Dog Lake, named by Robert Marshall of the US Geological Survey who found a sheepdog with a litter of puppies in the area, is a pretty little lake, with nice scenery surrounding it and a fun but easy trail leading up to it. Not exactly a hike for thrill seekers, this is more of a place to go if you would like to see something that many miss out on during their trip to Yosemite, mostly because the area itself is quite beautiful, and a bit unique when compared to other lakes in the area.
Best Time to Visit
As long as the Tioga Road is open, it’s a good time to visit. Come anytime from June through October.
While we rank it a 4/10, it isn’t very difficult and shouldn’t pose much of a problem to anyone besides the infirm and, perhaps, the young. It is a bit rocky and steep in the beginning, but you should not have too much difficulty completing this.
Distance and Hiking Time
At only 2.8 miles, it is a pretty short hike, so don’t worry about scheduling other hikes throughout the day. You should be done within 1.5 – 3 hours, especially since there isn’t—strictly speaking—a ton to do here.
Just look for the parking lot at the trailhead—it’s normally pretty empty, and you should basically always be able to get a good spot.