Dog Lake Trail is a 3.6 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Yosemite Valley, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from June until September.

Length3.6 miElevation gain613 ftRoute typeLoop
Kid friendlyHikingNature tripsWalkingBird watchingForestLakeViewsBugsRockyFeeNo dogs
Description
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Contact
Getting There

Yosemite National Park charges a fee to enter. Fees are $35 per vehicle or $30 per motorcycle. If you are entering on foot, horse, or bike the fee is $20 per person. You can also purchase a park specific annual pass for $70.

California Travel and Tourism Commision, P.O. Box 1499 , Sacramento, CA, 95812-1499, Phone: 800-862-2543

Directions from Arch Rock Entrance: Drive northward into the park toward the Yosemite Valley. Turn left on to Big Oak Flat Road and travel almost 9.5 miles to Tioga Road. Turn right on to Tioga Road and travel 39 miles to Tuolumne Meadows. Turn left on to the dirt road that leads to the Lembert Dome/Glen Aulin Trailhead. Walk east from the parking area to the trailhead, which is behind the restrooms.

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Reviews (57)
Photos (284)
Recordings (43)
Completed (269)
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Rebekah Medina
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 16, 2020
Hiking

I hiked this trail on 10/10/20 with my 9 year old grandson. He did not enjoy the hike at all, it was too much of an uphill climb for him and being in the high elevation made it even harder. We almost turned around and went back to the car but he pushed through and made it to the lake. He did enjoy skipping rocks on the lake.

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Mike Siders
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HikingGreat!

Very nice short trail to Dog Lake but I will say, I don’t agree with some of these posts. The majority of the trail is all incline and if you’re not familiar with hiking in high elevation, it’s going to be fairly difficult as there aren’t many switch backs, it’s mostly a grind till you hit the flat area. Did this one carrying my 9 month old son on my back and it was a bit harder then I would have liked but the lake itself is beautiful. Overall though it’s a super doable hike, just understand that even though it’s low mileage, it’s still a little more challenging then you’d likely anticipate. I’ve never hiked around the lake but would like to at some point, highly recommend for a short family hike or make a quick pit stop if you’re carrying on to Young Lakes

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Jose Ballesteros
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Hiking
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Carol Ziel
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Hiking

Beautiful. Not Smokey.

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James Li
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Hiking

Some mild uphill on this hike. Wouldn’t be too bad if the elevation wasn’t so high. Dog Lake is nice and quiet and water is very clean.

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Moriah Testa
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Hiking

Nice easy hike to lake. 10 minutes of uphill max. Average lake with average view compared to other alpine lakes. But worth the quick 1 hr hike. Could maybe swim if you went to the other side of the lake.

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Stefania Caldwell
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Hiking
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Elizabeth Crimmins
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Road biking

After dog lake trail which was beautiful we crossed over Tioga road and walked along the river which was really spectacular!

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Linz Dee
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Hiking

A bit shocked this trail shows “easy”. For experienced and in decent shape hikers, I can see this not being a difficult trail but towards the start it is fairly steep. There’s a large elevation gain in a short section. There’s plenty of spaces to stop and rest though. In June, we ran into a fair amount of people going in (including an older couple who struggled making the climb) and as we were going out we passed a ton of people headed in around noon. We went in and ended our hike at the Lambert Dome picnic area. There is another access route to the trail that we didn’t take. If you hike around the lake, bring the skeeter spray.

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Stephanie Dean
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HikingBugs

I agree with Linz Dee that this isn't necessarily an "easy" trail due to the hefty uphill portion at the beginning. Maybe if you've already adjusted to the altitude? Overall, a fun hike with a perfect picnic spot at the lake.

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Laurie Young
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 25, 2020
Hiking

Great climb out of the Lembert Dome parking lot. We followed the trail to Dog Lake, then over to Lembert Dome. The loop took us about three hours with stops along the way to enjoy the scenery (and catch our breath - the first 3/4 of a mile is a good cardio workout). Amazing views at the lake and the top of dome trail.

