Expert Advice

How I Took My Dogs On A 7-Day Pet-Friendly Road Trip

Take the guesswork out of planning a vacation with your pups

Raeanne V
Hilton Grand Vacations Owner Raeanne pose with her family and two dogs at red rock formations near Sedona, Arizona, while on a road trip

Hey there, dog lovers. We all know that feeling of packing for vacation and seeing your furry friend peeking from the corner, wondering if they’ll be tagging along. My family includes two 10-year-old “pups” named Maui and Kauai, who travel with us whenever possible. So it was a given that we had to choose a vacation destination where we could bring the whole family along.

Hilton Grand Vacations Owner Raeanne and her two dogs at the Grand Canyon 

Cue our road trip west to Nevada, Arizona, Utah and California. This is my seven-day dog-friendly road trip itinerary, including a day-by-day list of activities, places to eat, hiking spots and tips I learned along the way.

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you plan your trip:

  • Research pet-friendly airlines if you fly. My family and I have traveled with dogs on Alaska Airlines before, and we cannot express enough how pet friendly this airline is. Maui and Kauai are small dogs (under 20 pounds), so it’s easier to travel with them, as they can fit in a dog carrier in the airplane’s main cabin. While you can still travel with larger dogs, they will likely ride in cargo.
  • Plan your road trip during the cooler months. It gets hot out west, so please be mindful of your dogs during summer. The best time to visit is spring and autumn when the weather is mild, dry and sunny.
  • Our home base for the first half of the week was in Page, Arizona, but if you’re not too keen on driving, I recommend booking other pet-friendly hotels along the way. Luckily, Hilton Grand Vacations Owners can convert ClubPoints for Hilton Honors™ Points.
  • I highly recommend getting an “America the Beautiful” pass for $80. The pass gives you annual access to all national parks to avoid the $30 fee for each park. If you’re over 62 years old, it’s a lifetime pass.
Two small white dogs sit on a couch in a suite at a Home2Suites in Page, Arizona 

Day 1: Las Vegas To Page, Arizona

We flew from Newark to Los Angeles to Las Vegas with Alaska Airlines. LAX was a good layover spot for the pups since they have an outdoor pet relief patio in the Alaska terminal. We then picked up a rental car to drive to Page, Arizona. My parents and I are used to long car rides, so we immediately began our road trip. If you haven’t been to Vegas before or prefer to rest before driving for four hours, feel free to stay longer and explore.

Where to eat: We wanted something quick, on the way, and with outdoor seating for the pups, so we went to an In-N-Out in the suburbs of Las Vegas to eat dinner and hydrate after a long day of travel. Plus, we’re East Coasters and needed an In-N-Out fix while on the West Coast.

Tip: There are a bunch of In-N-Outs in Las Vegas so try to find one next to a Target, so that you can pick up some essentials (road trip snacks, dog beds so that dogs can be comfortable in the car and hotels, dog food, pee pads and a large pack of water).

Where to stay: Home2 Suites by Hilton Page Lake Powell was an awesome hotel because it’s so close to everything within the small town of Page. Our room was very clean, and there was a pool and hot tub. We stayed there for four days of our trip.

Red sandstone formations of Antelope Canyon near Page, Arizona 

Day 2: Page, Arizona

Where to eat: Home2Suites by Hilton Page Lake Powell offers free breakfast. Take advantage of that and enjoy breakfast sandwiches, waffles, cereal and coffee before hitting the road. We ate lunch at Dhara Thai Express and dinner at Blue Buddha Sushi Lounge. We brought the pups to dinner, so it’s definitely pet friendly. Just be sure to request a table outside.

What to do:

Antelope Canyon

  • Admission: Antelope Canyon is protected by the Navajo Parks and Recreation, so a fully guided tour is required. Reservations sell out fast, so remember to book a few months in advance. We booked an Upper Antelope Canyon reservation from 10:20 a.m.–11:50 a.m. with Antelope Slot Canyon Tours.
  • Pet friendly? Unfortunately, dogs are not allowed here, so you’ll have to leave them at the hotel for this one.
  • Tip: Page runs on Mountain Standard Time, so double-check the local time to avoid missing your reservation.

Horseshoe Bend

  • Admission: No reservations are required, just a $10 parking fee that covers the entire day. Unfortunately, the America the Beautiful pass is not accepted here.
  • Pet friendly? Yes. The trail is 0.6 miles one way, so an easy hike for you and your dogs, plus you may meet other furry friends along the way.
  • Tip: Once you get to the bend, there is a fenced viewpoint where people take pictures. I recommend walking further right (if you’re facing the bend) for a less crowded and just-as-pretty view.

Sunset at Wahweap Viewpoint at Lake Powell

  • Admission: It’s a $30 entrance fee or free with an America the Beautiful pass to enjoy the view of Navajo lands.
  • Pet friendly? Yes.
Two small dogs stand in front of the Utah state sign while on a road trip with a Hilton Grand Vacations Owner 

Day 3: Monument Valley And Arches National Park In Utah

Where to eat: We had an early morning, so we just grabbed some coffee and a quick bite at a gas station by Monument Valley. We stopped at Moab Food Truck Park for dinner, where I enjoyed sushi from AK Roll & Bowl.

Tip: Pack a picnic for lunch, and maximize your time at Arches National Park, especially since food is unavailable within the park. We picnicked across the street from Balanced Rock.

