For a Canine Blast: Dog-Friendly Camping Northern California

Camping With a Canine in Northern California

Which places can one visit for dog-friendly camping in Northern California? Everyone deserves a vacation once in a while, your dog included! There are many dog-friendly sites in Northern California that welcome dog vacationing. Camping with your dog is much more fun than camping alone.

Depending on your preference, you can go for a road trip, visit a dog-friendly beach, or camp in a posh mountain resort with your dog.

Dog-Friendly Campgrounds in Northern California

Which places can I visit for dog-friendly camping near me? If you are in Northern California and can’t find an answer to this question, you are in the right place!

We have consulted hoteliers, travel agents, and other experts to get their best vacation picks for dogs and their parents in Northern California. Here are our top places for a memorable dog-friendly holiday in Northern California.

Campland on the Bay

Campland on the bay is one of the places that you and your dog can visit for a great dog-friendly beach camping in Northern California. Here you can dig your toes on the sandy beach, enjoy some sunshine and sail on a boat from the marina.

Campland on the bay allows you to bring three dogs of any size for an extra 3$ per night. This camping ground has dozens of activities for kids, adults, and dogs. Dog parents who visit this pack go back year after year to create more memories. Here are a few rules you must observe when holidaying here with your dog.

  • Canines are not allowed in the cafe, beach, and game room.
  • Your dog must always be on a leash.
  • Dogs should not be left alone outside the tent or RV.
  • Aggressive dog breeds are not allowed.
  • Leashes should be less than 6 feet (36 inches) long.

Where to Stay

You and your dog can stay in many places when you visit Campland on the bay. Depending on your preference, you can stay in an RV, tent, or hotel room. 

The rooms are spacious enough and are pet friendly. The washrooms and showers are clean and well maintained. You also get free wifi and laundry when you camp here. The staff in this camp is friendly and professional.


Campland on the bay has many activities for kids, dogs, and adults. While here, you can enjoy aquatic activities like fishing, boat riding, skating, and swimming. There is also a gym for campers who love working out.

Campland on the bay also has a Basketball pitch and beach volleyball park. If you love cycling, you can also rent a bicycle and ride on the trail.

This camping site also has a playing ground for kids for those who intend to come with their children. Since this is a beach area, you must remember to carry a floating jacket for yourself and your hairy buddy.


Campland on the Bay has many excellent facilities to make your camping experience unforgettable. One of the great amenities you will find here is a gym, where you can grab a quick workout. There’s also a laundromat where you can have your clothes cleaned for a small fee. The management also organizes daily live entertainment for its guests.

Camping cannot be complete without good food! At Campland on the bay, there are good restaurants where you can enjoy tasty meals. Besides restaurants, there are bars where you can enjoy your favorite drink while listening to live music on the patio.

Campland on the beach also has a market that sells dog food and other camping essentials. Ensure you have enough food and snacks for your dog.

camping with dog

San Onofre State Beach Camping

If you are looking for a dog-friendly beach camping site in Northern California, consider San Onofre State Beach. This park is among the few pet-friendly camps in California that allow you to have a great time camping with your hairy buddy at no extra charge.

Although this campsite is pet friendly, your dog must always be on a leash when outside your car. At this camping site, dogs are allowed on two hiking trails. The beach is out of bounce for dogs.

Where to Stay

San Onofre State Beach has over 150 family camping sites and is less than a mile from the sandy ocean. This campsite is one of the best places to visit and have a good time with your dog. 

While at San Onofre State Beach, you can stay in a tent, RV, or trailer. This campsite can accommodate up to 40 people and eight vehicles. While here, you and your dog will not be allowed to sleep in the car. Campers are allowed to stay a maximum of seven days. Visitors check in at 2 pm and check out at noon.


You, your pup, and other family members can enjoy many activities at San Onofre State Beach campsite. Mountain biking, hiking, and walking trails are some activities that you and your dog will enjoy here. Other activities available at this camping site are beach combing, surfing, fishing, bird watching, photography, and wildlife viewing.


