Welcome to the ultimate guide for a dog friendly road trip from Las Vegas to Cathedral Gorge! If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Las Vegas and explore Nevada’s stunning desert landscapes with your furry friend, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve put together 5 must-see spots on your journey, that takes you from the bright lights of the Strip to the natural wonders of Cathedral Gorge State Park, with plenty of dog-friendly stops and activities along the way. So pack up the car, grab your pup, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure through the Southwest!
Valley of Fire State Park is a natural wonder located in the Mojave Desert, about 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas, Nevada. The park is known for its stunning red sandstone formations, petroglyphs, and unique geological features. The park has tons of hiking trails, scenic drives, and picnic areas for everyone to enjoy. If you plan on extending your stay, there are plenty of campsites to choose from, I highly suggest getting to the campsites early to have the best chance of securing a spot. The park is also home to a variety of desert wildlife, including bighorn sheep, jackrabbits, and lizards.
Best time to visit: October to April – the temperatures range between 50°F to 70°F (10°C to 21°C).
Camping options: There are two official campgrounds at the park: Arch Rock Campground and Atlatl Rock Campground. If you have an RV/Trailer then I suggest trying to find a spot at Atlatl Rock Campground as that campground has hook ups for your home on wheels. There are a total of 72 sites, each with a shaded table, grill, and water nearby. There are also showers, restrooms, and a dump station available for campers. The campsites are first-come, first-serve, but reservations can be made for group sites. Backcountry camping requires a permit and is only allowed in designated areas. Be sure to check the campground website to stay on top of camping options.
A friendly reminder that there is no cell service at the park.
This 1-mile round trip trail leads to the park’s colorful sandstone formations.
Note that this photo was taken across from the entrance to Rainbow Vista.
A 1-mile round trip hike that is perfect for all kinds of hikers. Well-marked and relatively flat. The trailhead is located near the east entrance of the park and can be accessed from the main road.
A moderate, 1.5-mile out-and-back hike. The trail is relatively flat and well-marked but can be hot and exposed during the summer months. Be sure to bring plenty of water and wear sturdy hiking shoes. You can make this into a roundtrip trail by adding on Pink Canyon.
This 1.1-mile round-trip trail leads hikers through a slot canyon and past unique white sandstone formations.
Kershaw-Ryan State Park is a beautiful and peaceful oasis located in the southern part of Nevada. The park offers a variety of pet-friendly activities, including hiking trails and picnicking, making it a great destination for a day trip or a weekend getaway with your furry friend.
One of the main attractions of Kershaw-Ryan State Park is its hiking trails, which offer stunning views of the surrounding mountains and desert landscape. The park has two main hiking trails: the Lower Trail and the Upper Trail.
Personally, I think one of the best parts about this area, is the cute downtown area of nearby Caliente. From a quilting store to coffee shops, this town has tons to offer.
Also called Texas Dry Lake, it is located in the Paharangat Valley area of Lincoln County, Nevada. The dry lakebed is surrounded by mountains, making for a rugged and unspoiled landscape.
Go ghost hunting at this abandoned mine town! Beware that the road can be arguably scarier than the town itself.
I highly recommend a vehicle with high clearance to make the trip. The road to the town is a narrow road on the side of a cliff and there are no great turnaround spots if you chose to bail.
Cathedral Gorge State Park is a stunning destination located in eastern Nevada, known for its unique geologic formations and scenic beauty. The park offers several pet-friendly trails that are perfect for exploring with your furry friend.
One of the park’s must-see attractions is the Moon Caves, a series of narrow slot canyons that wind through the park’s dramatic rock formations. These canyons provide a unique hiking experience and offer some of the best photo opportunities in the park.
Moon Caves, also known as Cathedral Caves, are a unique and stunning geological formation found in various parts of the world. These caves are typically formed by erosion caused by natural processes such as wind, water, or volcanic activity.
This viewpoint offers visitors a panoramic vista of Cathedral Gorge’s stunning rock formations and dramatic canyons, with a bird’s-eye view of the park’s unique geological features.
In conclusion, a dog-friendly road trip through Nevada’s Southwest is an adventure that both you and your furry friend will never forget. From the stunning rock formations and petroglyphs in Valley of Fire State Park to the serene hiking trails in Kershaw-Ryan State Park and the breathtaking vistas of Basin and Range National Monument, there are countless pet-friendly destinations to explore.
To ensure a successful dog-friendly road trip, it’s important to choose the right vehicle, pack essential items for your dog, and research rules and regulations for pets in each park. Finding pet-friendly campgrounds and being respectful of other campers is also crucial.
Overall, Nevada’s Southwest is an ideal destination for a dog-friendly road trip, filled with endless opportunities for adventure and unforgettable memories. With proper planning and preparation, you and your furry companion can enjoy all the wonders that this beautiful region has to offer. Comment below and let me know what your favorite spot was.
In 2017, I quit my job and dropped out of school to set out on a path less traveled. Since then, I have ventured across the world, built a van and created a life that both scares me and fulfills me at the same time. And I’ve never looked back.