Pet Friendly Ideas Yosemite National Park | Navigating Yosemite National Park With Your Dog | Top Hikes For Dogs in Yosemite National Park

Pet Friendly Ideas Yosemite National Park | Navigating Yosemite National Park With Your Dog | Top Hikes For Dogs in Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National park dog

So you’ve decided to bring Fido along on your Yosemite “be one with nature” getaway. Well, you’re totally in luck cause this National Park, located in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains, is considered one of the more Fido friendly parks. There are a variety of paved trails and areas you and your dog can explore together. I’ve put together a list of Lemon’s favorite adventures in the park. This way you and your pooch can safely navigate your way though Yosemite National Park. Because let’s be honest who wants to leave (wo)man’s best friend at home!

Yosemite Stats and Fun Facts

Yosemite Tunnel View

  • Covers 1,200 mountainous square miles. That’s a lot of land!
  • The tallest waterfall in North America calls Yosemite home sweet home.
  • Known as one of the world’s greatest rock climbing areas.
  • A hikers delight with over 800 miles of trails.
  • Over 3.5 million people visit Yosemite each year.

What’s Fido Friendly

Yosemite falls

For the majority of the National Parks, in the United States, the rules are all dogs must be on leashes and they’re only allowed on paved trails, roads and developed areas.  But the lucky thing about Yosemite is there are quite a few paved trails and service roads you and Fido can easily explore. Another plus your pooch is allowed in all campsites (expect walk in sites). So many adventure opportunities, here are Lemon’s favorites…

Mirror Lake


Mirror Lake usually looks more like a pond than a lake, but depending on the time of year and the amount of water filling up the “lake” you can get some pretty epic mountain reflection shots. But let’s face it most people aren’t visiting to see the pool of water instead they’re enjoying the easy peasy access to this beautiful location and they’re attempting to get as close as possible to the base of Half Dome.

Mirror LakeMirror lakeMirror Lake

This is one of the service road options, in Yosemite National Park, for you and your pooch to explore. You will notice that there is also a trail option. But, you and your dog are limited to the service road. (It’s ok they both end up in the same area!)

Mirror lakeMirror lakeMirror lakeDogs Yosemite national park

Be careful to keep your eye out for cars, they do come down this road from time to time.  Also, you’ll reach a point where the road ends and dogs aren’t allowed any farther. If you’re hiking with a buddy, I recommend take turns going to view the lake and it’s surroundings. It’s a very short trail walk from the end of the road and there is no reason not to finish the walk since you’re so close to the main attraction.

Mirror LakeMirror lakeMirror LakeMirror LakeMirror LakeMirror lake

Tunnel View

Yosemite Tunnel view

Looking for that iconic and priceless view of Yosemite from Hwy 41?! The view that turns you into a professional photographer in a second?!?! I mean honestly the picture takes itself!  Well, luckily for you this view is Fido friendly. It’s also extremely tourist friendly… considering all you need to do is park your car walk about 10 steps and Voila! So be prepared to dodge the crowds but no matter what stop and enjoy Tunnel View. This is not a photo op you wanna pass up!

Yosemite Tunnel viewTunnel view YosemiteEl capitan Yosemite

This is considered one of the most famous viewpoints in Yosemite. You’ll be able to see the valley, the famous El Capitan, Bridalveil Falls, and the challenging Half Dome. If you take Hwy 41 into the park you’ll reach Tunnel View after you exit the Wawoma Tunnel. It’s truly magical here, so please don’t let the crowds ruin your time at Tunnel View. Just be smart and plan ahead, the earlier you get here the better for an unabstructed view and for parking.

Tunnel viewTunnel view Yosemite

Yosemite Valley

Yosemite Valley

When you reach Yosemite Valley you’re now in the hustle and bustle of it all. This is where most visitors spend the majority of their time for various reasons. 1) In the valley you have spectacular 360 mountainous views. 2) The valley is home to the ever popular Yosemite Falls 3) Day visitors park in the valley and explore the surroundings 4) The most popular hotels, cabins, and camp sites are located in the valley.

Yosemite valleyYosemite Valley Yosemite valleyYosemite valley

What’s perfect about Yosemite Valley is the miles and miles of paved trails and bike paths. There are roughly 12 mile of paved bike paths in the valley. Which means exploring haven for you and Fido.

Yosemite valleyYosemite Valley Yosemite Valley Yosemite Valley

Yosemite Falls

Yosemite falls

Yosemite Falls is the tallest waterfall in North America. It is very visible from the valley floor and you’re in luck the Lower Falls is pet friendly. However, the trail to the Upper Falls is not. But don’t fret the Lower Falls still provides some amazing scenery.

Yosemite fallsYosemite falls

This is a short and easy walk to explore with your dog. You’ll get to enjoy views of both the Lower and Upper Yosemite Falls on the 1.1 mile loop trail. You’ll also run into a lot of other dog owners on the trail, which Lemon of course loved she made a ton of new friends. We also got to see a lot of deer on the trails, Lemon was pretty mesmerized with them.

Yosemite fallsYosemite fallsYosemite falls

Yosemite Tips 


Yosemite National park

Pack up Fido and head out to Yosemite National Park…Adventure Awaits!

2 thoughts on “Pet Friendly Ideas Yosemite National Park | Navigating Yosemite National Park With Your Dog | Top Hikes For Dogs in Yosemite National Park

    1. Yeah in general National Parks aren’t easy to explore with pets. But some of them only have 1 or 2 paved trails. So it’s nice to have more options than that! I couldn’t believe that a park ranger even gave Lemon a treat when we entered. That warmed my heart! 🙂

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