The amenities in San Onofre State Beach campsite are why dog owners flock here yearly. The restrooms are in great shape with an option of outdoor cold shower water. There is lots of clean drinking water and great food for you and your dog. While here, you also get to enjoy BBQ grills and an evening campfire. 

Serrano Campground

Serrano campground is another of the great dog-friendly camping sites in Northern California. This family camping site is in the San Bernardino mountains. Serrano is 2 miles (3.22 kilometers) east of Fawnskin and on the north side of Big Bear Lake.

This campsite has beautiful surroundings and lots of space where you can play with your dog.

You can make reservations for this campsite as early as six months or 24 hours before checking in. Serrano camping ground allows a minimum of three nights for the holiday weekend. 

This camp buzzes with all sorts of activities during the daytime, but the nights are quiet and peaceful. So if you are looking for a camping site that allows you to bond with your dog during the day and do something productive at night, Serrano is the place.

Where to Stay

While holidaying at Serrano campground, there are many options on where you and your dog can stay. Depending on what you like, you can choose to stay in tents, RV parks, yurts, cabins, treehouses, and glamping. 

The space is big enough and can accommodate many tents and big RVs. This camping site has a total of 109 sites that accommodate up to 16 guests. Moreover, there is no restriction on the number of dogs or breeds you can bring. You can take a comfortable holiday here with all your family and dogs.


Serrano campground has many activities that can keep you and your dog entertained. You can enjoy water activities such as swimming, fishing, skating, and boat riding.

Serrano campground also has bikes. Most dogs love biking activities. If your dog is big enough, you can cycle and let it jump and run after you. If you own a puppy or a small dog breed, consider taking a bicycle that has a basket and cycling around with your dog.

Other activities you and your dog can enjoy here include hiking on the mountain ranges, rock climbing, and horseback riding. Dogs love hunting! While here, you can take your pup to the mountainous region and hunt for squirrels and birds.


The Serrano camping site has many amenities to ensure your stay is comfortable. Some amenities you will find here are lots of fresh water, hot showers, and clean washrooms. The Serrano campground also has camping sites accessible to people with disabilities. 

Other amenities available at this campsite include campsite tables, a dump station, and a comfort station. In the evening, you can enjoy the company of your dog over BBQ Grills and a fire pit.

Couple camping with dog

Ventura Ranch KOA

We were looking for dog-friendly campsites near me in Northern California, and a friend referred me to the Ventura Ranch Koa. Located in the California hills, this campsite is great for relaxing and having fun with your dog.

Located on a 30.4-hectare (76-acre) piece of land at the foot of Mount Topa, you’ll find this paradise. The Ventura Ranch Park is a wonderful place for you and your dog to relax, meditate and enjoy some sunshine outdoors. 

You must stop by the gate and register all people, pets, and vehicles when coming in. Each campsite can host six people and three dogs. Therefore you can bring all your family and dogs.

Where to Stay

Ventura ranch Koa offers different types of accommodation, from simple to deluxe premium packages. Depending on your taste and budget, you can stay in any of the below five areas;

  • Tent sites (no electricity)
  • RV sites (Full or partial hookups, no cable for TV)
  • Teepee (no electricity)
  • Conestoga Wagons 
  • Safari Tents
  • Cabins (No internet or TVs)

The check-in time for RVs and tents is at 2.00 pm, and the check-out time is 11.00 am. If you choose to stay in the cabins, safari tents, or teepees, your check-in and check-out times will be 3.00 pm and 11.00 pm, respectively.

The campsite charges for a daytime visit are 10$ per person. There are no charges for children under three years and pets. If you visit during the day, you should vacate the premises by 8.00 pm.


The Ventura ranch koa is a place full of fun! There are lots of exciting activities to keep you, your family, and your dog entertained. Some activities you can enjoy include ziplining, art and craft, and tie-dye. The pool, bouncing castle, and playground keep the dogs and kids busy.

