Dog-friendly waterfall hikes in our National Parks

By: DogTrekker Staff
Whiskeytown Falls
Whiskeytown Falls.

Whiskeytown National Recreation Area

Located in Shasta County, Whiskeytown National Recreation Area is a hub for waterfall hikes. Each spring, the park hosts “Waterfall Week,” inviting visitors to hike to four waterfalls. Dogs are welcome on these hikes but must be kept on a leash. The trails are open year-round, offering plenty of opportunities for exploration.

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park features the easily accessible dog-friendly Yosemite Falls, one of the tallest in the world. A one-mile loop trail from Yosemite Village to the base of Lower Yosemite Fall is paved, allowing you to enjoy the scenery with your leashed dog. The peak flow for Yosemite Falls typically occurs in April and May, making it a spectacular sight during these months.

Horsetail Falls

Desolation Wilderness Area near South Lake Tahoe is home to Horsetail Falls, an 800-foot gusher. You don’t need to hike far to see the falls, but if you venture toward the base, be cautious as the trail can be slippery. Dogs are allowed off-leash, but it’s recommended to use a tether to ensure their safety.

Alamere Falls

Alamere Falls in Point Reyes National Seashore offers a unique sight as it cascades onto a beach. To reach this spot, hike a 6.5-mile trail from the Palomarin Trailhead. The parking lot at the trailhead fills quickly, especially on weekends, so plan to arrive early.

Tips for dog-friendly hikes on federal lands

When hiking with your dog on federal lands, always follow the rules and regulations for each location. Keep your dog leashed in developed areas and campgrounds, and pick up after your pet to maintain trail cleanliness. Be cautious in areas with predators like bears, and stay aware of hunting seasons.


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