• Sat. Jun 15th, 2024

6 Dog-Friendly Trails in Yosemite You Can Visit in 2023


Apr 26, 2023
white dog looking the panorama at El Capitan Tunnel View overlook in Yosemite National Park


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white dog looking the panorama at El Capitan Tunnel View overlook in Yosemite National Park

Among the most popular national parks in the U.S., Yosemite is known for its gorgeous scenery and amazing rock climbing, especially the famous El Capitan. Visitors traveling with pets will be happy to learn that dogs are allowed in many areas of the park, but finding places to hike can be a bit more complicated. Dogs are banned from most unpaved trails in Yosemite to protect the ecosystem, but you still have options if you want to hike with your pup. Here are six dog-friendly trails in Yosemite in 2023.


The 6 Dog-Friendly Trails in Yosemite

1. Wawona Meadows Loop

  • 5-mile, mostly flat dirt road loop trail
  • Lots of shade
  • Can get muddy after rain/snow
  • Located near a hotel and restaurant
  • Entrance fee per car or per person if entering on foot

2. Mirror Lake Paved Trail

  • A 2.4-mile paved trail around a lake
  • Flat and kid-friendly
  • Can get crowded
  • A parking lot is located near the trailhead

3. Bridalveil Falls Trail

  • Short, 0.5-mile paved loop to view one of Yosemite’s most famous waterfalls
  • Flat, kid-friendly path that can get slippery in places
  • Parking lot and trail can get very crowded
  • The trail is currently closed for a rehab project, scheduled to reopen in Summer 2023
  • Don’t leave the trail to explore, especially near the waterfall

4. Lower Yosemite Falls Loop

  • Short, 1.0-mile paved loop with multiple views of a 320-foot waterfall
  • Park at Yosemite Falls or Yosemite Village lots, just up the road
  • Stroller-friendly and wheelchair accessible on the east side
  • The path can get slippery and icy
  • Waterfall may be dry from late summer until October—plan accordingly

5. Cook’s Meadow Loop

  • Short, 1.0-mile paved loop with views of Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, Glacier Point, and Sentinel Rock
  • Stroller and wheelchair-friendly unless covered in snow
  • Located near the visitor center, museum, and a restaurant
  • Park at Yosemite Falls or Yosemite Village lots
  • Restrooms and water are available at the Visitor Center

6. Chowchilla Mountain Road

  • An old stagecoach road located within Yosemite National Park
  • Parking is easiest at Wawona Visitor Center
  • The trail can be rough and steep in places
  • No facilities or water along the route
  • Off-road vehicles are allowed at certain times of the year



These six dog-friendly trails in Yosemite allow you to view (and take photos) of your pup near many of the park’s most famous sites. Besides these locations, dogs are generally allowed at campgrounds and along paved roads within Yosemite. If you’re looking for more outdoor exploration, the nearby Sierra National Forest and Stanislaus National Forest allow leashed dogs to enjoy the trails. Bring water and waste bags on your hike, and always pick up after your pet. Be alert and respectful of other visitors, as well as local wildlife.

Featured Image Credit: Benny Marty, Shutterstock

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