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Kristen Pope worked in partnership to create this Travel Tip.

Going on vacation doesn’t mean you have to leave your dog behind. With dog-friendly hotels, lodging, and recreation options throughout the state, it’s easy to bring your four-legged best friend on an Idaho vacation.

two people on an outdoor patio with a dog
Bring your furry friend along for the adventure. Photo credit: Limelight Hotels.

It’s always a good idea to call a hotel, restaurant, or recreation destination ahead of time to confirm pet policies since they can change at any time. Some hotels only allow dogs under a certain size, some have breed restrictions, and most require an additional pet fee.  Many also have leash requirements and rules saying animals not be left unattended or may only be left in a kennel. Bring Fido is a helpful resource that includes a number of dog-friendly lodging options, restaurants, and more throughout Idaho and beyond. Below are just a sampling of the many pet-friendly options the state has to offer.

Ketchum

Located in central Idaho, Sun Valley is the perfect place to take your favorite four-legged friend on a hike. Check out these 10 dog-friendly hiking trails and go for a short stroll in Adams Gulch or a longer, 4-mile loop in Chocolate Gulch for views of the Pioneer and Smoky mountains, or take a more strenuous hike up Taylor Canyon—be sure to pack plenty of water for you and your pup.

Galena Lodge isn’t too far away and is a great option for dog-friendly recreation, including numerous hiking trails. The day lodge also offers lunch and has plenty of dog-friendly outdoor seating. Be sure to be very careful near the road and keep dogs leashed—cars drive through quickly.

man and woman on bed with dog
Cozy up! Photo credit: Limelight Hotels.

After a day exploring the outdoors, stay at the centrally located Limelight Hotel which has a “proud pup-friendly tradition for more than 40 years,” according to the hotel’s website. While some areas—including those that serve food—are off limits to canines, most of the hotel is very pup-friendly, even providing bowls and dog beds in the rooms.

Enjoy a tasty bite at the Limelight Lounge, which allows dogs to join humans on the outdoor patio, or head over to Grumpy’s for a burger or Johnny G’s Sub Shack for a dog-friendly dining experience.

Cottonwood

Head to northern Idaho to check out the Lewis and Clark Trail, visit the Monastery of St. Gertrude, or go whitewater rafting or jet boating near Cottonwood.

dog shaped hotel
Stay the night in this unique property. Photo Credit: Dog Bark Park.

Then, after a fun-filled day, settle in for a night at the Dog Bark Park Inn B&B. It’s not just dog-friendly—it’s also shaped like a dog. Dubbed the “world’s biggest beagle,” this friendly, artist-run B&B includes abundant doggie décor as well as an array of folk-art style wooden carvings depicting dozens of breeds of dogs, which are available for purchase in the gift shop.

The pet policy at Dog Bark Park is “responsible pets arriving with their well-behaved humans are welcome to stay with prior approval,” so be sure to call ahead and make sure the inn is a good fit for your pooch.

Coeur d’Alene

Soak up the scenery and enjoy a walk with your pup at Tubbs Hill, which provides a number of stunning trails where leashed dogs are welcome. Or opt for the North Idaho Centennial Trail, a 23-mile multi-use paved route. For even more dog-friendly fun head to Cherry Hill Dog Park or Central Bark Dog Park.

After a day of fun in the sun, rest your weary heads at The Roosevelt Inn. This dog-friendly hotel even provides a pup amenity kit complete with a bandana and tennis ball, along with treats and clean-up bags.

man and woman on patio with dog
Patio vibes. Photo Credit: The Roosevelt Inn/Jumping Rocks Photography.

For dining, there are a number of pet-friendly options in the area such as Seasons of Coeur d’Alene which offers outdoor, dog-friendly seating. Roger’s Ice Cream and Burgers features ample outdoor seating to enjoy a bite. For a sweet treat, stop by Abi’s Ice Cream, which is so dog-friendly it even offer dog sorbet and treats to enjoy outdoors.

McCall

On the shores of Payette Lake, leashed dogs are welcome at Ponderosa State Park with one exception: they are not allowed in the buoyed swim area. However, the park offers plenty of hiking trails and other areas to enjoy.

Kids walking on a log in a forest
Hiking, Ponderosa State Park. Photo Credit: Idaho Tourism

McCall features a number of dog-friendly lodging options, such as Third Street Inn and Rustic Inn, which both offer some dog-friendly rooms (call ahead).

Enjoy craft beer along with a variety of menu items like the black-and-blue elk burger and smoked salmon street tacos at Salmon River Brewery, or grab a burger (from classic to vegetarian to chicken) at My Father’s Place, which both offer outdoor dog-friendly seating.

Feature image credited to Limelight Hotels.

Kristen Pope is a freelance writer and editor who writes about outdoor adventure, science, conservation, and travel for NationalGeographic.com, Backpacker, Audubon.com, Western Confluence, and Discover, just to name a few. Visit her at www.kepope.com.


Published on May 28, 2019