Yosemite National Park is spectacular (and uncrowded) in winter, whether or not there’s snow on the valley floor. At Tenaya Lodge, two miles from the park’s south entrance, you and your pup will get the royal treatment with a pampered pet package that includes a night’s lodging in a dog-friendly lodge room or cottage (not available in winter), two hours of pet-sitting and an array of treats and amenities. Don’t look for details online; you’ll need to call (888) 514-2167 and book directly with the property.
Another option for enjoying the park in winter with your four-legged companion is the Redwoods in Yosemite, a collection of vacation rental homes, many of them dog-friendly, located within park boundaries and convenient to all the iconic sights.
Those iconic sights include Lower Yosemite Fall, which is roaring as it hasn’t in years, thanks to this winter’s deluge. The 2,425-foot cataract is a voice-drowning, three-stage gusher that will be spewing at full force throughout snow-melt season. And yes, your leashed dog is welcome to enjoy views that will put a smile on your face, a crick in your neck and a wag in Maya’s tail.
The half-mile, paved path to the falls is dog-friendly, as are other paved pathways and most developed areas at the park. You’ll have to enjoy other waterfalls in the magnificent valley from a distance, but don’t let restrictions concerning pets keep you kenneled. Spring, before the summer hordes arrive, is a great time to enjoy this national treasure, no matter what the vantage point.