25 Pet-Friendly Campsites in California for Pawsome Vacations

Traveling with pets can be difficult. Finding a place to accommodate your pets isn’t always easy. Luckily, there are pet-friendly campsites in California where you can experience all the beautiful sites of the state with your furry friend!

This post will break down our 25 favorite pet-friendly campsites in Northern California, Lake Tahoe, Southern California, Coastal California, and Glamping sites.

Best Pet-Friendly Campsites in Northern California

Experience the dramatic coastline and famous Redwood Forests of Northern California with your furry friend! There are pet friendly campsites in California for everyone, and these Northern California sites are amazing.

Petfriendly Campsites in Northern California

1. Casini Ranch Family Campground

Duncans Mills, California

Stay in the Russian River Valley at a campground with family-friendly, pet-friendly, nature-filled accommodations. Cottages, RV, and tent sites nestled along one mile of the Russian River offer campers a memorable experience.

Pet- friendly beach in California

If you’re looking for mild weather, visit Casini Ranch Family Campground in the summer months. Temperatures are fairly mild all year round, but your warmest temperatures will come in July and August!

With various on-site events and local fun, you won’t run out of things to do at the Casini Ranch. Experience weekly bonfires, fenced-in dog parks, and sporting activities on-site, or venture into the adjacent Willow Creek State Park for miles of hiking trails.

2. Cloverdale Wine Country KOA

Cloverdale, California

Find multiple RV and tent sites nestled among 100-year-old oak, eucalyptus, and evergreen trees, or stay in a deluxe cabin above the valley for stunning views. Although this is a dog-friendly camping site in California, it does not allow pit bulls, rottweilers, or Doberman pincers to be on site.

Summer months provide the best opportunity for traveling to Cloverdale Wine Country KOA. With temperatures in the 80s, it’s perfect weather for fishing, boating, and hiking.

This award-winning KOA offers a hillside pool, spa, nature trail, fishing pond, and paddle boats. It offers a variety of events and is located close to fantastic bike loops, vineyards, and hiking trails.

3. Grizzly Flat Dispersed

Mendocino National Forest, California

Free and dispersed camping in Mendocino National Forest next to Yuki Wilderness provides rugged camping opportunities for tenters. Vault toilets and fire rings are available; however, no additional amenities exist.

Mendocino National Forest is beautiful to visit all year round. Summer months provide the warmest temperatures, though never too hot, and although winter months are often met with snow, the temperature remains mild.

Pet-friendly Campsite in Mendocino National Forest

Many pet-friendly hiking trails are available in the Mendocino National Forest. Family-friendly trails include the Comanche Trail and Bloody Rock Trail. The Mount Linn Loop is a more strenuous hike that provides stunning views of Red Bluff, California.

4. Mad River Campground

Mad River, California

Forty sites are open to RV and tent camping on a first-come, first-serve basis. For a small fee of $12 per night, you and your leashed pet will enjoy a riverside campsite under the canopy of Douglas fir, maples, and manzanita.

Pet-friendly Campsite in California

The best time to visit is May through September, as this is the time of year when the campground is open. This time of year provides warm temperatures and low precipitation.

Drive the Avenue of Giants with your pooch and enjoy 32 miles of pristine Redwood views. If you want to stretch your legs, there are numerous hiking trails in the Mount Lassic Wilderness where your leashed pet can join you.

5. Sonoma County Regional Parks

Sonoma County, California

The Sonoma Country Regional Parks offer over 200 year-round pet-friendly campsites in California. Most campgrounds include RV pull-through sites and tent camping, showers and flush toilets, fire rings, and picnic tables.

Traveling with a dog in California

The busiest time of year is also the best time to visit weather-wise. June through October presents the most favorable weather for Sonoma County adventures.

You can choose from various easy, moderate, and strenuous hiking trails in Sonoma County. Dogs on leash are welcome at nearly all of the county’s 56 regional parks, trails, and beaches.

Pet-Friendly Campsites in Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe’s large, fresh waters straddle the California and Nevada border. Known for its beautiful beaches and epic ski resorts, Lake Tahoe is one of California’s best places to visit and has several pet-friendly campsites.

Petriendly Campsites in Lake Tahoe

1. Kaspian Campground

Tahoe City, California

Only nine walk-ins and tent-only sites are nestled into a sparse forest overlooking Lake Tahoe. Each site includes a picnic table, a fire ring, and a bear-proof locker. The campground has flush restrooms and tap water available to guests.

