The Highway 140 corridor through Mariposa County leads to the Arch Rock entrance to Yosemite National Park, offering plenty of dog-friendly lodging choices and recreational opportunities along its winding way.
Start in the town of Mariposa, the historic county seat, where you will find quite a few dog-friendly places to spend the night, among them the Best Western Yosemite Way Station, Mariposa Lodge, Miner’s Inn and Restful Nest. Vacation rentals are another option, and if you relish privacy, check out Indian Peak Ranch Mountain Top Hideaway, a luxury, two-bedroom home with swimming pool on 122 acres.
Continuing north toward Yosemite, Highway 140 follows the Merced River, a huge recreational magnet in these parts. One of the best ways to appreciate its wild and scenic beauty is with a hike on the Hite Cove portion of the 18-mile Merced River Trail. Wildflowers are abundant in season, with some coming into bloom as late as July.
Another good paws-to-the-path choice is the Briceburg Canyon Trail. This rails-to-trails pathway starts on the far side of a suspension bridge at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Visitors Center and runs for 4 miles on a hillside above the river along the former route of the Yosemite Valley Railroad.
In Midpines, the family-friendly Yosemite/Mariposa KOA makes a great base camp for do-it-yourselfers. It offers camping cabins as well as RV and tent sites, along with a swimming pool, clubhouse, playground, Merced River fishing access and other amenities on a 30-acre site.
El Portal, near Yosemite’s West (Arch Rock) entrance, is a bustling gateway town where many DogTrekkers choose to stay while visiting the park. A solid and moderately priced choice is Yosemite View Lodge, with rooms overlooking the rushing Merced River. Of course, you may get “The Bug”—Yosemite Bug, that is. This rustic mountain resort is perhaps the most diverse property in the area, offering lodging in new cabins, older cabins with shared bath, tent cabins and even hostel-style dorm rooms. Dogs are welcome in all but the dorm rooms, and attitudes toward canines are extremely relaxed.
Photo Credit: @thewildriverflow