Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park, with its sheer granite cliffs and natural beauty, is one of America's most visited National Parks. Although dogs are not allowed on the back country trails, they are allowed on the paved trails that make up most of the Yosemite Valley. This is the area that most visitors to the park visit and spend most of their time. There are also other dog-friendly attractions in the area surrounding the park. So it makes for a great dog-friendly vacation.
There are many dog-friendly hotels and lodging in the Yosemite area. They are either outside the South gate to the park at Fish Camp or Oakhurst or west of the park in Groveland and Mariposa. A great place to stay for your visit to Yosemite with your dog is the Tenaya Lodge in Fish Camp. This upscale lodge allows dogs up to 55 pounds (ask about larger dogs) and offers dog-sitting and walking services. Also in Fish Camp is the Narrow Gauge Inn near the dog-friendly Sugar Pine railroad rides. In Oakhurst is the Best Western Yosemite Gateway Inn. To the north and west of the park is the Groveland Hotel, a historic building in it's own right and the Best Western Plus Yosemite Way Station Motel. For vacation rentals near the park there is Yosemite's SierraScape Vacation Rentals in Mariposa among other choices. Many people coming to Yosemite plan on camping. If you do, there are many options for dog-friendly camping. Many of the Yosemite Park campgrounds allow dogs. Dogs are allowed at the Bridalveil Creek, Crane Flat, Hodgdon Meadow, Tuolumne Meadows, Upper Pines, Wawona, White Wolf and Yosemite Creek Campgrounds. They are not allowed at other campgrounds in the park. If you are looking for a private RV Park outside of the park then there is the Yosemite/Mariposa KOA and the Yosemite Pines RV Resort in Groveland.
The main attraction that draws people to the region is, of course, Yosemite National Park. It is one of the most popular National Parks and is known for its granite cliffs, tall waterfalls and giant sequoia groves. People with dogs can get to see most of the sites in the Yosemite Valley. If you are into the big hikes up from the valley floor to the tops of the waterfalls or Half Dome, you will need to leave your dog behind. But if, like 95 percent of tourists, you keep your feet on the valley floor then you can take your leashed dog on many of the trails which are often paved. The lodges and shuttle buses in the park do not allow dogs. There are short hikes on paved trails where you can take your dog such as Bridalveil Falls. Many of the roads through Yosemite Valley have paved sidewalks and your dog is welcome there. For dining, there are ample restaurants and snack bars where you can get food inside and bring it outside to eat with your dog. Outside of the park you can take your dog on the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad which is a one hour steam engine ride. It is located in Fish Camp just south of the park gate. You and your dog can also rent boats at the Millers Landing Resort on Bass Lake. Some dog-friendly hikes in the area include The Way of the Mono Tail at Bass Lake and the Shadow of the Giants Trail in Oakhurst.
On the east side of the Sierra Mountains and south of the East Entrance to the park is Mammoth California. Lake Tahoe is a few hours to the north.