Camping trip summer 2013 with dog

Hey Deb, this from the Y-stone regs regarding pets implies cracking windows in vehicles for safety of the pet:

"If necessary, pets may remain in your vehicle while you are viewing attractions near roads and parking areas. However, we care about your pet's well being. Be sure to provide sufficient ventilation for its comfort and survival."

www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/pets.htm

Billings, Montana
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7. Re: Camping trip summer 2013 with dog

denalicat.....it is interesting that it is stated that way. I wouldn't leave my window down or "cracked" with food items inside the car and I view a dog as a "food item". I've always parked in shaded areas whenever possible and I've used battery-operated fans to circulate the air inside my car. I've done that when I've had to take my special needs kitty on trips with me where she's had to stay in the car while we were hiking. I suppose a person could leave the car running in one of the parking lots with the air-conditioner on and just have an extra key.

All I know is that I personally would have a hard time leaving the window open even if it was just a crack but that's just me. My dog that I had when my daughter was younger was small and I used to take him lots of places in the park under my sweatshirt (her head would poke out under my sweatshirt). There was one time I was at the Firehole swimming area with her and there was a ranger standing right next to me.....that was a long time ago way, way before there were wooden stairs there. He never had a problem with it. However, I would never think of doing that now.

Deb

USA
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8. Re: Camping trip summer 2013 with dog

Vancouverite, you asked "Anyway, any information that might be helpful with relation to camping and campsites within Yellowstone, and also supplies - I find I need to shop almost every day when camping."

When I camp in Yellowstone, I bring all my supplies into the park with me since prices are higher in the park.

Canyon Campground might suit you well on the east side of the park, since it is right by Canyon village with restaurants, an outdoor supply store, visitor center, general store. The plus about Canyon Campground is that you can reserve campsites ahead of time and it is located well to access Lamar and Hayden valleys for wildlife viewing and is near the magnificent grand canyon of the Yellowstone. Canyon is the only campground in the eastern park area with showers & laundry.

Madison Campground also takes reservations and is on the west side of the park near Old Faithful & the geyser areas. From Madison campground it is a pretty drive out to West Yellowstone for dinner or to pick up supplies.

I've stayed at both & they are good campgrounds. It is helpful to split your campgrounds with half your time one one side of the park & half at the other since traveling takes so long in the huge park.

If, however, you would rather choose one campground, unhook your camper, not have to move it again & stay there, I would chose Canyon since it is most centrally located.

Have fun planning!

Edited: 17 November 2012, 15:18
Yellowstone Nat...
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9. Re: Camping trip summer 2013 with dog

Good for the OP for planning to kennel the dog rather than bring it into the park. It is said that YNP lost an entire season of wolf pups one year, and all but one another year, due largely to parvo and distemper. There are people who will tell you that YNP is simply not a place to bring a domestic dog.

Vancouver, Canada
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10. Re: Camping trip summer 2013 with dog

I appreciate that bringing the dog can be a bit contentious. He is fully up to date on all of his shots and I will make sure all the necessary boosters have been done before we come. I can't in conscience, leave a dog in a sealed car in hot summer weather for more that 10 minutes. They can't cool themselves like we can and will expire in heat much more quickly. I was thinking a doggy carry bag - like a small duffel bag that he would be zipped into - but I'm not clear if that would be a problem in the areas where dogs are not allowed.

Thanks for all the advice. I'll have to spend some time with a map to get more familiar with the locations you are recommending and figure it out. I do remember from my visit to Yellowstone as a kid that its a big park, so I need to plan this out carefully. Showers at the campsite will be important, but I think we probably will move to a couple of different spots in the park.

Stay tuned....!