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Exploring America’s National Grasslands With Dogs

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America’s national grasslands may not be as well-known as our national parks, but they offer a unique and pet-friendly experience for travelers. These vast expanses of grassland are the perfect place to explore with your furry friends. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at America’s national grasslands and discover why they make an ideal destination for dog owners. From the history of these preserved lands to the different grasslands you can visit with your dog, we’ll provide all the information you need to plan an unforgettable adventure. So grab your four-legged companion, pack your bags, and get ready to embark on a one-of-a-kind journey through America’s national grasslands!

Exploring America’s National Grasslands With Dogs

This image is property of www.gopetfriendly.com.

History Of America’s National Grasslands

The history of America’s national grasslands dates back to a time when these vast prairies were home to native tribes and abundant wildlife. Bison, elk, and other animals roamed freely across these grasslands, which provided the tribes with sustenance and a way of life. However, in the 1860s, European settlers arrived and saw the grasslands as prime locations for hunting and agriculture. They began cultivating the land and introducing new crops, but soon realized that the arid soils of the grasslands were challenging to farm, especially during years of drought.

The lack of native grasses, which helped hold down the thin topsoil, caused the dry, sandy dirt to blow away during periods of strong winds. This led to the infamous Dust Bowl of the 1930s, when massive dust storms swept across the Midwest, devastating crops and causing hardship for farmers. In response to this crisis, the government intervened during the Great Depression and began purchasing the land from struggling farmers. This both helped the families in financial trouble and allowed for the restoration of the grasslands’ original ecosystem.

Today, the national grasslands are managed by the United States Forest Service. This is excellent news for those of us who love to travel with our dogs because the Forest Service tends to be very pet-friendly. They prioritize maintaining the natural ecosystem while making the land accessible for everyone to enjoy.

Exploring America’s National Grasslands With Dogs

This image is property of www.gopetfriendly.com.

National Grasslands To Visit With Dogs

There are several national grasslands across the United States that are perfect for exploring with your dogs. Most of these grasslands are located west of the Mississippi River and east of the Rocky Mountains, in an area known as the Great Plains. Here are some of the top national grasslands that are dog-friendly and worth a visit:

  • Butte Valley National Grassland – California: This is California’s only national grassland, covering 18,425 acres in the southern Cascade Range of northern California.

  • Comanche National Grassland – Colorado: Located in Baca, Las Animas, and Otero counties in southeastern Colorado, this grassland spans over 440,000 acres.

  • Pawnee National Grassland – Colorado: Spread across 193,060 acres in northern Colorado, Pawnee National Grassland is located approximately 35 miles east of Fort Collins.

  • Curlew National Grasslands – Idaho: This 47,000-acre grassland starts in a wide valley near Snowville, Utah, and extends north into Idaho, with a checkerboard pattern of public and private land.

  • Cimarron National Grassland – Kansas: Covering 108,175 acres within Morton and Stevens Counties in southwestern Kansas, Cimarron National Grassland offers diverse landscapes to explore.

  • Oglala National Grasslands – Nebraska: Located in northwestern Nebraska, north of Crawford, this 94,000-acre grassland is not only great for dog walking but is also home to Toadstool Geologic Park.

These are just a few examples of the many national grasslands that welcome dogs. Each grassland has its own unique features and landscapes to discover, providing endless opportunities for outdoor adventures with your furry friends.

Exploring America’s National Grasslands With Dogs

This image is property of www.gopetfriendly.com.

What To Expect

When visiting national grasslands with your dogs, you can expect a range of activities to enjoy. These grasslands offer much more than just fields of grass, as many of them contain rivers, lakes, canyons, and badlands. You’ll have the chance to go hiking, mountain biking, camping, fishing, and sightseeing. Whether you’re looking for a quick pit stop or a place to spend several days exploring, national grasslands provide ample opportunities for both.

Two specific grasslands worth mentioning are Pawnee National Grassland in Colorado and Buffalo Gap National Grassland in South Dakota.

Pawnee National Grassland – Colorado: As you drive to Pawnee National Grassland, you’ll feel like you’re heading into the middle of nowhere. The sight of the Pawnee Buttes jutting up from the landscape is nothing short of breathtaking. You can embark on a 4-mile roundtrip hike to see the buttes up close or take a shorter stroll to the viewpoint. Camping is also available at the Crow Valley Recreation Area.

Buffalo Gap National Grassland – South Dakota: Stretching across the southwestern corner of South Dakota, Buffalo Gap National Grassland offers stunning views and tranquility. Stop by the National Grasslands Visitor Center in Wall, South Dakota, for maps and recommendations before exploring this beautiful grassland. It’s also a great camping spot if you’re visiting nearby Badlands National Park.

When exploring national grasslands, it’s crucial to respect the rules and keep your dogs under control at all times. This is not only for the safety of other visitors and local wildlife but also for your own and your dog’s safety. Tall grasses can hide cliffs and small cacti, and certain areas may be used for livestock grazing. So, make sure to keep a close eye on your furry adventure pals and enjoy your visit to these magnificent grasslands!

Exploring America’s National Grasslands With Dogs

This image is property of www.gopetfriendly.com.

Source: https://www.gopetfriendly.com/blog/exploring-our-pet-friendly-national-grasslands/

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