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Camping with dogs

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Camping with dogs

We will be bringing our dogs with us when we camp in upper pines in April. Any hints? Also is there a place that we can take dogs to for a bath after camping? We will be leaving out the west entrance. Thanks.

Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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1. Re: Camping with dogs

Hi

I assume you have read the pet regulations. In case you haven't, or if there is a "lurker" wondering how to enjoy a vacation in Yosemite with a dog, here it is: nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/pets.htm

The biggest thing is that Yosemite is wild-animal-friendly rather than dog-friendly. As long as you keep your dogs with you in civilization (pavement in Yosemite Valley + campgrounds), you can enjoy your visit.

There are 3 entrances on the western side of Yosemite NP. Usually folks mean the Big Oak Flat / Hwy 120 entrance or the Arch Rock / Hwy 140 entrance when they say "west entrance." I suggest looking for dog wash facilities in Groveland or maybe Stockton on 120 and in Mariposa or Merced on 140.

Los Angeles
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for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
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2. Re: Camping with dogs

Hmm. I do not believe there is a specific pet bathing facility in Yosemite, but Groveland might have one. Are you looking for a pet grooming place or just a place that you can self-wash your dog? A quick yellow pages search turns up quite a few pet grooming places:

www.yellowpages.com/groveland-ca/pet-grooming

Your dogs have to be on leash at all times and are not allowed in many parts of the park. They are allowed in parking lots, around accommodations that allow pets (such as the campgrounds) but limited access for dogs elsewhere. If the trail is fully paved, they are allowed (except for Vernal Falls - anything that gets off the Valley floor, no dogs). Here are the regs:

www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/pets.htm

Note they are banished from "concessionaire lodging areas" like Curry Village, its snack bar, and the other places to eat in the Valley. They can be left in your car if they do not raise a big fuss, if they do act scared or noisy, someone will likely contact a ranger. We leave a big thermometer on suction cups on the inside of our driver's side window in April, as the temperatures inside the car are never too hot for our dogs (often around 65 degrees). If there's appreciable sun, we park in the shade. That has kept us on the safe side, ranger-wise.

Otherwise, it would be hard to see anything or, sometimes, run to get groceries. I have to say that in general, one of us stays behind in the car with the dogs while we make food/grocery runs and we try to bring everything we need to avoid it. But sometimes, we want a quick stop to, say, use a restroom - and, that's when the thermometer comes in handy; keeps people from panicking about your dogs being alone in the car for 5 minutes.

The road near El Capitan has a shoulder where you can park; dogs are allowed on the shoulder of the road - no further. But, if you get the right parking spot, you can sit on the shoulder too and watch the climbers (and take turns going down to the river, if you want).

If you want to take your dogs hiking, you need to leave the park and go into the National Forest area, where they are allowed on trails.

Yosemite Valley is low enough that fleas and ticks are possible - and this year's conditions have been strangely warm. I'd worry a little about ticks and make sure they were protected or examined for those pesky critters if you did in fact do roadside stops. Otherwise, you can take them all around the Valley floor on the paved trail, just as long as you don't get off that trail (and into the parking lot at Bridal Veil...and up the paved trail unless it is specifically marked no dogs...which it might be, by now).

I can't remember how far the pavement goes up toward Mirror Lake (not my favorite hike any more - name is misleading), but maybe someone can chime in. At Glacier Point, you can have your dogs anywhere within the parking lot (which is a considerable area) and on the paved sidewalk, so that's actually somewhere you can take them - as opposed, say, to Sentinel Dome).

LA
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3. Re: Camping with dogs

I am really tired of seeing dogs off leash running around in meadows or off trails, and in seeing them defecate without their owner picking up the feces.

Really really tired of this.

Please obey the rules. Yosemite is a very special place for wildlife. It isn't that special for dogs.

Edited: 26 February 2014, 21:19
Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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4. Re: Camping with dogs

I don't know the specifics for Mirror Lake (wide spot on Tenaya Creek with a great from-below view of Half Dome), but the "trail" is actually a road. Folks with a handicapped placard are allowed to drive out there. So I imagine that you could take your dogs with you on this road/trail.

My recollection is that some of the Valley Floor Loop Trail is hard-pack dirt but not paved. The bicycle trail is definitely paved.

Ask the ranger when you check into your campsite.

Washington State
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5. Re: Camping with dogs

Adding a dog story ...

While hiking with my brother on summer, we encountered a family with their off leash dog in the Yosemite Wilderness. He smiled at the man and said, "Wow, you must be an incredibly lucky person. I know that if I were hiking with my dog I would be caught by a ranger and have to pay a huge fine. I wish I were lucky like you."

Then he walked on.

The dog owner now knows that he is breaking the law & that others have seen him, but no one has actually told him what to do (no reason to argue.)

And no, my brother doesn't really have a dog.

Los Angeles
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6. Re: Camping with dogs

Well, frankly, we have many times seen rangers contacted about off-leash dogs. For awhile, I was regularly corresponding with rangers at two other National Parks and we'd occasionally get on this topic. Dogs must be on their leashes. Some parks have strict enforcement about how long those leashes can be, as well. People try to ignore it all the time. If it's *near* a settled area, you'll probably just a warning.

Rangers can be pretty severe if it's in the backcountry, though.

But a dog can be taken to Yosemite and there are reasonable ways of dealing with the dog while there. You just cannot see very much of the park, which is not a priority to everyone in the first place.

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7. Re: Camping with dogs

Since we are going with our dogs at the beginning of April we were not expecting to see a lot of Yosemite. Most of it will be closed still per the web site. There are 4 adults and 3 standard poodles... Hence my wanting to know about a place to bath them. Second if we were planning to hike we would leave someone to watch them at camp. Third if we were the kind of people who took their dogs off leash and let the defecate everywhere without picking it up I doubt that I would have asked any questions.

Thank you to the persons who answered my question with out prejudice.

Washington State
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8. Re: Camping with dogs

I'm sorry that you felt the dog stories and dog comments were directed at your dogs. As a new member to TripAdvisor forums, you probably don't realize how often folks have a conversation on a thread that isn't really directed at the Original Poster. Sometimes the conversation is directly relevant, sometimes it will be relevant to someone just "lurking" on the forum but not asking questions, and sometimes it's just conversation. Please do not feel that anyone was attacking your decision to travel with dogs. It's your vacation and your travel style.

Yosemite will not be closed. Almost every trail will be open. The problem is that two of the roads will be closed. To access those areas you'd need to hike, snowshoe, or cross country ski. But Yosemite is not closed.

Visiting in Spring tripadvisor.com/Travel-g61000-c204965

haines, alaska
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9. Re: Camping with dogs

I don't think you are allowed to leave your dogs in your campsite either, unless someone is there......so the only alternative would be to leave the poor things in your car if you are wanting to hike......

Bringing dogs to Yosemite, will really limit your enjoyment of the park, as well as you dogs.......Have you considered boarding them in one of the towns outside the park ??.....

Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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10. Re: Camping with dogs

We took our St Bernard to Yosemite, Tomscat. We stayed outside the park in our RV and he went with us in the truck when we drove in each day. It was May and very cool (snow on the ground) , so when we ate lunch or wandered around (no real long term hiking), he was happy to snooze in the vehicle.

There is a Petsmart in Sonora and I believe they bathe & groom. There may be an independent groomer closer, but you probably will have better luck just using Google.

>>Second if we were planning to hike we would leave someone to watch them at camp.<<

Of course!