For a more curated experience check out trail guides from our partner publishers.
50 Best Short Hikes: Yosemite National Park and Vicinity
by Elizabeth Wenk (Wilderness Press)
Dog Lake is often selected as a destination simply because it is one of Tuolumne Meadows’s shorter walks—an unfair depiction of a beautiful forest-ringed lake with some of the region’s best swimming beaches. The water is warm, or at least warmer than most mountain lakes, and the lakeside meadows are brightly colored with flowers. This walk is accessible as soon as the snow has melted, but it’s best after mid-July when mosquitoes are less abundant.
Day Hikes in Yosemite National Park
by Robert Stone (Day Hike Books)
Dog Lake, at 9,240 feet, is a beautiful half-mile-long lake surrounded by grassy meadows and stands of lodgepole pines. A smooth, level path circles the lake, while mountain peaks rise up in the distance. The grassy terrain and pretty surroundings make this a great place for a picnic. The trail to Dog Lake leads through a lodgepole pine forest. Although short, the trail is steep at times.
Hiking Yosemite National Park
by Suzanne Swedo (Falcon Guides)
This is an easy and popular out-and-back day hike through lodgepole pine forest to a lovely lake, tucked out of sight of Tuolumne Meadows behind Lembert Dome. It is at its most beautiful in late afternoon.
Best Easy Day Hikes: Yosemite National Park
A moderately steep but shady uphill climb takes you to the shore of this pretty little lake tucked in behind Lembert Dome. It’s worthwhile anytime, but photography is best in the afternoon. Set out northward from the small Lembert Dome/Dog Lake trailhead sign through lodgepole pines. Cross an open rocky slab polished to a high sheen in places by glaciers and 74 Best Easy Day Hikes Yosemite National Parkre enter the forest. Sometimes there are cairns to guide you, but sometimes they get washed away. Just walk straight across the rocks and watch for the continuation of the trail on the far side (north). At 0.1 mile a trail comes in from the stables to the left (west). Take the right (north) fork. Just beyond, another trail comes in from the stables. Keep right (north) again. Climb steeply alongside the sheer face of Lembert Dome and then cross a little creek.
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