Toadstool Geologic Park: Nebraska’s Canine Pleasant Badlands


Toadstool Geologic Park is a hidden gem you must completely add to your route the subsequent time you’re in western Nebraska. Having camped and hiked right here a number of occasions, it’s simply considered one of my favourite locations to go to! Right here’s every thing you have to know to have a enjoyable journey along with your canines at Toadstool Geologic Park and Campground.

Woman with two dogs at Toadstool Geologic Park in Nebraska


Nebraska: A Hidden Gem For Canine Pleasant Adventures

Nebraska? Sure, Nebraska! We promise you it’s greater than no matter boring image is working by way of your head proper now. And bonus, there are a variety of nice issues you are able to do along with your pets!

Nebraska has eight state parks, two nationwide forests, and three nationwide grasslands—all of which welcome canines to a point or one other. Moreover, there are many nice canine pleasant cities to discover, reminiscent of Grand Island, Scottsbluff, Lincoln, and extra.

READ MORE ⇒ Exploring Nebraska’s Pet Pleasant Fort Robinson State Park

Nebraska's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: Fort Robinson State Park |


Visiting Nebraska’s Canine Pleasant Toadstool Geologic Park And Campground

As you make your method by way of this beautiful state, intention for the northwest nook close to Crawford, NE, to search out Toadstool Geologic Park. The park is a part of the Oglala Nationwide Grassland and is managed by america Forest Service.

READ MORE ⇒ Exploring The Nationwide Grasslands With Canines

Woman with two dogs overlooking Pawnee National Grassland in Colorado

The primary points of interest at Toadstool Geologic Park are the toadstool-shaped formations and different geologic sights. The rocks in Toadstool Park fashioned greater than 24 million years in the past and are associated to Badlands Nationwide Park in South Dakota. Exploring this park feels such as you and your pup teleported to the moon!

Be aware: In the event you’ve visited Badlands Nationwide Park in South Dakota, however had been disillusioned by the truth that NONE of the paths there are pet pleasant … you’re in for a nice shock at Toadstool!

A brown pit bull and a white pit bull standing by some unique geologic features in Toadstool Geologic Park


The day-use space, campground, and trails at Toadstool are ALL canine pleasant. Parking for the day-use space is $3 per automobile. And campsites are $15 per automobile per night time on a first-come-first-served foundation.

Along with the paths and tenting, there’s a sod home exhibit on the grounds. The present sod home, constructed by the Forest Service in 1982, is supposed to resemble one in-built 1902 that’s not standing. The excessive plains homestead exhibit provides guests an opportunity to see how some folks lived right here prior to now.

Tenting At Toadstool Geologic Park With Canines

The campground at Toadstool is a small however beautiful. Every of the six campsites has a coated picnic desk, trash can, pedestal grill, and campfire ring. There are additionally vault bogs, however no working water or electrical energy.

The perfect half is that you simply’re removed from any metropolis or busy highway, so it is vitally quiet and peaceable. (Plus, there’s nothing to your canine to bark at!) And you’ll see SO many stars at night time!

READ MORE ⇒ Automobile Tenting With Pets: Prep The Automobile, What to Pack, and Extra

View from a hill looking down at a small camp ground in the grasslands at Toadstool Geologic Park
View of a campsite with a green tent, a covered picnic table, and a silver SUV at the grasslands in Nebraska


Mountaineering Toadstool Geologic Park With Canines

There are three mountain climbing trails you possibly can entry straight from the campground at Toadstool Geologic Park. And all three are pet pleasant!

The most well-liked path is a one-mile loop that weaves by way of the clay and sandstone formations (hoodoos). Obtain the interpretive brochure or get a duplicate on the trailhead and study concerning the park and its distinctive options as you discover.

This path is very enjoyable to hike at dawn and sundown to see how the sky’s colours change the look of the white rock formations.

