If you and your pooch are looking for a place to camp in Yosemite National Park, you’d be barking mad not to check out Lower Pines Campground! The campground’s convenient location is hard to beat -- it’s located in the heart of Yosemite Valley. As you can imagine, the surroundings are simply stunning. Lower Pines is fringed by a forest of manzanita, ponderosa, white fir, and sweet-smelling incense cedar, and the rugged mountains and cliffs that make the park so famous are visible in the distance.
Facilities are a little primitive (you won’t find any electricity, showers or RV hookups) but make no bones about it -- the area is worth sacrificing some of your creature comforts. Reservations are absolutely essential. You can book up to five months in advance, and you can reserve on the website on the 15th of every month. Do it as early as you possibly can! Accessible sites are also available. There’s a general store in nearby Half Dome Village, so there’s no need to waste precious backpack space on provisions. The entrance fee to Yosemite is $15 per person, and campsites at Lower Pines start at $26.
It’d be a real faux paw not to do any hiking while you’re here, but bear in mind that not all trails in Yosemite are Fido-friendly. You’ll still have plenty of routes to choose from though! Yosemite Falls is a real mutts-see, and there’s a trailhead for the Lower Yosemite Falls Trail just outside the campground. This easy, paved one mile-loop is also fairly accessible -- the path can accommodate a wheelchair or stroller. The loop does get pretty busy, though, so make sure your pup is okay with crowds. Glacier Point, Mirror Lake, and the Bridalveil Trail are also well worth checking out -- the view from Glacier Point needs to be seen to be believed.
There’s no wifi at Lower Pines, but most cellular networks should receive at least some service. Campfires are permitted in designated rings, but are only allowed between the hours of 5 pm and 10 pm from May to September. Drinking water is also available. Remember to bring waste bags for your pupper, and enjoy some of the most breathtaking scenery that America has to offer!