What to do:

Monument Valley

We took a little detour to get a picture of the dogs in front of the Utah sign since it’s the 20th state they’ve been to. We also drove through Forrest Gump Point for a quick view of Monument Valley. This scenic rest stop is almost halfway between the hotel and the Arches.

Arches National Park

  • Admission: Reservations are required to enter the park between April 1 and October 30. The $30 entrance fee is waived with the America the Beautiful pass.
  • Pet friendly? Dogs are allowed in the park but not on the trails. Our family took some pics with the dogs at the trailhead and took turns watching the dogs when we wanted to explore further.
  • Points of interest: Be sure to see Balanced Rock and the Windows. Delicate Arch is an iconic site; I broke away from my parents and the dogs to see it in real life.
Hilton Grand Vacations Owner Raeanne at Bryce Canyon in Utah while on a pet-friendly road trip 

Day 4: Bryce Canyon National Park And Coral Pink Sand Dunes In Utah

Where to eat: Stop at Hot n Sweet Coffee and Donut Shop for breakfast and Fiesta Mexicana for dinner. Pack lunch again for a picnic since Bryce also has picnic areas.

What to do:

Bryce Canyon National Park

  • Admission: The $30 entrance fee is waived with the America the Beautiful pass.
  • Pet friendly? Bryce Canyon is a national park, so dogs are not allowed on hiking trails. However, many of Bryce’s stopping points are overlooks, where the dogs can go.
  • Points of interestRainbow PointNatural BridgeSunset Point and Navajo Trail

Sunset sandboarding at Coral Pink Sand Dunes Park

  • Admission: Admission costs $10 per vehicle. Sandboard rentals were $25 for the day.
  • Pet friendly? Yes.
  • Tip: This location is off the beaten path, so fewer tourists are here. I went sandboarding, but there are also ATV tours, camping and rappelling. Go around sunset for gorgeous pictures.
Hilton Grand Vacations Owner Raeanne and her family (plus two pets) pose at the Grand Canyon while on a road trip 

Day 5: Grand Canyon National Park

Where to eat: We enjoyed free breakfast from the hotel, a picnic with a view of the Grand Canyon and dinner at Hula’s Modern Tiki in Scottsdale, Arizona. This Hawaiian restaurant was super dog-friendly. They gave us bowls and dog treats with little bows for Maui and Kauai.

What to do:

Grand Canyon National Park

The drive from Page to Scottsdale is four hours and 22 minutes, but the Grand Canyon is along the way. We used that as a stopping point to split the drive to Scottsdale and check off another national park from our bucket lists.

  • Admission: A $30 entrance fee or free with an America the Beautiful pass
  • Pet friendly? Yes, but dogs aren’t allowed on trails since this is also a national park.
  • Points of interestLipan PointMoran PointGrandview Point and Mather Point

Where to stay: Our accommodations in Scottsdale were sadly not dog friendly. However, we found the best dog sitter on Rover, who gave us daily updates of the pups with pictures. If you prefer to stay with you dogs, there’s a pet-friendly Home2 Suites in Scottsdale.

Hilton Grand Vacations Owner Raeanne stops in Sedona while on a road trip with her family and two dogs 

Day 6: Sedona, Arizona

Sedona, Arizona, is two hours away from Scottsdale. We were only here for the day, but we loved it and recommend staying for a night or two.

Where to eat: We picked up food for a lunch picnic at Boynton Canyon and dined at Sumomaya in Scottsdale. Sedona has a bunch of restaurants to enjoy there.

Red Rock State Park

  • Admission: Red Rock State Park isn't a national park, so it doesn’t have the normal $30 entrance fee. A Red Rock Pass for the park is $5 a day, $15 a week or $20 a year. Fortunately, the America the Beautiful Pass is accepted here, so we didn’t have to pay these fees.
  • Pet friendly? Yes. Since this isn’t a national park, dogs are allowed on the trails.
  • Points of interestBell RockChapel of the Holy CrossBoynton Canyon and Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village
Hilton Grand Vacations Owner Raeanne sit in outdoor seating under a yellow umbrella in Old Town Scottsdale, Arizona, with her two dogs 

Day 7: Scottsdale, Arizona, To Los Angeles, California

For our last day, we drove to LA, the final stop in our road trip to visit family. If you prefer to skip LA, you can fly out from Phoenix, Arizona. If you haven’t been to LA, I recommend continuing the road trip to explore the SoCal beaches (like Santa Monica) or visit Griffith Observatory for a view of the city.

What to do:

Old Town Scottsdale

We didn’t stay here long since we had to continue our road trip, but my favorite shop was Bischoff’s classic Western-style souvenirs. We also stopped at Fourtillfour for coffee and pastries before heading out.

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park is a three-hour-and-36-minute drive from Scottsdale and on the way to LA. Since we didn’t want to arrive in LA too late, we stopped by for a picnic. If you haven’t explored Joshua Tree National Park, I totally recommend it. Explore Palm Springs, California, while there as well.

  • Admission: A $30 entrance fee or free with an America the Beautiful pass
  • Pet friendly? Yes, but not on the trails.

Read “7 Hilton Grand Vacations Owners Dish On The Perks Of Hilton Honors Membership” and see more ways you can use Hilton Honors Points to upgrade your vacations.

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Hilton Grand Vacations Owner Raeanne surfing while on vacation in Hawaii

Raeanne V

Raeanne’s been an Owner since 2019. One of her highlights of ownership was using her ClubPoints to WFH (work from Hawaii) for three nonconsecutive months. Follow Raeanne to satiate your travel bug for adventurous vacations.

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