A white pit bull and a brown pit bull hiking down a gravel trail toward hoodoos and badlands
A brown pit bull hiking along a ridge of a large cavern in the badlands at Toadstool Geologic Park


For just a little longer hike, the Bison Path is three miles one-way. About midway round the primary loop, you’ll take the path heading up the canyon to the Hudson-Meng Training and Analysis Middle.

The Middle is presently closed, however when it’s open, guests can tour an historic bonebed of extinct bison. Researchers are nonetheless hoping to find why so many bison died right here.

Two pit bulls hiking through a small grassy canyon along the Bison Trail at Toadstool Geologic Park in Nebraska


The third path is a five-mile loop. From the campground, you and your canine will cross the badlands into the grasslands on the Nice Plains Path till you join with the Bison Path and observe it again to the campground. It’s a gorgeous transition to climb up from the stark badlands to the flowing inexperienced of the grasslands – positively well worth the journey if you happen to and your canine have the time!

Folks and canines who need an excellent longer hike can department off to proceed exploring the Nice Plains Path. It runs north and south, crisscrossing alongside trails and roads from Guadalupe Mountains Nationwide Park in Texas as much as the Canadian Border in Montana and North Dakota!

A brown pit bull hiking in the badlands in Nebraska
A brown pit bull looking out across a grassy field toward a white hill in the badlands
A trail through a grassy field with a wooden sign noting directions for the Great Plains Trail, Orella Road, and Toadstool Geologic Campground


Preserving Canines Secure Whereas Mountaineering Toadstool Geologic Park

There are various leash guidelines all through the grasslands and nationwide forests, so make sure you test for indicators indicating if a leash is required to your canine. Whereas mountain climbing in Toadstool Park, we advocate leashing your canine. The campground and day-use areas are fenced, however there are horses and cattle roaming all through the areas you’ll be mountain climbing.

At occasions it may be exhausting to see the paths, and it’s simple to get rotated within the badlands and grassland. To make sure you keep on monitor, look ahead to the brown posts marking the paths. Whenever you attain one, search for the subsequent publish to hike towards earlier than you proceed.

A trail marker can be seen ahead in the badlands.


Additionally make sure you convey loads of water, snacks, and solar/wind safety for you and your canine whereas mountain climbing. Summers within the Oglala Grassland can get very heat and are sometimes windy.

Final however not least, convey a towel to wash off your canine if the climate has been wet. The bottom at Toadstool Park can get very muddy and slippery when it’s moist! This consists of the mountain climbing trails and the gravel highway resulting in the park. Each Cool Whip and Hercules appeared like they had been carrying brown boots after considered one of our hikes!

Two pit bulls hiking toward a large rock formation in Toadstool Geologic Park, Nebraska


Exploring Different Close by Canine Pleasant Locations

When you and your four-legged journey crew are up in northwestern Nebraska, make sure you preserve exploring!

Fort Robinson State Park is simply half-hour south from Toadstool Geologic Park. It makes for an incredible day journey or a base camp for all of your adventures.

An alternative choice is to go south from Fort Robinson one other 90 minutes or so and see the well-known Scotts Bluff Nationwide Monument. The bluff, which rises 800 ft above the valley surrounding it, was a essential landmark for anybody touring the Oregon Path.

Black German Shepherd dog on a pet friendly trail through Mitchell Pass at Scotts Bluff National Monument


Drive only a brief bit extra and also you’ll attain Chimney Rock, one other well-known landmark alongside the Oregon and Mormon Trails. There are numerous distinctive rock formations all through Nebraska and the remainder of the Nice Plains!

Understand that Custer State Park in South Dakota is 2 hours north of Toadstool within the magnificent Black Hills. With 71,00 acres to discover, there isn’t a scarcity of enjoyable actions along with your pets!

READ MORE ⇒ Pet Pleasant Custer State Park and South Dakota’s Black Hills

Brindle dog on pet friendly Trail #9 to Black Elk Peak in Custer State Park, South Dakota

Able to plan your journey? What’s your favourite place to go to within the Midwest? Tell us within the feedback!

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