Ah… the scent of pines in the air. The sound of birds singing a bright song. The rush of water flowing through a cold stream. They say nature is the best therapy, and we’re not talking just about humans either. Time outside is also critical for your furry family member to stay healthy, happy, and content. Instead of leaving them home, why not combine a bit of outdoor time with your pooch too! To help, here’s a few dog friendly hikes in California High Sierra.

The Good Dog’s Guide To Hiking

Before we jump into some of our favorite dog friendly hikes in the High Sierra, we wanted to give you a few basic rules:

Clean Up After Your Dog

You may think, “Oh a dog is animal” but that’s not the case. Dog doo doo is terrible for the natural environment. While your fur baby may be healthy and well-trained, their poo isn’t. They can harbor viruses, bacteria, and pathogens that can wreck the ecology as well as many others factors such as deterring other wild animals to visit that part of the wilderness. The Pack It In, Pack It Out mantra goes for your dog’s poo too. That means bring poo bags with you AND throw it away in a trash can. 

Bring A Leash, Better Yet Use It

While many of the trails listed below allow you to roam off leash, we highly recommend considering using one with your pup. We’ve heard of multiple dogs who have gotten lost or seriously injured when allowed to roam in unfamiliar and often rugged terrain. 

Respect Right Of Way

Everyone is out to enjoy nature and get a little piece of serenity so be sure to follow the basic rules of hiking with your dog. That means anyone going uphill has the right of way. When someone is passing, your pooch should stay on the outside and most of all horses have right away in any situation. If yo’d like to read more on dog etiquette when hiking, we recommend reading the following article: Don’t Be That Guy — Good Etiquette When Hiking With Your Dog.

Take In The Granite Of Yosemite

Get the scoop on how to travel with your pets to Yosemite

dog friendly hikes in Yosemite
Image appears courtesy: Yosemite Mariposa County Tourism Bureau

Are dogs allowed in Yosemite National Park? The answer is yes! As long as you follow some simple rules, you and your pooch can visit together. First, once inside the boundaries of the park, your doggy must be on a leash that’s six feet in length or shorter. Second, canines are allowed on most paved trails and in developed areas. Don’t worry, they can still take in some of the most famous sights with you like Bridalveil Fall, Yosemite Falls, and even Half Dome.

Tahoe’s A Dog’s Paradise Too

Find out where to swim, hike, & play fetch in Tahoe

dog friendly vacation ideas
Photo by: Rachid Dahnoun – Image appears courtesy: Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority

Dogs love water just as much as we do…. or maybe even more. If you’re visiting Tahoe South, you’ll be fortunate enough to find some great dog friendly beaches like Kiva Beach to dip your paw in. When it comes to hiking, most of the trails within the Tahoe Basin allow dogs as long as they’re leashed including the Tahoe Rim Trail. And if you and your pooch are wanting to go check out a waterfall, there are numerous cascades to enjoy such as the Glen Alpine Falls.

Mammoth Fun For Your Pooch

Hike On Pooch. Stroll On Human – Fun Hikes In Mammoth Lakes

dog friendly hikes in Mammoth Lakes
Image appears courtesy: Visit Mammoth

If you’re heading to the Eastern Sierra and visiting Mammoth Lakes, your furry companion is in luck. While within city limits they need to be on a leash, as soon as you leave the confines of town and if they obey voice commands, you can set them loose. If you’re looking for a close hike to town, the Borrow Pit is a great choice if you want to take them off leash and let some energy loose. For a dog’s idea of a heavenly trail, think about hitting up Horseshoe Lake. Besides all the hiking opportunities, there’s a host of other pet-friendly activities. For example, if you’re here in the winter, one of the most popular outings with your four-legged friend is cross-country skiing.

High Desert Adventure In Bishop

Tips, Tricks, & Trails For You & Your Pooch To Enjoy The Eastern Sierra

dog friendly hikes in Bishop
Photo by: Michel Jones – Image appears courtesy: Bishop Visitors Center

Another great option in the Eastern Sierra is the town of Bishop and the thousands of acres surrounding it. No matter whether the land is administered by USFS, BLM, or LADWP, most likely your four-legged kiddo is more than welcome to enjoy them too. So, where should you go? Just like humans, you don’t want to be too hot or too cold which means picking the right trail for the season. In the winter, the Lower Owens River is a good option. And in the winter, look for the summer Schulman Grove Discovery Trail in White Mountains. With that being said, these areas are VERY wild so chances are you may see animals like coyotes, mountain lions, or even bobcats. Play it safe with a leash so everyone comes home happy or at least be sure to have one handy.

If you’re planning a trip to the High Sierra this year, don’t leave your buddy at home. Instead, bring him or her with you! You’ll create lasting memories and make those hikes that much more fun. And if you’re looking for more pet friendly ideas, be sure to read our article: Pet Friendly Trip Ideas In The High Sierra.

Author: Alex Silgalis

Alex founded Local Freshies® in 2014 to be the #1 website providing the “local scoop” on where to eat, drink & play in mountain towns throughout North America. When he’s not writing and executing marketing strategies for small businesses & agencies, he’s in search of the deepest snow in the winter and tackiest dirt in the summer.

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