The Top 8 Dog-Friendly Campgrounds in California

Did you know that human beings are biologically designed to crave the outdoors? From a scientific standpoint, nature makes humans happy, which means we’re not so different from our pets. At Bazzy’s Kefir, we’ve been looking for more ways to find peace and to stay healthy during these stressful times. One great way to accomplish both is by going camping this summer! 

There are a ton of health benefits to camping, some of which might surprise you. For instance, did you know that research suggests that even touching the earth with your bare feet has stabilizing and beneficial effects on your mental and emotional well-being? No wonder your pup is so happy outside! 

And you know what? Seeing you happy makes your fur-babies happy. So we thought we’d put together a list of the best pet-friendly campgrounds you’ll find in California!

Trust us, you’ll want to check them out:

  1. Upper Pines Campground

Upper Pines is one of the most popular camping spots in the entire country. Situated in the heart of Yosemite Valley, you’ll find yourself nestled within its magnificent pines, with access to all the other attractions the valley has to offer. This is definitely a dog-friendly campground, with some restrictions. Understandably so, since there are bears afoot! But, don’t worry - As long as you take proper precautions, you’ll be just fine. :)

  1. Plaskett Creek Campground

One of the most beautiful places in South Big Sur, we love how Plaskett Creek has something for everyone. There is plenty of hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding trails available for the more athletic campers. If you’re just trying to take it easy and relax in the great outdoors, Plaskett Creek is right next to Sand Dollar Beach (which is pet friendly, too!). Whatever you choose, make sure you check out their beautiful sunset views with your furry best friend! 

  1. Fremont Campground

Part of Los Padres National Forest, you’ll love this family (and dog)-friendly campground. Not only are their facilities dog-friendly, but you can finally take your pooch off-leash for a truly liberating experience!  We fell in love with the Fremont oak trees, the spacious (and shady) campsites, as well as its proximity to Solvang and Santa Barbara. There’s plenty of water-related recreation available at the nearby Santa Yzen River, too, making this a great spot for the hottest summer days.

  1. Bolsa Chica State Beach

A campground and a beach? Sign us up! Each of their 50 campsites come equipped with electric and water hookups for RVs and great facilities for all your human needs. There’s also a paved coastal trail that runs for almost 9 miles between the Bolsa Chica and Huntington State beaches to get your walk or run on with your leashed-up pooch! There’s plenty to do here, from fishing, surfing, volleyball-ing, and wildlife-watching, you and your furry friends will never get bored.

  1. Black Rock Campground

You’re probably already familiar with the famous Joshua trees, but in case you aren’t, they’re known for their quietly captivating and unique features with limbs reaching up toward vast desert skies. Joshua Tree National Park brings millions of visitors every year, but that doesn’t mean Black Rock Campground isn’t the perfect camping getaway experience. You might want to save this trip for the winter, though… imagine the desert heat during the summer. Yes, please!

  1. Campland on the Bay

Campland located in sunny San Diego is dog-friendly and their Dogwood Park is off-leash! Campland really brings the community together with resort-like amenities while offering a true camping experience. Enjoy the beach along Mission Bay, water sports, live entertainment, and more… all with your favorite furry friend. And when you’re feeling peckish, come out from your campsite and visit their delicious cantina and bar!

  1. Fallen Leaf Campground

For a real “cabin in the woods” kind of experience, Fallen Leaf has hundreds of campsites and 6 yurts amid stately native cedar, fir, aspen, and pine trees. The nearby Fallen Leaf Lake offers breathtaking views of mountain peaks, including Cathedral Peak and Mount Tallac. Both you and your pups will love wildlife watching, too! You may even catch sight of a bear or two, and if you do, no worries! Each site comes equipped with bear-proof food storage as well as many other camping amenities. 

  1. AutoCamp

Let’s not forget about our more luxury campers! For those who want to enjoy and explore the outdoors but need more modern comforts, AutoCamp is the go-to glamping destination. Stay in one of their timeless Airstream trailers or luxury tents and still have access to countless opportunities to connect with Mother Nature. They offer campsites in Sonoma, Santa Barbara, Russian River, Yosemite, and Cape Cod, each with their own dog policies, but rest assured… AutoCamp is Fido-Friendly! 

Whew… we feel relaxed just talking about these amazing campgrounds, and we feel so lucky to live nearby in Venice. We can’t wait to head on our next trip this summer with Bazzy, who is all healed up from surgery (check out our tips for pet surgery recovery) and ready to get back to adventuring! 

If you’re bringing your pooch on a camping trip, all you need is some dry ice (available at most grocery stores) to take our Frozen Kefir Treats along in your cooler. And we LOVE when you reach out to us with pictures and videos of your furry friends enjoying our treats. Be sure to follow us and tag us @BazzysKefir and show us your pups enjoying the great outdoors this summer (or heck, even this winter since California has such wonderful weather all year long)!