Your Ultimate Guide to Pet-Friendly Travel in Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park, a jewel in the crown of America's national parks, is a magnet for nature lovers around the globe. Its sweeping vistas, towering sequoias, and dramatic waterfalls make it a must-visit destination. For those wanting to share the beauty of Yosemite with their furry companions, planning a pet-friendly trip requires some preparation. Here’s everything you need to know for a fun and safe visit with your pet.

 Yosemite's Pet Policies

Before you pack your bags, it's important to understand the park's guidelines for bringing pets:

  • Leash Requirements: Dogs must be kept on a leash no longer than six feet at all times.
  • Designated Areas: Pets are allowed in developed areas, on paved roads, sidewalks, and most campgrounds. However, pets cannot accompany you on trails, in the wilderness areas, or inside public buildings.
  • Protect Wildlife: Keeping your pet on a leash isn't just about following rules—it's about protecting your pet and Yosemite's native wildlife.

 Where to Stay with Your Pet

Finding pet-friendly accommodation is crucial for enjoying your Yosemite adventure:

  • Inside the Park: While options inside the park are limited, several campgrounds welcome pets. These include the North Pines, Lower Pines, and Upper Pines campgrounds.
  • Outside the Park: Nearby communities such as Groveland, Mariposa, and Oakhurst offer a variety of pet-friendly lodging options, from hotels to vacation rentals.

 Daytime Activities with Your Dog

While your exploration with a pet in Yosemite is limited to certain areas, there are still plenty of enjoyable activities:

  • Paved Walks: Enjoy the scenic paved paths that run throughout Yosemite Valley. The paths provide great views and are easy on your pet's paws.
  • Drive Through the Park: Yosemite’s scenic drives like Tioga Road and Glacier Point Road are perfect for pets. Stop at various pullouts and take in the views together.
  • Picnic Areas: Yosemite has several picnic areas where pets are allowed. Bring a picnic and enjoy a meal outdoors with your dog at spots like the Swinging Bridge Picnic Area in Yosemite Valley.

 Tips for a Safe Visit

  • Weather Preparedness: Yosemite's weather can change quickly. Dress your pet appropriately for the conditions, whether it's a cooling vest for heat or a cozy jacket for cold weather.
  • Keep Hydrated: Always have plenty of water for both you and your pet, especially if you are out during warmer parts of the day.
  • Paw Protection: The terrain in Yosemite can be rough; protective booties can help prevent injuries to your pet’s paws.

 Preparing for Emergencies

  • Nearest Vet Information: Know where the closest veterinary services are, located in surrounding towns.
  • Pet First-Aid Kit: Include basic first-aid supplies for your pet in case of minor injuries.


Exploring Yosemite with your pet can be a delightful experience with a bit of planning. Though your pet can’t join you on the trails, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the park's stunning beauty together. By adhering to the park’s guidelines and being prepared for Yosemite’s unique environment, you and your pet can have a safe and memorable visit to one of the most iconic places in the United States.