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Stu Campbell
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Hiking

Actually this is a walk to dog lake

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Kevin Stark
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Hiking

This trail should be updated to moderate, especially if you have small children. The middle section of this trail gains about 600 ft in elevation. I have a 6 & 7 year old and we had to rest a few times through this section. The view at the top is spectacular and is a great spot to have a picnic lunch. I would definitely recommend this hike!

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Robert Daniel
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 11, 2019
Hiking

The hike to Dog lake was steep at in the middle but very much worth the effort. I saw a deer and fawn on the way up and a deer on the way back. Other hikers told me they saw a bear. If your looking for a great day hike this it is. The Yosemite guide from the visitors center calls it Moderately strenuous.. That's fair. I don't agree with the Easy definition listed here on All trails because of the steepness and altitude. Though to be fair I saw a six year old make it to the lake. The trail is well defined and well trafficked, , but not nearly so crowed as the more famous trails of the Yosemite valley. If the valley is crowded, this would be an amazing alternative. August brought perfect weather, dragon flies, blue ones! It's a hike that is not to be missed. I started from the visitors center and drove to the Lambert dome parking lot which was full. So I parked near the stables and walked to the trailhead.

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Deanna King
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HikingBugsRocky

Rocky and uphill most of the way. Not so bad, but the elevation is HIGH, so prepare to take lots of breaks, especially for kids or beginning hikers. The lake is beautiful but had plenty of mosquitoes! Quite a few families with 5-8 year olds were also on the trail. We combined it with climbing the dome and did it in 2 1/2 hours and that included eating lunch at the lake.

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Fin Debo
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Cool lake, sick view of mount Dana in the background

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Christine Paterson
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Great fun and all ages can enjoy the hike!

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Lori M
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Hiking

Nice little hike, went on a Wednesday and practically had the lake to myself. Went to Lembert Dome on the return trip which had nice views with minimal effort.

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Alex Munoz
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It was an easy trail, beautiful scenery, still snow in late July, will be back.

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Matt Ayers
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Hiking

There is so much amazing hiking around here you might overlook this one but don't. Easy for the kids and the view across the lake to the mountains is fantastic! We started at the parking area across from Lembert Dome and did a loop up to the top of the dome then down to dog lake and then across the front of Lembert to the parking lot. Crossed the road and up the meadow back to the parking area at the John Muir. Great moderate hike!

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J Gam
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 22, 2015

Easy enough trail with a spectacular ending at the gorgeous Dog Lake. Great if you have limited time in the area. I would like to have spent more time at the lake. Serene hardly begins to capture the feeling there toward sunset.

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James Elliott
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Hiking

This is a good trail in Yosemite National Park. The first and last parts are fairly flat, but the middle 0.8 miles has over 600-feet elevation gain with several minor switch-backs; it's no stroll in the park, but it's not awful either. You can add an extra 2.2 miles by catching the Lembert Dome trail about 0.3 miles from Dog Lake. My GPS said just over 5 miles after doing both trails together. The trail gets pretty heavy usage since the trailhead is right along the main road.

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Claire B
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 12, 2015
Hiking

Dog Lake is a great short hike in Tuolumne Meadows of Yosemite. The trail itself goes a considerable distance uphill and is a bit uneven, so it's not a walk despite it's length. When you arrive at the lake, you get a nice view of Lembert Dome and the fishing is pretty good there too! As previously noted: if you are sensitive to bugs, bring bug spray.

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Justin Gery
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 4, 2012
Hiking

The Dog Lake Trail is a short but rocky uphill climb from the Lembert Dome Parking area. Good hike if you have a limited amount of time in the Tuolumne Meadows area. The lake is bigger than one would expect. Bring mosquito repellent in the early season.

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Lloyd La Plant Jr
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 18, 2011
Hiking

Hiked the weekend after Tioga Road opened. Trail covered in many areas by snow banks so lots of up and down but not enough snow to use snowshoes so very uneven. Nice hike when snow melts.

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Mike Teague
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Hiking
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Sanket Chandorkar
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Backpacking
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Aditya Dhulipala
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Hiking
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Stephen Seyler
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Hiking
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