While enjoying the tone of activities available at this campsite, beautiful, friendly peacocks will surround you. This campsite is in a quiet place, surrounded by beautiful mountains and trees. You can also take your dog for a hike or hunting in the forests.

This campsite is only half an hour’s drive from Ventura beach. So if you are looking for a dog-friendly beach camping experience, we would highly recommend it. 


The Ventura Ranch Koa has many excellent facilities. Some unique facilities available at this campsite include free wifi, RV storage, and a kitchen and dining area. If you visit with your family or a group of friends, you can book a BBQ and a foosball table.

There is also a clubhouse where you can unwind, listen to music and enjoy your favorite drink. This campsite has plenty of fresh water for you and your dog. The washrooms and bathrooms are also clean.

Carmel By the River RV Park

Carmel by the River RV park is one of the best campsites that allow dogs in northern California. If you plan to go on a camping vacation with your dog in California, consider visiting this excellent campsite. 

Located between large hedges off Carmel valley roads, this campsite is very private. Dogs are allowed at this camp for an extra cost of around 2$ per night. Please note that your pup must always be on a leash no longer than 6 feet (36 inches) when outside.

Where to Stay

The central accommodation available at this campsite is an RV stay. There are no alternatives like lodgings, safari tents, or cabins. However, there are various RV models that you can pick. These RVs differ in both size and quality. Depending on your family size and budget, you can choose a standard, wide, premium, deluxe, mega, or primo RV. 

The standard Rvs have simple features, while the primo and premier Rvs have luxurious features. Some of the unique amenities in the premium RVs include a propane fire pit, a paved patio, and a private oasis. Flowers and trees separate all the sites to ensure your stay is more intimate.


Carmel by the river park offers several great activities for you and your dog. The one activity you and your canine can enjoy here is long hiking trails. You can take your dog for a long walk and hunt in the trees. You can also enjoy wildlife viewing during your stay in this park. 

The hills, trees, and flowers are an incredible sight to behold as you relax with your dog in the evening or mornings. This campsite also has a dog park area where you can play with your puppy off the leash. You can also enjoy golf sports or simply relax with your dog by the river.


Carmel by the river park has many excellent facilities that make holidaying here worthwhile! One of the unique amenities available at this campsite is a general store. The store is located at the main office and will provide you with standard RV supplies, cold soft drinks, staple snacks, and camping food.

This store also has dog supplies and a massive collection of DVDs to rent. The other fantastic amenity available on this camping site is the business lounge. Although dogs are not allowed here, this lounge offers a great relaxing atmosphere, away from the crib. While here, you will get a printing option, a coffee bar, and a zoom corner.

The recreation room is one area you can enjoy with your pup and other family members while camping at Carmel by the River RV. The room is spacious with pool tables, a TV screen, comfortable couches, and a small library. There is also a selection of video games, dog toys, and board games, all for your enjoyment.

Paradise Cove Campground

Camping with dogs at Paradise cove campground is so much fun! Located in the Sequoia National Forest, south of Lake Isabella, Paradise cove is one of Northern California’s best pet-friendly camping sites.

While here, your dog must always be on a leash and should not be left unattended. This campsite has 50 developed campsites that accommodate six people, including children. 

You can make your reservation six months or a day before your arrival. The check-in time is 2.00 pm, and the check-out time is noon. Remember that glass containers are not allowed along River Kane and Lake Isabel.

Where to Stay

Paradise Grove has 50 well-developed campsites for trailers, RVs, and tents. This campsite has enough space to accommodate over 70 self-contained trailers or RVs. Some camping sites in this camping ground are in the shade, while others have no shade, such as the RV sites. 


There are lots of activities that you can enjoy while at this place. Lake Isabelle is a common destination for dog owners looking for dog-friendly beach camping in California.

