top of page

Is Big Bend Dog Friendly?

The Ultimate Guide to Visiting Big Bend with Your Dog

Pet-Friendly Information Big Bend | Pets in Terlingua | Pet Rules Big Bend

Dog Friendly Cafe Espresso Y Poco Mas & Dog Friendly Lodging Starstruck Glamping
Dog Friendly Cafe Espresso Y Poco Mas & Dog Friendly Lodging Starstruck Glamping

Dogs are a part of the family & can be great travel companions. When visiting Big Bend, it's important to understand the benefits & limitations of traveling with your pet.

Terlingua is a dog-friendly town, but it's missing a kennel. Big Bend National Park doesn't welcome pets on trails, while Big Bend Ranch State Park has a couple of dog-friendly hikes. Below is everything you need to know about Pet-Friendly options when visiting Big Bend. From lodging & hiking to dining & kennels - This is the comprehensive guide to visiting Big Bend with your furry friend.


Keep in mind that service animals are not considered pets. They are working animals serving someone with a disability. Service Animals can lodge, hike, & dine anywhere their owner desires. Emotional support animals are not service animals & are typically treated the same as pets.


Lodging with Dogs

There are few dog-friendly establishments in the area. Starstruck Glamping is a great choice when traveling with your pup!

Geodesic Dome in desert with outdoor kitchen, fire pit lounge area & pretty mountain backdrop
Starstruck Glamping

Hiking with Dogs

Big Bend National Park has ZERO dog-friendly hikes. Like most national parks, the rules are strict regarding pets. Pets are not allowed on any trails within the park. However, they CAN keep you company in the car for the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive & on paved areas such as the Fossil Exhibit, Sotol Vista, & Chisos Basin.

Big Bend Ranch State Park has 2 dog-friendly hikes:

  1. Closed Canyon Trail - This 1.4-mile out & back allows dogs on the leash & features a beautiful slot canyon.

  2. Big Bend Hoodoos Trail - This 1.2-mile loop allows dogs on the leash & features the Rio Grande River & cool rock formations.

Dog Friendly Trail in Big Bend Ranch State Park - Closed Canyon
Closed Canyon Trail - Dog Friendly

Lajitas Airport - The Lajitas Airport is a trailhead for multiple dog-friendly trails. The trailhead begins at the small parking lot beside the Lajitas Airport entrance. Loop 2, Jackrabbit Flats, is 3 miles. Loop 3, Brennecke Loop, is 5.5 miles. These connect to various trails, which can add up to 10 miles depending on the route.

Alpine has a walkable downtown perfect for perusing shops with your pup. There is also 1 dog-friendly hike: Hancock Hill. This 1.8-mile loop trail starts at Sul Ross State University parking lot. The trail features a "bike tree" & "the Desk" where you can leave your mark. There is 301 ft of elevation gain, & the views allow you to see all of Alpine & beyond.

Dining with Dogs

Dining in Terlingua can be a huge part of your vacation experience. Luckily, most restaurants are dog-friendly.

Espresso Y Poco Mas is the perfect place to grab coffee & breakfast with your dog. Their shaded outdoor seating welcomes dogs with water bowls.

Venga is a great breakfast or lunch cafe that allows your dog to sit inside in the air conditioning, or outside on the lovely patio.

DB's BBQ allows dogs in their indoor/outdoor dining room.

The following restaurants allow dogs in their outdoor seating: Long Draw Pizza

El Gordo's Grill

High Sierra Bar & Grill

La Kiva

Starlight Theatre

Taqueria El Milagro

Candelilla Cafe

Boardwalk Bakery

Bella Bean

Bad Rabbit


There are no kennels in the Big Bend region. When visiting it's important to have a plan for your dog. Find out your lodging accommodations policy. Some places will not allow you to leave your dog behind unattended, some don't allow dogs at all. Between the several dog-friendly hikes & dining options they can join you for your day. However, if you plan to hike in Big Bend NP or do excursions like river tours or horseback riding, it may be best to have an alternative plan for your dog.


Overall, Terlingua can be a great place to visit with your dog. However, if you are coming to the region specifically for hiking, excursions & the Hot Springs, you will need a plan for your pet as they are not allowed on any trails within Big Bend National Park. Without a kennel, the only alternative is to spend your day exploring dog-friendly areas like Big Bend Ranch State Park and Lajitas Airport. Dining with your dog is easy in Terlingua.

*Hugs* for all the good boys & girls.

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page