There are only a few places you can bring your pup to hike with you in Yosemite National Park, and the Old Big Oak Flat Road is one of them. Most people recommend hiking this six-mile trail as a point-to-point trail from the Tuolumne Grove Trailhead to Hodgdon Meadows Campground. This affords a mostly downhill route, though there is more than one way to do the hike. The trail could be taken in the opposite direction for a more uphill hike or as an out-and-back route from either trailhead for about seven hours of hiking.
Consider taking the recommended route and camping at Hodgdon Meadows, as your dog can stay with you overnight in this scenic wonderland of summer wildflowers and aromatic pine, fir, and cedar trees. If you stay at Hodgdon Campground, you'll need to pay $26 per night from April to October, and $18 per night the rest of the year. It's a good idea to plan your trip and reserve a campsite in advance, as sites can be booked as far as five months ahead. Regardless of whether you camp, you'll have to pay a $35-per-vehicle entrance fee to get into the park. The pass is good for a week, and there are no daily options.
Just two miles from the trailhead, you'll reach the Tuolumne Grove. On your way there, you'll journey through a dense pine forest alongside North Crane Creek. The sounds of the stream and the whispering branches lend peace and magic to what can often be a busy, crowded trail. The Old Big Oak Flat Road used to be a stagecoach road and is now paved, making it a popular choice for many hikers. It's worth braving the crowds, though.
It's a rare treat to be able to see these majestic trees with your dog, as many redwood groves are protected and off-limits to canine adventurers. You'll want to linger in this awe-inspiring place, reading the interpretive signs and watching your dog sniff the air. As you continue onward past the grove, you'll notice the crowds thinning out on the four miles of road that connect Tuolumne Grove to Hodgdon Meadows Campground. The meadow itself is a remarkable sight, bursting with wildflowers in the spring and surrounded by forest. It feels like a hidden valley.
Don't hesitate to bring your dog along on this adventure—you'll make memories together that you'll cherish for a lifetime.