Swimming, fishing, and boat riding are some water activities you and your dog will enjoy here. While here, you can rent a boat from the two marinas or launch your own. Remember to carry a floating jacket for your dog when visiting this campsite.

You may also take a long afternoon hike at the Kern valley museum with your pup. Other activities you can enjoy at the paradise cove campgrounds include golfing, windsurfing, and skiing. You can also rent a bike and cycle with your dog.


Paradise cove campground has good quality amenities, including hot showers, clean restrooms, and lots of clean water. Each campsite has a theater, picnic tables, and fire rings. You and your canine friend can bond over tasty BBQ after a long day. 

This camping site has a sanitation dump station, a fish cleaning station, and a day-use area. Camping includes sampling new restaurants and food. This campsite has excellent eating facilities where you, your family, and your dog can enjoy tasty meals!

Sequoia National Park Campground

Sequoia National Park Campground is another great place where you can go for a vacation with your dog. This park is in central California on the banks of the Kaweah River. Sequoia National Park Campground is a family and pet-friendly camping site. It is a beautiful spot for dog owners who plan to visit the sierras with their dogs.

While here, there are many fun activities that you and your hairy buddy can enjoy in the giant forest grove. This campsite is only 3.22 kilometers (2 miles) from the world’s largest tree in volume, the mighty General Sherman Tree.

The staff here are friendly, warm, and have experience dealing with dogs. This campsite allows you to bring two dogs of any size for camping. You will not incur extra charges for the pets, but you must ensure your dogs are always on the leash. Here are some of the rules and cautions you must observe while staying at this campsite:

  • This campsite is an active bear area. Campers should store their foodstuff in the provided bear-proof boxes during the day and at night.
  • Campfires are only allowed in fire rings. Do not leave the campfire unattended. Ensure you completely put out the fire with water before leaving
  • Dogs must always be on a leash not longer than 6 feet (36 inches). It would help if you did not leave your pet unattended or tied to an object.
  • Drowning is the most common cause of death in parks. You must be cautious when engaging in activities near rivers. Although the river may appear calm on the surface, strong currents often run below, which poses a greater danger than pools and lakes. 
  • Beware of falling objects. Watch out for potential danger while exploring the park with your canine. Branches and trees often fall in this park due to drought, beetle effect, and strong winds. Avoid lingering under dead, broken, or cracked branches. 

Where to Stay

Experiences are better than things. This camping site provides you with many different options of accommodation. Depending on your preference, you can stay in tents, RVs, lodgings, cabins, or glamping. All of these options are dog friendly. They have facilities that will make it easy to camp with your canine here.

The RVs are grassy, shaded, and have free wifi and TV. The tents are large to accommodate you and your dog comfortably, and the washrooms are near. Depending on the number of people you are camping with, you can choose one or two-roomed camping cabins.


Sequoia National Park has many beautiful natural features you and your canine friend can enjoy. Some of these features include red fir, lodgepole pine, and shrubs forest the campground. One of the activities you and your dog can enjoy is trailblazing. This campsite has over 64.373 kilometers (40 miles) of trails.

You may also go hiking or on a wilderness trail at Moro Rock with your hairy buddy. Fly fishing is also an everyday activity for the Marble folk.


The amenities in this facility are the main reason dog owners, families, and other groups camp here yearly. The Sequoia National park has many beautiful facilities. Some of these facilities include food lockers, drinking water, a dump station, lockers, and a grill.

This campsite also has a grocery store where you can buy essentials for yourself and your dog. You can light campfires to keep you and your dog warm in the evening. Other exciting amenities in this facility include the theater, where people gather for entertainment. 

The Sequoia National park

What to Look for in Dog–Friendly Campgrounds

Dog owners love bringing their dogs wherever they go, especially camping. Spending time with your hairy buddy can benefit you and your dog. Camping with your dog is a good way of increasing the bond and trust with it. It will also be a great time to introduce your dog to new activities to keep it healthy and mentally stimulated.

