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Are Dogs Allowed in Yosemite in 2024? Rules & Safety Tips

Written by: Elizabeth Gray

Last Updated on April 12, 2024 by Dogster Team

Yosemite National Park

Are Dogs Allowed in Yosemite in 2024? Rules & Safety Tips

Known for its gorgeous scenery and famous rock-climbing locations like El Capitan, Yosemite is one of the most popular national parks in the country. Over 3 million people visit Yosemite National Park annually. Pet-loving visitors will be happy to learn that dogs are allowed in specific areas of Yosemite.

In this article, you’ll find details about where you can take your dog in Yosemite and the rules to follow when you do. We’ll also offer tips for safely visiting Yosemite and other wilderness areas with your dog.


Where Are Dogs Allowed in Yosemite?

According to the National Park Service website1, dogs are allowed in the following locations within Yosemite:

  • Developed areas
  • Fully paved roads, sidewalks, and bike paths
  • Most campgrounds, except walk-in and group sites
  • Wawona Meadow Loop Trail

Some locations don’t allow dogs in certain areas, so always follow the posted signs. Dogs are never allowed in the following locations:

  • Hiking trails (other than Wawona Meadow Loop)
  • Unplowed roads
  • Wilderness areas
  • Buildings, shuttle buses, or lodging

Because of the protections of the Americans with Disabilities Act, service dogs are allowed in these areas. However, there are no exceptions for emotional support animals, therapy dogs, or dogs carried in backpacks or strollers.

During the summer, the park provides kennel services for dogs over 20 pounds with proof of current vaccines. Dog owners can leave their pets while they explore trails off-limits to canines.

What Are the Rules for Dogs When Visiting Yosemite?

Besides keeping your dog only in the areas we mentioned, you should follow a few other rules when visiting Yosemite with your pet.

  • All dogs must be on a 6-foot leash or physically restrained (carrier or backpack) within park boundaries. Never leave your dog unattended, even when they’re on a leash.
  • Never allow your dog to chase, bark at, or harass wildlife. Don’t let them dig holes or destroy plant life. Always pick up your dog’s waste and properly dispose of it in a trash can. Don’t leave full poop bags behind (even biodegradable ones).
  • If you’re camping with your dog, treat their food with the same care you would your own and store it in a bear-safe location.

Keeping Your Dog Safe When Visiting Yosemite

Most people visit Yosemite during the summer months. The heat and high elevations in the park can be dangerous to your dog. Be aware of the weather, and don’t take your dog out when it’s too hot.

Protect your dog’s paws when walking on rough terrain or hot pavement. Bring your own water, and don’t allow your dog to drink from any water source in the park. Yosemite is subject to dangerous algae blooms that can be life-threatening to dogs and humans.

If you encounter any wildlife, stay at a safe distance and keep your dog under control. Make sure your dog is up to date on shots and parasite prevention before spending time at Yosemite. The park service reports that rabies and distemper have been found in local wildlife.

fog at the Yosemite National Park
Image Credit: Pexels, Pixabay

One Final Note…

The state of California, including the Yosemite area, has endured an unusually high volume of winter storms and rain in 2024. Unexpected road and park closures have occurred because of this wild weather. When planning to visit Yosemite in 2024, check the park website for any current closures due to weather or weather-related damage and repairs.



Although your dog can’t go everywhere within Yosemite, you can still experience the beauty of this park with your pet. In addition, other dog-friendly hiking trails can be found in the National Forests near Yosemite. Some dog-friendly hotels in the area also offer kennel or pet-sitting services. While it can be frustrating not to be able to explore Yosemite with your dog, resist the temptation to break the rules for your pet’s safety and that of local wildlife.

See Also: 

Featured Image Credit: 12019, Pixabay

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