Tuolumne County, in the heart of Gold Country, is open and courting visitors (DogTrekkers included!) this summer. Its “Wander Freely” campaign encourages responsible travel and offers lots of tips on staying healthy while enjoying the region’s spectacular scenery. For many visitors of course, the destination goal is Yosemite National Park, which is opening in phases this summer.
No, you can’t just show up and drive in to Yosemite, as in the past. You’ll need a reservation for ticketed entry, even to drive through the park on the Tioga Road (Highway 120). So here’s the deal: Day-use reservations, good for seven consecutive days with unlimited coming and going, are available only online at recreation.gov, You’ll have to arrive on the day reserved and pay the $35 per-vehicle entry fee (annual and lifetime pass-holders are exempt except for a $2 reservation fee). Pay careful attention to the booking windows so you don’t miss your chance!
Yosemite lodging establishments don’t allow dogs, but with a reservation, you can camp at Upper Pines (or Wawona Horse Camp, if you have a horse). While dogs are welcome on paved roads and (open) campgrounds, be sure to check ahead for hiking restrictions; earlier this summer, the popular paved trail to Lower Yosemite Fall was closed.
DogTrekker offers many pet-friendly options outside the park in Tuolumne County.
Insider tip: Reservations are not required to visit the Hetch-Hetchy portion of Yosemite National Park. If you’ve never been there, it’s time to check it out!