By Kimberly Matarazzo, Sierra Nevada Guide
Exploring the great outdoors with your furry best friend is an incredibly rewarding experience. Yosemite National Park offers several dog-friendly hiking trails that allow you to enjoy the park’s breathtaking landscapes alongside your canine companion. Here is a comprehensive list of dog friendly hikes in Yosemite National Park:
Valley Loop Trail
This scenic trail spans approximately 13 miles for the full loop and offers magnificent views of Yosemite Valley including El Capitan, Half Dome and Bridalveil Fall. Half loop is approximately 6.5 miles.
Lower Yosemite Falls Trail
A short and easy 1-mile round trip, this trail leads you to the base of the iconic Lower Yosemite Falls.
Cook’s Meadow Loop
Situated near Yosemite Valley, this easy 1.1-mile loop offers pleasant views of Half Dome and Yosemite Falls.
Mirror Lake Trail
This 2.4-mile round trip takes you to the tranquil Mirror Lake, where you can enjoy reflections of surrounding granite cliffs.
Sentinel Dome Trail
This moderate 2.2-mile round trip takes you to the top of Sentinel Dome, offering panoramic views of the surrounding Yosemite Valley.
Wawona Meadow Loop Trail
This 3.5-mile loop starts near the Wawona Hotel and takes you through meadows, oak woodlands, and along the South Fork of the Merced River.
Happy Isle Hike
The trail starts at the Happy Isles Nature Center and follows the Mist Trail towards Vernal Fall. Dogs are permitted on the initial portion of the trail, they are not allowed beyond the Vernal Fall Footbridge.
Pet Rules in Yosemite National Park
As you embark on your dog-friendly hiking adventure in Yosemite National Park, remember to familiarize yourself with the park’s rules and regulations regarding pets. Always practice responsible pet ownership and leave no trace, ensuring that Yosemite’s wonders remain intact for future generations to enjoy. Pets are not allow on shuttle buses or in lodging areas. Dogs must be kept on a 6 foot leash at all times. Carry water for your pet.
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