Monday, October 24, 2011

A Puppy in Yosemite

A few weeks ago we took our first ever trip to Yosemite with my parents. It was a short trip and we decided to take Zuko with us so I could snack on his Shiba ears during the car ride.

"Someone please save me"
Lodging in the Yosemite area is fairly limited if you want something without canvas walls, but we did find Tenaya Lodge which was close to the south entrance of the park and is dog-friendly.

Zuko checks out the view, surrounded by his gifts from the Lodge
Yosemite isn't the most dog-friendly park, but compared to other National Parks, it does have some areas you can travel with the pup. It isn't well documented though and can be a bit vague. From the Yosemite site:

"Pets are only allowed in developed areas, on fully paved trails and roads except trails signed as not allowing pets (pets are not allowed off the floor of Yosemite Valley, including the trail to Vernal Fall)...
There are a few additional (very obscure and unsigned) places where pets are allowed: Four Mile fire road in Wawona, on the Carlon Road, and on the Old Big Oak Flat Road between Hodgdon Meadow and Hazel Green Creek."

Clear as a bell, right?

Basically what I figured out was if it is handicap accessible, it is dog-friendly. So Zuko got to see Bridalveil Falls, Lower Yosemite Falls and the top of Glaciar Road. Areas like the Sequoia Grove are 100% off-limits but it appears that if you just slap a service vest on a dog, they will let you pass (I'm talking about you, Italian Grayhound that was clearly not any kind of service dog whatsoever - not even an ESA. ESA dogs do have some training). 

Two great wonders of nature: The Shiba Inu and Half Dome
At the top of Glacier Road, Zuko climbed up on a rock and stared out over the canyon. I swear he was really meditating on the majesty of the view - it was difficult to get him to turn around, even for treats.

"Don't disturb me"
Dining in the area was a bit more difficult - outdoor dining is limited and not really pet-friendly. We did resort to leaving a tired dog in our room while going out to eat (thus violating the pet policy) but he was a good dog and no one caught us. ;-)

The last day we received a surprise and Zuko was granted one of his life-long wishes: SNOW!

"My feet are wet"
He didn't seem to mind it - it wasn't very deep and was more wet than fluffy. I'd still love to see him in snow up to his chest and see if he bounces along or freaks out. 

You can see more of Zuko's adventures in Yosemite here on Flickr

-- Posted by Zuko's mom


  1. Good stuff - love the one of him contemplating his place in the grand scheme of things (at the top of the pyramid, no doubt).

  2. @Jason: Totally at the top of the pyramid. It was pretty amusing - he hopped up there and would not get down, wouldn't turn for the camera - just stared and stared. Other tourists (pupperazzi) were taking his picture too. It was one of those moments of owning a Shiba where you really, really wish you could read their mind.

  3. @Jason: LOL! Yes, or "How do I get up there - I need to pee on that"