Things to do with your pets in Yosemite Mariposa County

By: DogTrekker Staff
Dog by view of half dome
Photo by Yosemite Mariposa County Tourism Bureau.

Despite the common belief that national parks are not pet-friendly due to conservation concerns, Yosemite is an exception. It has implemented rules to ensure the safety of both animals and the environment. Leashed dogs are welcome on most paved roads, sidewalks, and bicycle paths, granting access to iconic landmarks like Tunnel View, Glacier Point, and Bridalveil Fall. A comprehensive guide is available for pet owners planning a trip to Yosemite, ensuring a smooth and safe experience for both owner and dog.

Venture beyond the park

Beyond the national park’s boundaries, the Yosemite Mariposa region extends a warm welcome to travelers and their furry companions. The surrounding Sierra National Forest offers ample outdoor adventures for you and your four-legged friend, with designated wilderness areas allowing leashed or voice-controlled pets. Additionally, dog-friendly accommodations, hikes, and water activities are plentiful in Mariposa County, making it an ideal destination for pet lovers.

The foothills of Mariposa County can become quite warm during certain times of the year, but there’s relief to be found in the form of excellent swimming spots scattered throughout the area. Among these, few are as suitable for dogs as the sun-drenched Lake McClure and Lake McSwain, nestled amidst the oak-covered Sierra foothills on the county’s western side. Additionally, the inviting waters of the Wild & Scenic Merced River beckon visitors. However, caution is advised when bringing dogs near the Merced, especially during the early part of the year when its currents can be intensified by snowmelt. As a general safety precaution, it’s wise to avoid entering water that flows faster than one can walk.

Mariposa County is ready to welcome you and your furry companion after a day of adventure. A range of pet-friendly lodging options are available, catering to every preference. From the prestigious Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite to the convenient accommodations at AutoCamp Yosemite, there’s something for everyone. Campgrounds in the Sierra and Stanislaus national forests also open their doors to pets, offering a chance for a rustic retreat in the heart of nature.

Planning the journey to Yosemite Mariposa is part of the adventure, with road trips offering the perfect opportunity to bond with furry companions. With careful preparation and consideration of responsible travel practices, the journey from San Francisco or Los Angeles to Mariposa County promises scenic delights and memorable experiences for both humans and their beloved pets.


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