Simba in Yosemite. Photo Credit: James Oh
Yes, you can and should have your dog tag along on your next visit to Yosemite National Park, even though park rules restrict canine companions almost exclusively to campgrounds and paved roads and trails. There’s enough to see (and sniff) for both of you to stay engaged for least a couple of days—and this winter’s heavy precipitation brings the added advantage of budding greenery and gushing waterfalls.
Before you make reservations at a campsite or at a hotel outside the park, be sure to read up on the rules regarding pets. The much-publicized struggle between the former and new Yosemite National Park concessionaires shouldn’t have an impact on DogTrekkers, who can continue to hike the half-mile paved trail to Lower Yosemite Fall, which will be at peak flow in April; as well as the half-mile path to Bridalveil Fall and the bike trails looping around Yosemite Valley and hugging the banks of the scenic Merced River.
Dogs are not allowed in Yosemite lodging with the exception of park-affiliated Tenaya Lodge, two miles from the south entrance; and in pet-friendly, privately owned vacation rentals at the Redwoods in Yosemite, a 130-home development sequestered within park boundaries in the Wawona (south) area. Thousands of additional rooms, some of them dog-friendly, can be found elsewhere in the Yosemite Region.
While most park restaurants ban dogs, canine visitors are welcome to join you at outdoor tables at the Village Grill in Yosemite Village.
Photo Credit: James Oh