Yosemite National Park is clear on its rules governing sightseeing by four-legged visitors. In short: Keep ‘em on a leash on paved roads or trails. Fortunately, the paved trails include the half-mile, wheelchair-accessible path to Lower Yosemite Fall, part of a 2,425-foot cataract that ranks as the highest measured waterfall in North America.
Peak flow doesn’t occur until May, but this winter’s above-normal precipitation has created a thundering, mist-intensive show guaranteed to fill both you and Fido with awe. Winter is a great time to visit Yosemite with or without pets, and even with the pavement restrictions, the sights to be absorbed in Yosemite Valley will put a crick in your neck.
Bridal Veil Falls (620 feet) and Ribbon Falls (1,612 feet) are just two of the other gushers to be seen within the valley’s 3,000-foot-high granite walls. Unless you’re camping, you’ll have to keep Fido outside park boundaries at night, but you won’t have to travel far: Dog-friendly lodging is abundant in Oakhurst, Mariposa and other nearby communities. Upscale Tenaya Lodge near the Wawona entrance offers a “canine companion” package that includes treats, bowls, bed, poop mitts and a list of dog-friendly places to roam. Pet-sitting is available, too.