Kaspian Campground is open from mid-May through October, making the warmer months the best time to visit. All nine campsites are within walking distance of the Kaspian day-use area, where campers can enjoy fishing, swimming, kayaking, and paddleboarding in the warmer months.

The campground is very close to several outdoor recreation opportunities. We recommend the Eagle Rock Trail for a pet-friendly hike with stunning views of Lake Tahoe from the summit. This hike’s parking lot fills up quickly, but the campground is only a .5-mile walk away!

2. Lake Forest Campground

Tahoe City, California

Lake Forest Campground offers twenty campsites on a first-come, first-served basis. Amenities include portable restrooms and pump water. However, showers, hookups, or dumping areas are not available at this campground.

Tahoe City

Lake Forest Campground is only open in the summer when warm temperatures provide endless outdoor recreation activities.

The campground sits next to the boat launch, making it a great place for boat owners to stay. Check out local hikes if you’re not here to float on Lake Tahoe. Ward Creek Tahoe Rim Trail and Paige Meadows are great places to hike with your dog.

2. Fallen Leaf Campground

South Lake Tahoe, California

Located a quarter mile north of Fallen Leaf Lake, this campground is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. With over 200 standard tent and RV sites, six yurts, and coin-operated showers, this campground holds many people.

Pet-friendly site in Lake Tahoe

The best times to visit Lake Tahoe with minimal crowds are from March to May and September to November. However, the warmest weather is found in the summer months. Fallen Leaf Campground is only open from mid-May through mid-October.

Fallen Leaf Campground is a great base camp for many outdoor recreational opportunities. Visit the Taylor Creek Visitor Center, directly across Highway 89, to learn about the interpretive programs and guided walks offered. If you’re interested in a more intense hike with your pet, check out the hikes the Desolation Wilderness has to offer.

4. Luther Pass Dispersed Camping Area

South Lake Tahoe, California

Located in Eldorado National Forest, Luther Pass Dispersed Camping Area is a great place for prepared campers to stay for free. All sites are walk-in, which means they’re best utilized by tent campers. Bear lockers and fire pits are available at all sites.

Pet-freindly campsite in El Dorado

Stay in Eldorado National Forest for a reprieve from the crowds of Lake Tahoe. Take your pup hiking miles of scenic trails or mountain biking on Fleming Meadow Loop. Swimming and paddling are also great ways to spend the summer months.

5. Tahoe Valley Campground

South Lake Tahoe, California

Tent and RV campers can enjoy the mountain vistas and towering pines of Taho Valley Campground. This camping resort has a pool, laundry facilities, and a dog park on top of your standard campground amenities such as bathrooms and showers.

Pet-friendly site in Lake Tahoe

The best time to visit Lake Tahoe is year-round, although only a few campgrounds are open from November through April. Tahoe Valley Campground remains open for those seeking Tahoe ski and snowboarding experiences in winter!

Bring your pup for a swim at Kiva Beach! East of Tallac Point is dog-friendly and provides one of the few dog-friendly beaches around Lake Tahoe. Please clean up after your furry friend and obey local leash rules.

Southern California’s Best Pet-Friendly Campsites

Southern California is known for its dramatic coastlines, desert landscape, and year-round sunny weather. These are some of the best pet-friendly campsites in California for winter camping, as they are open all year round.

Southern California Petfriendly Sites

1. Boulder Basin Campground

Banning, California

Located in the San Bernardino National Forest, 34 sites provide solitude and scenic camping opportunities. Primitive camping includes campfire rings, grills, a picnic table, and vault toilets.

A dog and his fur parents outside a campervan

Boulder Basin Campground is open May through October, perfectly aligning with southern California’s warm, dry weather.

Black Mountain is the most popular hike near Boulder Basin Campground. An 8.7 mile out and back is normally only a quick mile from Boulder Basin Campground. This hike brings you to the lookout tower at 7,772 feet.

Dogs are allowed in San Bernardino National Forest, where the Boulder Basin campsite is. The Boulder Basin campground website also states this.

2. Circle X Ranch

Malibu, California

This scenic former Boy Scout camp is nestled below Boney Mountain. Circle X Ranch is a group campground that holds 75 people. This unique site in the Santa Monica Mountains allows only tent camping.