To keep your canine entertained while camping, you must look for a camping site with fun activities, friendly staff, and dog-friendly amenities. Here are a few factors to consider when looking for dog-friendly camping sites.


Camping is about bonding and having fun with your dog. When looking for dog-friendly campsites to holiday with your dog, it is crucial to find out what entertainment awaits. Many great activities will make camping a great experience for you and your dog – one that you can look forward to yearly.

You and your dog can enjoy activities like cycling and hiking. If it’s a beach, find out if the facility allows dogs on the beach because some don’t. If you have a small dog, find out if there are any activities for puppies and small dog breeds. Good dog-friendly camping sites have activities for puppies and small dogs. 

Finding out the available activities for you and your dog will let you know if you will enjoy the camping. Ensure you pick a camping site with your dogs’ favorite sports and activities.

Type and Number of Dogs Allowed

The other important factor to consider when looking for a dog-friendly campsite is the number of dogs allowed. This factor is crucial for dog parents who would love to camp with all their dogs. 

Camping with many dogs is an excellent way to keep each other entertained, especially during long car rides. Some campsites permit only one dog, others two and some three. Others do not allow the big and aggressive breeds. Double check the pet policy of the campsite you have chosen to avoid any inconveniences.

If you are unsure about the information, call and inquire how many dogs you can bring. Remember to ask if the campsite allows aggressive dog breeds, especially if you own one. 

Staff Friendliness and Experience

When picking a pet-friendly camping place, you must find out about the staff. The staff here are the ones who will be hosting you and your pup. You need to pick a facility that has warm and friendly staff. They should also be genuinely passionate and have experience dealing with dogs.

Pick a camping facility that makes you and your dog feel like you are a part of the family from the moment you walk in till you leave. Pet-friendly camping site staff should be friendly, experienced, and attentive.

Emergency Response

Camping with your furry buddy involves many outdoor activities, some of which cause significant risk. Although most camping sites require your dog to be on a leash, there are still things that could go wrong during camping. Accidents like snake bites, fire, drowning, and food poisoning could occur to you or your dog.  

While you are aware of these risks, your dog is not, making it more exposed to injuries. It is impossible to tell your dog to stay away from the fishing hook, the river, or the forest. It would be best if you kept your dog close to prevent injuries. However, you should also pick a facility with a ready emergency response if anything happens to your dog.

When analyzing the different camps, ask if a veterinary doctor is always on standby. Evaluate the preparedness of the facility to handle emergency cases that could occur during your stay.

Play Area

When looking for pet-friendly campsites to take your dog for a holiday, you must check if it has a play area. One of the main reasons for outdoor camping with dogs is to stimulate them mentally and physically. A play area is a wonderful place for your pup to socialize with other dogs at the campsite.

Before picking a campsite, check the size of the play area and if the play area for small dogs is separate from one for the big dog breeds. This factor is more crucial to small dog owners. A dog-friendly camping site should have separate play areas for big and small dog breeds. Separating the play areas will help to avoid injuries during playtime.

Pet owners use the small area to condition their puppies to be around other canines. A large play area is an excellent place for the big dog breeds to burn out all their energy. Good pet-friendly campsites have well-equipped playing areas for small and large dog breeds. Read our article and find out Our Favorite Dog-Friendly Campgrounds in Maine.


Dogs are a part of the family too! Camping with dogs is the ideal getaway for most dog owners. There are many dog-friendly campsites to explore in Northern Carolina. From the semi-arid interior to leafy forests and coastal beaches. 

Plan properly and early to pick a campsite that suits you and your dog. Ensure you also read the rules and regulations concerning pets, particularly dogs. Call the camping ground and ask about dog rules before booking if you are unsure about something.

Ensure you also pick a campsite with a good play area, friendly staff, and a ready response in an emergency. When camping, always clean up after your dog. Dispose of any bones, toys, and excrement properly. Lastly, always watch your dog for its safety and the safety of other campers.

Happy camping!

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