I partnered with Hotels.com to bring you this handy dog guide for Yosemite National Park.
Yosemite is the first national park in California and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park covers an area the size of Rhode Island and sees about 4 million visitors a year.
Of course, visiting with a dog means that you will not experience it the same way, but there is still a lot to explore and you can catch all the iconic places with your dog.
While visiting Yosemite, consider a short trip to Mammoth to spend time among some of the highest peaks in the west.
Filled with alpine lakes, meadows and hundreds of kilometers of trails, you and your dog will enjoy spending a few days in this open Mecca.
Paths where dogs are allowed in Yosemite
Since Yosemite is a national park, dog owners can expect some stricter rules when they decide to visit the park with their pets.
As with all national parks, the rules for dogs remain the same:
Dogs must remain on a six-foot leash at all times. Do not leave your pet unattended. Clean up after your pet (which is given, no matter where you travel) Areas suitable for dogs are limited to paved paths only *
* Not all paved paths in Yosemite allow dogs. Check before you go.
Pets are not allowed in the following areas:
By shuttle bus In accommodation areas Inside public buildings On snow-covered unpaved roads In all walks and group campsites In areas as published
Short hikes suitable for dogs in Yosemite
The following short hikes take you to views of Yosemite’s most famous landmarks, including the Half Dome, Bridalveil Fall and Yosemite Falls.
Bridalveil Fall – A short hike on a paved path will take you to the base of this iconic site, famous for photographer Ansel Adams. The best time to visit the waterfall is in the spring. Don’t forget the rain gear! The fog from the waterfall can be surprisingly wet.
Lower Yosemite Fall Loop – This one-mile cycle takes you to a 320-foot descent, which forms the bottom of the highest waterfall in North America, located 2,425 feet from the top.
Peak volume occurs in spring and early summer. A great hit for the trip, you will be rewarded with nice views of both the Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls.
You can extend the hike to Cook’s Meadow to see another view of Yosemite Falls as well as the Half Dome.
Mirror Lake / Mirror Meadow – Dogs are entitled to the first mile of this hike to Mirror Lake until the pavement is complete. While the lake varies in size depending on the time of year, there is always some water.
Go early for the calmest waters to see a beautiful reflection of the surrounding rocks.
Longer hikes suitable for Yosemite dogs
Most of Yosemite’s dog trails are less than a kilometer away, but there are several options for longer excursions.
The Great Oak Flat Road to Hodden Meadows Camping – The old great oak flat road overlaps with the start of the main path through the Tuolum grove of giant redwoods.
Dogs are welcome along the 8 km to Hodgdon Meadow campsite.
Wawona Meadow Loop – This 3.5-mile trail revolves around a golf course and features slightly rolling hills. Plan a spring trip to see beautiful wildflowers.
Chowchilla Mountain Road – A hidden hike suitable for dogs in the park is Chowchilla Mountain Road, which starts on Highway 49 at the golf course. If you have it in you, follow the 12-mile outer and return route through the Chochila Mountains and the Ponderosa Basin.
Hiking suitable for dogs in Mammoth
Just outside Yosemite you will find many trails suitable for dogs to explore. Mammoth is a great place to spend some time with your dog because there are fewer restrictions as the land is managed by the National Forest Service.
Barney Lake Trail – Arrive early to earn a parking space for this popular alpine hike. Just 8 km away, Barney Lakes is a great way to start the day. You can also make a backpack on the lake.
Lake Minaret Trail – This 13-mile long trail requires travel all day or night, but is worth the alpine lakes, waterfalls and views along the way. Gradual evaluation makes it a great option for those who are just starting out with longer hikes or backpacks.
Duck Lake via Emerald Lake Trail – This trail from 7.5 to 10 miles back and forth includes several alpine lakes and at constant altitudes makes it a pleasant challenge.
Hotels suitable for dogs in Yosemite
There are no pet hotels in the park itself, so pet-friendly accommodation will be located a short distance from the park.
Since traveling today looks a little different than normal, I recommend that you keep in mind the safety and security of others. Please travel responsibly.
If you do decide to travel during a pandemic, here’s how I recommend doing so safely:
Wear a face mask. Wear hand sanitizer and wash your hands regularly Check the official websites before your trip for the latest updates on policies, closures and the state of local business. Refuel before you leave Bring your own food and limit travel to local shops Book a hotel with a free cancellation in case you need to change your plans
Tenaya Lodge – This award-winning resort includes a kennel if you want to walk the dog-friendly trail. Other facilities include dog massages, a dog bed and bowls.
Best Western Yosemite Gateway Inn – If you prefer something classic and familiar, the Best Western Yosemite Gateway is located just 15 miles south of the park entrance and is set on seven acres in the Sierra Nevada.
Yosemite View Lodge – Located next to the National Park, on the Merced River, Yosemite View Lodge is almost as close as you can reach the park with your dog.
Cabins suitable for dogs and camping in Yosemite
If you don’t mind something more rural or want a place to stay where the whole family can get together, there are plenty of dog cabins and camping opportunities inside and near Yosemite.
Yosemite’s Creekside Birdhouse – Located in Yosemite, this custom cabin features a spa bath, WiFi and modern amenities.
Yosemite Sequoias – Visitors can choose from a range of pet-friendly cabins run by Yosemite redwoods. They have all sorts of options to meet different needs and preferences for convenience.
Campsite Hodgdon MeadowDamp Flat Campsite Horseshoe Bend
Dogs must be tethered at all times while camping.
Where to stay with a dog in Mammoth
Mammoth is only a short journey from Yosemite and provides a great base for your visit, especially if you are traveling with your dog, as there are many places for pets.
Keep in mind that the road between Mammoth and Yosemite is closed in winter, so be sure to check the schedule before planning your visit.
Ranch Sierra Meadows – Situated on 17 acres between Mammoth Creek and the base of Mount Sherwin, Sierra Meadows Ranch offers cozy private cabins with fully equipped kitchens.
Tamarack Lodge – This rustic but comfortable pet-friendly accommodation is just a few steps from nature in a secluded setting by the lake. You can choose to stay in a cabin or room, depending on your preferences.
The Mammoth Inn – The recently refurbished bed and breakfast is centrally located in a residential area of Mammoth, just steps from restaurants, shopping and outdoor activities.
Camping in Mammoth
Camping on Lake George Star Camping Shady Rest Camping Minaret Falls