Autumn is the best time to visit Circle X Ranch and the Santa Monica Mountains. It’s the perfect weather for outdoor recreation, with a lot of sunshine and temperatures in the mid to high 60s.

Man and his dog

The Santa Monica Mountains are full of pet-friendly hiking! Some of the most popular trails are the picturesque Solstice Canyon Loop and the Backbone Trail to Sandstone Peak Loop, rated moderate. Another popular spot to bring your pup is the Westridge-Canyonback Wilderness Park, an urban wilderness park with stunning views of the ocean and downtown Los Angeles.

3. Lark Canyon Campground

McCain Valley, California

Lark Canyon Campground has 15 developed campsites open all year round on a first-come, first-served basis. The campground provides fire rings, tables, non-potable water, and six vault toilets.

The campground is a pet-friendly site where dogs are welcome as long as they are kept on a leash.

The area is open all year round, but the best times to camp are during shoulder season. March to May and September to November offer warm, comfortable temperatures and clear skies.

The McCain Valley Lark Canyon area is well known for its Off-Highway Vehicle Trails. There are over 30 miles of trails near the Lark Canyon Campground for anyone with OHV and ATV vehicles to explore. There are nearby businesses where you can rent an ATV to explore Lark Canyon Trails.

4. Mountain Palm Primitive Campground

Mesquite Oasis, California

If you’re looking for remote vibes, these primitive pet-friendly campsites in California are for you! Drive down a long sand road to a few primitive tent and RV sites with a pit toilet.

Pet-friendly site Mesquite Flat

You’ll want to plan your camping trip to Mountain Palm Primitive Campground in the spring or fall. Summer temperatures are scorching; meanwhile, shoulder season temperatures are just right.

Amazing hikes radiate from this location! Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is dog friendly in some areas, including wash/dirt roads and on the short native plant trails around the visitors’ center.

5. Serrano Campground

Big Bear Lake, California

Serrano Campground in the San Bernardino Mountains is located on the north side of Big Bear Lake. It offers 93 single sites and 6 group sites, RV hookups, dump stations, fire rings, interpretive programs, interpretive trails, picnic tables, showers, and restrooms.

It’s best to visit Big Bear Lake from April through May, with Spring boasting perfect temps and the least crowds. Summer is beautiful; however, you’ll be met with many tourists.

Big Bear Lake

Take a morning jog, bike ride, or leisurely dog walk on the 3.2-mile scenic Alpine Pedal path. The 7.5-mile Cougar Crest Bertha Peak Trail overlooks Big Bear Lake if you want a more strenuous hike. Try kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding in Boulder Bay if hiking isn’t up your alley.

Pet-Friendly Campsites on the Coast of California

A campsite on the beach is a dreamy way to spend your time in California. Luckily, these pet-friendly campsites in California provide the perfect opportunity for pets and their parents to watch a perfect sunset over the Pacific!

Coast of California

1. Bolsa Chica State Beach

Huntington Beach, California

Tent camping is not allowed at Bolsa Chica State Beach. There are 50 campsites available with electric and water hookups for RV camping.

Huntington Beach

Visit Bolsa Chica State Beach to experience warm weather without the summer season crowds. Incredible events, such as the ISA World Surfing Games and Oktoberfest.

Luther Pass is open from late May through Early November. Campers can only camp from late spring through early fall. July, August, and October are the best months to visit as they provide the least precipitation.

Huntington has a dog beach! This doggy paradise is open to all pups and their owners who can abide by good etiquette, which includes properly disposing of pet waste and remaining non-aggressive and under control at all times.

2. Doheny State Beach

Dana Point, California

Doheny State Beach Campground is an excellent option for pet owners, as it has various beachside and inland campsites. Both RV and tent camping are available to guests.

Visiting Doheny State Beach Campground is best in August and September when the temperatures rarely fall below 68 degrees. The Dana Point area is a great place to visit for a relaxing beach vacation.

Camping in Dana Point Beach

Pets are not allowed on Doheny State Beach, but they’re welcome at Corona del Mar State Beach, a 25-minute drive away. Additionally, the 7.7-mile Salt Creek Trail allows leashed pets.

3. Gold Bluffs Beach

Orick, California

Gold Bluffs Beach is a beautiful campground in the dunes at the end of an unpaved road, providing pristine shore views. Twenty-four RV and tent sites are available, and the campground includes solar showers, fire pits, picnic tables, and bear-proof lockers.

Orick, California

If you visit between June and September, you’ll experience minimum precipitation and temperatures that average in the mid-sixties. Known for its miles of gray sand, driftwood, and protected dunes, Gold Bluffs Beach is also home to various exciting wildlife.

Gold Bluffs Beach has several beautiful hiking trails. However, they are not pet-friendly. Head to nearby Redwoods State Park to take your furry friend on one of three scenic drives.

4. San Elijo State Beach

Cardiff, California

Located a few miles north of San Diego, this popular campground is on top of a bluff overlooking the ocean. It has 156 sites and access to hot showers, a convenience camp store, and a fast-food restaurant.

June, July, and September are the driest months to visit San Elio State Beach with your pet. Known for its gorgeous cliffs and great surfing, this is the perfect time of year to enjoy outdoor activities.

San Elijo State Beach

SUP Pups is among San Diego’s top pet-friendly activities. It provides a one-of-a-kind experience, teaching you the basics, safety, and paddling techniques with your pet. If water isn’t your thing, take a thirty-minute drive to Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve for a pet-friendly hike instead.

5. Wrights Beach

Bodega Bay, California

Located just off Route 1 and inside Sonoma Coast State Park, Wrights Beach Campground is the perfect spot for anyone who loves a craggy coastline. There are 27 sites, with numbers 1-10 directly facing the ocean.

Bodega Bay, CA

Visiting Wrights Beach is amazing all year long. Brisk sunny summers fade away to moody winter days filled with fog. It’s a coastal nature lover’s dream!

Pets are allowed on specific beaches within Sonoma Coast State Park. Dogs are prohibited at the famous Goat Rock but not at Marshall Gulch, Carmet Beach, and Portuguese Beach.

Glamping in California with Your Dog

Glamping is a great option if you love the outdoors but are unsure about sleeping outside. It is a more glamorous form of camping, including amenities that tenting might not offer.

Glamping Spots in California

Luckily, there are pet-friendly campsites in California that qualify as glamping. A few of these can be booked all year round!

1. Glamping Treehouse

Watsonville, California

The most perfect treehouse is nestled in the Redwoods near Monterey Bay. A treehouse stay includes a private hot tub under the trees, a gas stove, and a TV and DVD player.

A shihtzu enjoying the outdoors

This unique experience is a great option all year round. Beautiful in any season, you’ll have to decide if you want to visit in the dry summer months or choose to stay in the snowy winter season!

Bring your furry friend along for a beach day at Manresa State Beach! Leashed dogs are allowed to stroll the shores or splash in the waves. Check out the Franich Dog Park if you have an incredibly social pup. There are two fences in areas, one for large dogs and another for small dogs.

2. Luxury Safari Cabin Tent

Warner Springs, California

One of the few pet-friendly campsites in California is Luxury Safari Cabin Tent. This location offers amazing views and a fenced-in area for glamping dogs to roam free and enjoy the magnificent surroundings of the property.

Glamping Treehouse

It’s best to visit this property in early fall and late spring. The tent does have a fireplace, heated blankets, and a hot tub. However, it doesn’t hold heat well so that winter overnights can get chilly. Similarly, the tent does not have air conditioning, making summer temperatures uncomfortable.

There’s a lot of off-leash hiking available in the Love Valley Meadow Cleaveland National Forest located nearby. You can also hike in Los Coyotes Reservation to reach the highest point in San Diego, Hot Springs Mountain.

3. Modern Cabin in Joshua Tree

Joshua Tree, California

This modern cabin provides 360-degree views of Joshua Tree. Enjoy the view from inside the cabin with its large windows or outside while soaking in the hot tub.

Visiting the Joshua Tree area with pets is best in late Fall through Spring. These are the best temperatures for their sensitive paws!

Pet-friendly campsite in Joshua Tree CA

Bring your leashed pet to Pioneertown’s Mountains Preserve. It’s an excellent location for hiking, and we suggest Chaparosa Peak, which is ideal for wildlife viewing at dawn and dusk!

4. Bell Tent with Pool

Joshua Tree, California

Enjoy a soak after a long day of hiking with your pup in this glamping accommodation. The Bell Tent Yurt accommodates four people with shared bathroom and kitchen accommodations.

The best time to visit the Bell Tent is in April and May. Perfect weather and flowering foliage are the area’s highlights this time of year.

Pet-friendly Park in Joshua Tree, CA

During your stay, visit Joshua Tree National Park for some adventure. Pets on a leash are allowed in the park within 100 feet of roads, picnic areas, and campgrounds. Please remember that summer temperatures are inappropriate for dogs, and they can burn their paws.

5. Yurts Outside of Yosemite

Coarsegold, California

Stay in a Yurt in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada with your four-legged friend! They accommodate up to 5 guests and include a shared bathhouse with showers and toilets.

June through September is the best time to visit Coarsegold, as the weather is warm and dry. However, it’s important to note that Coarsegold is a great place to visit all year round.

Yurts outside Yosemite are, as they suggest, about 30 minutes from the entrance. You can visit Yosemite National Park with your pets. Leashed dogs are allowed on most fully paved roads, sidewalks, and bicycle paths and in most developed areas unless it is specifically stated otherwise.

Dog-friendly site in Yosemite

Tips And Tricks For Going Camping With Your Pets

While camping with a pet may seem simple enough, you must remember that it is not the same as simply bringing your furry friend to the park. Bringing your pet to the park can pose safety concerns for you and your pet, so you may want to pay close attention to our tips and tricks.

Choose Your Campground Wisely

The most important consideration before you decide to set off on your camping trip with your beloved pet is whether or not it will be allowed into the campground. Many campgrounds are off-limits to pets because of potentially destructive behavior toward the environment, among other concerns.

Pets Not Allowed

Look at the nearby national parks and campgrounds, check their websites, or call them to see whether they can glamorously accommodate your dog on a camping trip. Once you have found a suitable campground, you can move on to the next matter.

Train Your Pet Before Going Camping

Before you take your dog or cat camping, you must teach them some basic lessons. This will be nearly impossible with cats, but some are more open to commands than others, however rare that may be.

You will want to be able to call your dog back to you, get them to lie down and remain in place, and a few other basic commands that will be useful for their safety. Many things in the forest can end up distracting your pet, and some can even cause them to bolt off on you in search of the source of a smell or a sound.

Train Your Dog

If you want to ensure that your pet will be safe throughout your trip, there are few better options than adequately training it. Another advantage of this training is that you can use the commands at home. This will make your pet more obedient and easier to live with.

Bring Your Pet For A Checkup Before You Go

If your dog hasn’t been to the vet for a regular checkup anytime in the recent past, there is no better time than just before your camping trip. The last thing you would want is for your pet to suffer a health crisis while you are out in the woods, separated from the nearest vet by miles.

Bringing your pet to the vet will also help ensure that your dog is not harassed by fleas or ticks, as the veterinarian can check the medication. Some vets will also stock the medical supplies you may wish to bring when taking your pet camping.

Dog At Vet

It is crucial to bring a pet first aid kit in case your furry friend suffers an accident while you are camping. This first aid kit will allow you to treat your pet before bringing it to a vet, which, as we mentioned previously, can be quite far off from a campsite.

This vet visit will also allow you to purchase flea repellent and other convenience items for your dog to ensure it won’t have to deal with troubles in the wilderness. You should care for your dog on a camping trip like you would care for yourself.

Bring Food And Water For Your Dog

The last thing you want to forget when you take your pet camping is sufficient food and water for both of you. Bring a good combination of canned and dry dog food, allowing you to cater to your dog’s current needs. You will also have to bring them a decent amount of bottled water.

In addition to their standard food and some water, you may wish to bring treats for your pet to congratulate them on a job well done on their first camping trip. If you want to reinforce good behavior or simply need a way to get your pet’s attention, there are a few better options than treats.

Food For Pets on Vecation

Of course, with any pet, you will also have to bring bowls for them. Don’t forget to pack your pet a small food bowl and water bowl. Remember that your pet will need food and water just as much as you will, and you will need to return home as soon as you run out of it, so it is always better to pack more than less.

Bring Poop Bags!

Many irresponsible pet owners forget about this, which is often why pets are not allowed at some campsites. If you are a dog owner and don’t pick up after your pet when it does its business, you should be ashamed of yourself, as that is one of the core aspects of being a good owner.

Respect the environment in which you find yourself. If you wouldn’t leave garbage lying around your campsite, you shouldn’t leave your dog’s poop there either. Bring more bags than you anticipate needing (just in case), and bring a method of disposing of them; even a portable trash can will do so for the duration of your camping trip.


We hope that we have been able to help you prepare for your upcoming pet camping trip. Stay safe outdoors, and have fun with your faithful companion!