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Hiking the Wawona Meadow Loop

We heard a rumor that some very pretty flowers were showing off on the Wawona Meadow Loop Trail, so you know where we headed. It was a short hike in cooler country and that rumor was true! Many beautiful wildflowers along the way and this one is also a good dog hike.

Where: Yosemite National Park
Distance: 4.21 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation Range: 3,981′ – 4,217′
Date: June 12, 2019
Topographic Quad Map: El Capitan Topographic Quad
Dog Hike? Yes

We headed into Yosemite National Park from the South Wawona entrance, drove up and parked at the western side of the Big Trees Lodge/Wawona Hotel Parking lot.

Not far from our cars and adjacent to Wawona Road was a beautiful patch of poppies with some lupine thrown in for extra pizazz and of course, we had to take pictures.

We used the restrooms on the backside of the main building of the Wawona Hotel then 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. One of our hikers who is recovering from an injury shortened her hike by parking in the small parking area near the trailhead. You may see a vehicle or two parked here at times. It doesn’t say no parking and there isn’t much space for many vehicles in this area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can’t miss the trail. It has a trail sign and gate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part of the trail has old pavement on it, some of it had potholes and water that had accumulated, making those parts a muddy obstacle course but we made it through easily.

I was very surprised that so many wildflowers were along the trail.

Wild Azaeleas (Photo by Debra Sutherland)

Pink

Wild Iris

Wild Rose

False Solomon’s Seal

The bugs and butterflies were busy helping with the pollination duties on those flowers.

Mariposa lily

We saw one pack train of mules and later a pack train of horses. We all stood by the side of the trail to allow them to pass successfully.

And we saw a group of hikers with their dog. 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.

 

 

A small creek crossing created a great opportunity for us to re-soak our cooling cloths and vest.

 

 

 

Then we headed down the trail along the east side of the meadow, which was much warmer due to not as many trees and the day had warmed up. We had one last look at the meadow before crossing the road back to the Big Trees Lodge/Wawona Hotel.

We circled the wagons aka chairs and gathered our lunches and snacks, enjoying the company and refreshment in the shade of the trees in front of the hotel. It was the perfect ending to our adventure.

Oh, and one more opportunity for photo ops in those poppies.

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

Additionally,

  • 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.

Doarama:

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.

Wawona Meadow Loop Doarama

Map and Profile:

Wawona Meadow Loop Topographic Map

Wawona Meadow Loop Profile

Sources:

Wawona Meadow Loop Hike Yosemite National Park

 

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