Fannie the Corgi wanted to go on a dog hike and I knew just the place. Not too far, not too steep, not too much snow and a little history thrown in along the Wawona Meadow Loop.
Where: Yosemite National Park
Distance: 4.02 miles
Elevation Range: 3,979′ – 4,219′
Elevation Gain: 278′
Date: February 17, 2022
CALTOPO: CALTOPO: Hiking Wawona Meadow Loop with Fannie
Dog Hike? Yes
We headed into Yosemite National Park from the South Wawona entrance, drove up and parked at the western side of the Wawona Hotel Parking lot. This is one of the few trails within Yosemite where you can hike with your dog and I think it is a really good dog hike. Fannie Fancypants and I walked across the street to the golf course. This path is located on what part of what used to be the old Wawona Stagecoach Road.
Arriving to Wawona
You’ve just stepped off of Yosemite’s oldest road. Originally built as a horse trail by the Mann brothers in 1856, it was later expanded into a stage road in 1870. Today’s Chowchilla Mountain Road doesn’t deviate much from the rough, rugged road as it was originally built. At the cost of $12,000, this became the primary thoroughfare from the mining town of Mariposa to Wawona. Visitors traveling along this toll road experienced bone-jarring drops and climbs as they scaled mountains in order to reach the verdant Wawona basin.
We headed through the gate and onward.
Fannie led the way, on leash of course! Sometimes leading the way, meant climbing over down trees.
Sometimes leading the way meant crawling under trees.
And sometimes it meant walking on icy, snow patches.
But leading also meant knowing when to stop and admire a view.
The shady, western side of the meadow had quite a few snowy patches but Fannie loves the snow so she was enjoying this hike.
The snow had some interesting smells.
Fannie led the way across a small creek while I utilized rocks to avoid getting my feet wet. From this point, the trail was snow free for the remainder of our hike.
The trees were thick enough along the trail that I couldn’t see the meadow but occasional glimpses of it were beautiful.
A small creek ran down the road and Fannie looked back at me to say, “OK to go play in the mud and water?” Well, it was not OK with me because she would be a muddy mess in the car heading home but we compromised and she walked down through the water.
I took a look across the meadow to imagine the old stage routes around the right side of the mountain in front of me toward Cold Springs and Mariposa. Or the other option was the road that headed mid slope toward Mount Savage on the left to Summerdale and down to Old Miami Mills.
Here is my track overlaid on a historic map to help illustrate it better. If you click on the picture, it will get larger. Or if you go to the CALTOP link, you can chose the dropdown menu’s Historic Maps to zoom in and out.
I might have heard Fannie thinking, “I didn’t realize that those were the dirt roads that we were walking on out of Worman’s Mill and Cold Springs/Ponderosa Basin.” I assured it that they were just over those mountains. I could tell that she was too shy to ask for her picture taken so I went ahead and did it anyway.
We continued through the gate and on the trail for a little bit, then used the crosswalk to cross the road, taking the trail into the Wawona Hotel complex.
Once again, I could tell that Fannie wanted to get her picture taken in front of the Wawona Hotel, so how could I saw no?
We saw one woman and her dog walking the loop behind us. Well, actually Fannie told me that they were back there and since they were walking a little faster, I soon could see them. But, my point is that this is a popular trail and it isn’t likely that you will have it to yourself once the weather warms up and the area becomes more peoplely.
Dog Hike? Yes
Sally didn’t hike with us on this one because we had a full car but it would have been a good one for her. This is one of the few trails within Yosemite National Park where dogs are allowed. Rules regarding dogs in Yosemite National Park vary based on where you are. I recommend you check out Yosemite Pet Rules for the latest rules and information.
If you bring your pet to Yosemite, please protect your pet, other people, and park wildlife by abiding by these regulations:
Where Pets Are Allowed
- In developed areas
- On fully paved roads, sidewalks, and bicycle paths (except when signed as not allowing pets)
- In all campgrounds except walk-in campgrounds (e.g., Camp 4) and in group campsites
- pets must be restrained on a leash not more than six feet long or otherwise physically restrained
- leashed pets may not be left unattended
- for the courtesy of other visitors, human companions are responsible for cleaning up and depositing pet feces in trash receptacles
- remember that pet food is also bear food: store pet food as if it were human food.
Where Pets Are Not Allowed
- On trails, including the trail to Vernal Fall (however, pets are allowed on the Wawona Meadow Loop)
- On unplowed roads covered in snow
- In undeveloped and wilderness areas
- In public buildings
- On shuttle buses
- In lodging areas
- In all walk-in and group campgrounds/campsites, including Camp 4
- In any other areas, as signed
These regulations protect both pets and wildlife from disease and each other. The National Park Service has prohibited pets on trails for many years. In particular, some pets chase wildlife, pollute water sources, and can become defensive and dangerous in unfamiliar surroundings. Pet owners have the burden to assure their pet does not damage the park values for others in those areas where pets are allowed.
What is a Doarama? It is a video playback of the GPS track overlaid on a 3 dimensional interactive map. If you “grab” the map, you can tilt it or spin it and look at it from different viewing angles. With the rabbit and turtle buttons, you can also speed it up, slow it down or pause it.
Map and Profile:
CALTOPO has some free options for mapping and here is a link to my hike this week: CALTOPO: Hiking Wawona Meadow Loop with Fannie
Prior Blogs in This Area: