The 10 Best Dog-Friendly Campgrounds in California

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Nowadays, more and more campgrounds in California are becoming pet-friendly.

And with the warmer weather coming up, it might be time to start planning your next big adventure. But where do you go?

There are so many beautiful places in California for you and your furry friend to explore together!

I’ve compiled a list of my favorite ten dog-friendly campsites that I think every California camper should add to their bucket list this year.

What’s included on this list? Well, there’s everything from sprawling forests perfect for hiking with your pup to beaches that will make them want to swim all day long.

Scroll down below and get ready to pack your bags!

Read More:

Where Can You Camp With Dogs in California?

California Dog-Friendly Campgrounds - Los Padres National Forest
Caption: One of the California Dog-Friendly Campgrounds

Plaskett Creek Campground, Big Sur

Located in the beautiful Big Sur region of central California and boasting an ocean-front view of the Big Sur coastline, Plaskett Creek Campground is perfect for all dog owners looking to enjoy their vacation off the beaten path.

Your dog will be able to wander through the forest and play with other pups at the campground. It also features opportunities for hiking, biking, fishing, and swimming, a unique camping ground that has something for everyone to enjoy.

The best part about this campsite? It’s only a quick walk down to the famous Sand Dollar Beach, which is one of the largest sandy beaches in the Big Sur area and is a must-visit for all campers looking to spend their summer days lounging in the sun. And your pup will certainly love playing all day long by the water, chasing seagulls, and rolling around in the sand!

Furnace Creek Campground, Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park is one of California’s premier camping locations. The park is at the lowest point in North America and features some otherworldly desert landscapes that you can’t find anywhere else!

It is home to various geological wonders, including sand dunes, colorful badlands, salt flats, rugged canyons, dry basins, and snow-covered peaks. This national park is a must-see for anyone looking to enjoy a weekend camping trip in a truly unique natural landscape.

Furnace Creek Campground is located at an elevation below sea level and is open year-round. It features 136 sites, and all are equipped with picnic tables, drinking water, grills, fire pits, flushing toilets, and a dump station. It is also the only NPS campground that has hookup sites.

Dogwood Family Campground, San Bernardino National Forest

The San Bernardino National Forest contains some of the most beautiful landscapes in California. The forest is located in the heart of Southern California, only two hours away from both Los Angeles and San Diego.

Dogwood Family Campground is located deep within the forest, with 87 spacious sites great for tents and RVs. In addition, this campground is pet-friendly, so you won’t have to leave your furry friend at home while you explore this beautiful forest!

It is also an excellent place for you and your canine to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life, allowing you both to explore and hike through towering pine, cedar, and oak trees.

Serrano Campground, San Bernardino National Forest

Another great place for camping with your dog in California’s San Bernardino National Forest is the Serrano Campground, with 109 campsites available for you and your pup.

Serrano Campground only opens from mid-March to late November and has amenities like picnic tables, grills, electric hookups, drinkable water, fire rings, flush toilets, and dump stations.

This campground is also close to the gorgeous Big Bear Lake, a popular spot for fishing, swimming, skijoring, and snowshoeing with dogs. You can also visit the Big Bear Discovery Center, which provides educational programs, exhibits, and eco-tours.

Moro Campground, Crystal Cove State Park

Crystal Cove State Park is one of California’s most visited state parks, and it’s not hard to see why. With 2,400 acres of land and stretches over 3.2 miles of Southern California coastline, Crystal Cove is the perfect place for dog owners looking to escape into nature.

This dog-friendly Moro campground has 57 sites spread out throughout the park. Of those, 27 are designated for RVs and trailers, and 30 for soft-sided trailers, van conversions, and tents. Picnic tables, electric hookups, restrooms, and showers are all available.

This park also has six beautiful beaches for you to explore, along with 18 miles of trails through the endangered coastal sage and chaparral plant communities, making it a perfect place for hikers, bikers, and dogs.

Read More: Best Dog-Friendly Hiking Trails in Orange County

Fremont Campground, Los Padres National Forest

What do you say about a place referred to as one of the crown jewels of California’s wildlands? Los Padres National Forest is a vast wilderness area, offering over 323 miles of trails for you and your dog to explore.

Located in the Los Padres is Fremont Campground, which sits at an elevation of 900 feet and features 15 campsites for tents, RVs, and trailers. Each site has access to amenities like picnic tables, grills, flushing toilets, and drinking water for your convenience.

The highlights? You’ll find Fremont Campground in a beautiful setting with towering oak trees, and there are lots of shades! Plus, it is close to Santa Ynez River and Cachuma Lake, making it a perfect location if you plan to go swimming, fishing, and kayaking.

William Kent Campground, Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit

Located on the west of Lake Tahoe, William Kent Campground has some of the best views you can find for camping with your dog in California!

There are more than 80 campsites available, surrounded by beautiful pine, cedar, and fir trees, making it a great place to get away from it all. Want to bring your kids along? Not to worry. They have yurts to accommodate a family of five to six! Those yurts sit on top of wooden decks and include interior furnishings like futons and bunk beds with mattresses.

And if you’re still not convinced about the beauty of this campground, know that there are many fun activities you can do, including biking, boating, fishing, swimming, kayaking, hiking, and more!

Twin Lakes Campground, Inyo National Forest

Lodgepole pines, lakes, picturesque waterfalls… What more could you ask for when camping with your dog in California?

Inyo National Forest is a favorite destination among outdoor enthusiasts. After all, it’s home to some of the best trails in California, from easy loops to strenuous ones. And with 2 million acres of land covered and an elevation ranging from 4,000 to 14,494 feet above sea level, Inyo deserves a spot on any camper’s bucket list!

Twin Lakes Campground is located within the national forest, sitting at an elevation of 8,600 at the base of Mammoth Mountain, which is a popular skiing and snowboarding destination in winter. And sitting at this elevation also means it can get cold at night, even during summer. So remember to also pack some warm clothes or jackets for your dog and yourself.

The campground is split into three sites. With the first and second on the west side, while the other is on a hill. There’s also a general store nearby, allowing you to rent boats and stock up on anything you might need for your trip.

Circle X Ranch Group Campground, Santa Monica Mountains

Are you feeling adventurous? Then Circle X Ranch Group Campground, a former Boy Scout camp in the Santa Monica Mountains, might be for you!

Circle X is popular among hikers, with trails leading to Sandstone Peak, where you’ll be at the highest point in the Santa Monica Mountains, sitting at an elevation of 3,114 feet. From there, both you and your adventurous pup can get spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean, Conejo Valley, Santa Monica, and a few of the Channel Islands on a clear day!

This campground is a group-site campground, with a maximum of 75 people allowed. Charcoal fires in fire gates or personal barbecue grills and gas stoves are permitted, but not campfires with wood or compressed log fires due to fire hazards.

Read More: Top Dog-Friendly Hiking Trails in Los Angeles and Beyond

Upper Pines Campground, Yosemite National Park

One of the largest national parks in California, Yosemite is a popular destination among outdoor lovers! And you surely can’t go wrong with camping with your dog in Upper Pines Campground, the largest of the three campgrounds in Yosemite Valley.

There’re a lot of things to do and see here in Yosemite, from breathtaking views of the world-famous Half Dome and El Capitan rock formations to swimming in one of its pristine lakes. Horseback riding, biking, rock climbing, rafting, and cross-country skiing are also available!

This campground sits at 4,000 feet elevation, near the Merced River, with 238 campsites in a beautiful Ponderosa pine forest. Also known for its comfort and convenience, it does fill up fast, so plan ahead and make your reservations!

Read More: Best Dog-Friendly Trails in Yosemite National Park