Published on July 28, 2023

For those of us who get all warm and fuzzy whenever we see a faded “My Dog Is My Co-Pilot” bumper sticker, it’s a comfort knowing that we live in the Golden Age of Pups. Curled up in the back seat or poking their noses out the passenger window, our furry friends are a trusted part of our lives at home and on the road.  But traveling with pets can take some “boning up” as they say, especially when it comes to finding the right lodging.

Fortunately, dog-friendly accommodations can be found throughout Yosemite Mariposa County.  Whether you and your sidekick want to walk a pet-approved trail in Yosemite Valley, play fetch in Lake McClure or explore the surrounding National Forests, there’s a pup paradise waiting just around the next turn.

Dog-Friendly Lodging in Yosemite National Park

Visiting Yosemite National Park doesn’t mean you have to leave Fido at home. Photo credit:

Staying inside Yosemite National Park with your dog is indeed an unforgettable experience. Fresh air, lots of new smells drifting on the Sierra wind, and beaucoup photo ops with your pup tail-wagging in front of iconic backdrops are just a few delights of this mountain paradise.

Considering Yosemite’s unique landscape and resident wildlife, it makes sense that there are National Park regulations for visiting with your pet. If these rules for ruff-ing it work for you and Fido, then the next step is finding a place to stay.  Pro Tip:  When searching for lodging on’s Book>Direct engine, click “Pet Friendly” under Amenities and look for the Paw Print icon!

There’s nothing like taking a peaceful stroll in Yosemite Valley surrounded by towering landmarks such as Half Dome, El Capitan, and Yosemite Falls. For pup-approved overnights, campgrounds in Yosemite Valley welcome well-behaved, leashed dogs in the heart of the action. Note: Dogs are not allowed in Camp 4, Curry Village tent cabins or on hotel lodging properties in the Valley.

Located 10 miles from Yosemite Valley, the Glacier Point Road region offers soaring, postcard views with a fresh perspective from the Valley’s south rim. Here, dogs can find a warm deck for lounging at a pet-friendly cabin rental in Yosemite West, or set up your pup tent at an elevation (7,200 feet) with a stay at Bridalveil Creek Campground.

With its unsung cascade (Chilnualna Falls), oft-overlooked sibling waterway (South Fork of the Merced River) and ancient trees (Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias), the dog whistle of Southern Yosemite is strong.  A pet-friendly Wawona cabin rental makes paw-fect sense while curling up at the foot of a cozy sleeping bag can be done at Wawona Campground.

the redwoods at yosemite
Cabin rentals in Wawona, Yosemite West and Fish Camp provide great pet-friendly options where you don’t have to “ruff” it.

Northern Yosemite exudes rugged beauty from the history-rich enclave of Foresta up to the rarified air of Tioga Pass (9,943 ft). Leashed dogs are allowed at campgrounds in Northern Yosemite, or try a pet-friendly Foresta cabin rental for coffee and Greenies on the patio.

Dog-Friendly Lodging in Greater Mariposa County

Pets welcome at the Tenaya Explorer Cabins
No need to ruff it. Fur family members welcome at the Tenaya Explorer Cabins!

If staying inside the Park with your pet seems too short of a leash, a smart alternative is to book dog-friendly accommodations in Greater Mariposa County.  This approach allows for day trips into Yosemite with all the comfortable lodging options and free-ranging things to do outside the Park in Yosemite Mariposa County.

With a variety of settings from the colorful Gold Rush town of Mariposa to the rugged Merced River Canyon along Highway 140 and the forested oasis of Fish Camp, the Central Mariposa County region provides the most options for dog-friendly lodging.

In downtown Mariposa, where the elevated sidewalks once obliged stagecoaches of yore, you and your canine co-pilot can walk the main drag in Gold Rush style by day and stay at a dog-friendly property close to the action by night.  The Best Western Plus Yosemite Way Station and the Mariposa Lodge allow up to two dogs per rented room (max 80 lbs), while the River Rock Inn offers Dog Friendly Rooms and a brick patio to enjoy your latte on-site from Sticks Coffee.

Located 35 miles from the Arch Rock Entrance to Yosemite National Park, the laid back gem of Midpines chills in its own unique way. The Yosemite Bug Rustic Mountain Resort sounds a clarion call to travelers from all over the world with bone-a fides that include the June Bug Cafe and Yosemite Health Spa. AutoCamp Yosemite — a fabulous collection of silver-clad Airstreams — welcomes two dogs per rental (max 50 lbs) as well as several dog-friendly luxury tents.

Yosemite View Lodge by the Merced River
Yosemite View Lodge

Farther up Highway 140, the final stop before entering the park is El Portal.  Here, the Merced River Canyon narrows and you can feel Yosemite’s magic just around the bend. Yosemite View Lodge stands proud with balconies overlooking the Merced’s determined flow, while its dog walk path leads guests to a selfie tree for tag-worthy pics. Note: The Merced River can flow fast in spring/early summer so be sure to take caution when nearing its banks.

Heading south to Highway 41, the historic village of Fish Camp (population 50) rests in a forested glen just two miles from the South Entrance to Yosemite National Park.  While the town may be small, its full-service resort Tenaya at Yosemite looms large with animal lovers, and for good reason.  Check out their Dog Friendly Lodging page for the full biscuit, and be sure to consider their Deluxe Pampered Pet Package for such canine conveniences as fresh-baked dog treats, dog toy and two hours of pet sitting services (with additional on-site kennel time available)!

Hidden along Highway 49 in Northern Mariposa County, the Gold Rush town of Coulterville feels like a movie set from a blockbuster Western. Stop at the Coulter Cafe & General Store for beer & bites on their dog-friendly outdoor patio, then stay at one of Mariposa County’s unique lodging properties: the Vacation Station. This lovingly appointed 1964 Boxcar and Caboose will allow you and your pup to slumber on the right side of the tracks.

Set just below 1,000 feet in Northwest Mariposa County, the twin foothill gems of Lake McClure & Lake McSwain beckon dog lovers year-round.  Summers are hot, perfect for playing fetch in the refreshing mountain runoff, while winters are mild making this an easy getaway when snow has dusted the High Sierra to the east. Camping is the name of the pet-friendly game here, with five campgrounds situated along 80+ miles of shoreline. Note: Dogs are not allowed in the Park Cabins.

More Ruff-ing It Resources

Categories: General Travel Tips, Lodging, Pet-Friendly Travel