Dog-Friendly Itinerary | Yosemite National Park

Dog-Friendly Itinerary | Yosemite National Park

Want to bring your dog to Yosemite National Park but don't know where to begin? As with most national parks, Yosemite has a strict pet policy requiring that dogs be restricted to developed areas, paved roads, sidewalks and bicycle paths. These restrictions can be a little daunting to navigate so we created this one day dog-friendly itinerary for our fellow four-legged travelers. 

Word of Advice 

If you don't live locally, I highly recommend staying in the area the night before so that you can get an early start to your day. We were too late to book a campsite or lodging in the park so we stayed at a dog-friendly Airbnb in Oakhurst. From there, it is about a 25 minute drive to the south entrance of Yosemite National Park. Yosemite Valley is prone to multi-hour traffic delays and extremely limited parking so I suggest arriving early. Traffic was already beginning to pile up when we arrived at 8am. 


    #1 Tunnel View

    Our first stop was Tunnel View which is located just outside the Wawona Tunnel on Highway 41, approximately 45 minutes from the south entrance. No hiking is required, you simply park in the lot and make your way to the overlook. This area is completely paved so it is totally pet friendly. From here you can see breathtaking views of El Capitan, Half Dome and Bridalveil Fall. The best time to see Tunnel View is typically early spring when Bridalveil Fall is at peak flow. However, due to a record amount of snow this past winter, the falls were still roaring during our trip in mid-June. 


    From Tunnel View, we made our way to the Yosemite Village parking lot which was a 15 minute drive. It was 9am at this point and the parking lot was already full - it took about an hour for us to find a spot so I reiterate the importance of arriving early! Keep in mind that dogs are not permitted on shuttle buses so you want to park in the vicinity of the trails you are interested in. 

    #2 Cook's Meadow Loop

    From the Yosemite Village parking lot it was a quick 5 minute walk to Cook's Meadow Loop. This is a short flat trail in the heart of the Valley. Along this trail, you will be treated to incredible views of Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, Glacier Point and Sentinel Rock. 

    #3 Lower Yosemite Fall

    Cook's Meadow Loop conveniently leads you to the Lower Yosemite Fall trailhead. This is an easy 1 mile loop and the path is paved, making it accessible to anyone - including pets! Throughout this walk, you are rewarded with spectacular views of North America's tallest waterfall. As I mentioned earlier, there was a record level of snowmelt during our visit, making the view from the base truly a sight to behold. When the waterfall peaks in the spring and summer, you can expect to get wet at the base but the experience is totally worth it!

    Bonus: Glacier Point

    Glacier Point is another iconic dog-friendly overlook. It is accessible by car and is approximately a one hour drive from Yosemite Valley. Glacier Point boasts amazing views of Yosemite Valley, Half Dome, and Yosemite's high country. Glacier Point Road was closed during our visit so unfortunately we had to miss out on this one! 

    I hope you enjoyed this blog! Please follow us on social media for more dog-friendly travel itineraries! 


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