Yosemite in winter: Doglicious!

By: DogTrekker Staff
couple walks dog on bridge in Yosemite with view of Half Dome

Forget all those reports you read about hour-long traffic backups to get into Yosemite National Park in summer. In winter, this iconic slice of the American West is an uncrowded paradise for you and your four-legged friend—so long as you adhere to a few guidelines.

The park service is crystal-clear on rules restricting dogs, year-round, to campgrounds and paved roads or trails (with a few exceptions). But don’t let those limitations keep you kenneled.

While options within the park are many, finding a dog-friendly place to stay if you’re not camping can be a bit more problematic. Fortunately, lodging is abundant in gateway communities just a short drive from park entrance gates. Close by is the town of Groveland in Tuolumne County. It is the last town on Highway 120 and the most direct route to Yosemite from the San Francisco Bay Area.

Dogtrekker.com’s favorite historic Groveland hotels (for over 40 years) have been Hotel Charlotte and Groveland Hotel, both located on Main Street. Groveland Hotel owners Jenn and Doug Edwards have completed a complete floor-to-ceiling face-lift for the Groveland property and had a hand in the remodeling of Hotel Charlotte for the new owners, Brennen and Finn Horsley.

Meanwhile, back to the park! Know before you go that pets are not allowed on unpaved roads with the exception of Wawona Meadow Loop. But they are allowed on paved roads, in campgrounds, on the half-mile, paved trail to Lower Yosemite Fall (which will be at peak flow in spring) 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.


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