June 12, 2024
dog friendly camping in southern california

14 dog-friendly camping in Southern California

Dog-friendly camping in Southern California offers an incredible opportunity to explore the diverse natural landscapes of this beautiful region with your loyal companion. The bond you’ll build, the adventures you’ll experience, and the memories you’ll create will surely be cherished for years.

Whether you camp along the coastline, in the mountains, amid the desert, or within the tranquil forests, the dog-friendly campgrounds of Southern California provide the perfect setting for a remarkable outdoor experience where you and your four-legged friend can truly unleash adventure.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Research the pet policies of your chosen campsite. Different locations may have varying rules regarding leashes, designated dog-friendly areas, and waste disposal.

1. Serrano Campground – Big Bear Lake

dog-friendly camping in southern california

Address: 40650 N Shore Dr, Fawnskin, CA 92333

Phone: 909 866-8550

Website: www.recreation.gov 

Reservation: Reservations can be made as early as 6 months or as late as 24 hours in advance.

Amenities:

  • Picnic table
  • Fire ring
  • Some sites with electric hook-ups
  • Restrooms with flush toilets
  • Tap water
  • Campfire circle

Situated near the picturesque Big Bear Lake in the San Bernardino National Forest, Serrano Campground is a pet-friendly camping destination. This forested campground offers a tranquil setting where you and your dog can immerse yourselves in nature. You can explore the surrounding woods and enjoy various outdoor activities such as hiking and fishing. The cool mountain air and the sparkling waters of Big Bear Lake provide a serene and refreshing experience for you and your four-legged friend.

2. Dripping Springs Campground

Address: 39755 Highway-79, Aguanga, CA 92536

Phone: 760-788-0250

Website: www.recreation.gov

Amenities:

  • Comfort Station
  • Drinking Water
  • Parking Area
  • Picnic Table
  • BBQ
  • Grills/Fire Ring
  • Tent Pad
  • Fire Pit
  • Horse Stall/Corral

Dripping Springs Campground, in the Cleveland National Forest, offers a peaceful and secluded camping experience. This pet-friendly campground is known for its quiet and serene atmosphere, making it an ideal place to connect with nature. There are several trails nearby where you can go hiking with your dog, and the lush forested surroundings provide a relaxing escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Remember to adhere to leash regulations and trail-specific rules to ensure an enjoyable and responsible outdoor adventure.

3. Horse Flats Campground

Address: Horse Flats Rd / Angeles Crest Hwy La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011

Phone: (818) 790-1151

Website: www.fs.usda.gov

Reservation: first come – first served

Amenities:

  • Tent camping
  • Camping trailer
  • Fee charged for some activities
  • Picnic table
  • Vault Toilets
  • Parking
  • No water available

Horse Flats Campground is located in the Angeles National Forest and welcomes dogs, making it a fantastic choice for a pet-friendly camping trip. The campground is surrounded by tall pine trees, creating a serene forested atmosphere. In addition to camping, you can explore the area’s numerous hiking and horseback riding trails. The campground is known for its natural beauty and offers a rustic camping experience. Be sure to check the pet policies and trail regulations during your stay.

Recommended: Tips for camping with dogs

4. O’Neill Regional Park

dog friendly camping in southern california

Address: 30892 Trabuco Canyon Rd, Trabuco Canyon, CA 92679

Phone: (949) 923-2260

Website: www.ocparks.com

Reservation: Yes definitely

Amenities:

  • Horseshoe Pits
  • Interpretive Programs Center
  • Picnic areas (tables, restrooms)
  • Playgrounds
  • RV Camping
  • Scenic overlook
  • Showers
  • Amphitheater

O’Neill Regional Park is in eastern Orange County, and this pet-friendly campground provides a beautiful opportunity for outdoor adventures with your dog. The campground area is surrounded by natural beauty, and there are hiking trails where you can enjoy the serene environment with your pet. It’s an excellent spot for wildlife viewing and taking in the natural scenery of Southern California. Make sure to follow leash regulations and be respectful of other campers.

5. Leo Carrillo State Park

pet friendly camping

Address: 35000 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265

Phone: (310) 457-8144

Website: www.parks.ca.gov

Reservation: Yes definitely

Amenities:

  • Picnic table
  • Fire ring
  • Some sites with electric hook-ups
  • Restrooms with flush toilets
  • Piped water
  • Campfire center
  • Store

Cuddled along the scenic Pacific Coast Highway, Leo Carrillo State Park offers a stunning coastal camping experience for you and your furry friend. The campsite provides easy access to a dog-friendly north beach (north of Lifeguard Tower 3) and other day-use areas. With over 1,000 acres of pristine wilderness, you’ll find numerous hiking trails, picnic areas, and equestrian facilities. Remember to keep your dog on a leash no longer than six feet at all times, and be sure to clean up your pet waste to keep this beautiful park pristine for all visitors.

6. Crystal Lake Recreation Area

Address: HWY 39 AZUSA, CA 91702

Phone: 626-335-1251

Website: www.fs.usda.gov

Reservation: first come – first served

Amenities:

  • Amphitheater
  • BBQ Grills
  • Store
  • Campfire Center
  • Drinking Water
  • Equestrian trail
  • Fire Rings
  • Picnic Tables
  • Restrooms (Vault Toilets)

Located in the San Gabriel Mountains, the Crystal Lake Recreation Area offers a peaceful mountain retreat just a short drive from Los Angeles. The campsite is pet-friendly and provides plenty of hiking trails and picnic areas. Dogs are allowed on designated trails as long as they are on a leash. With lush greenery and a pristine mountain lake, this is an ideal spot for outdoor enthusiasts and their furry companions.

7. San Elijo State Beach

best dog friendly camping

Address: 2050 S Coast Highway 101 Cardiff, CA 92007

Phone: (760) 753-5091

Website: www.parks.ca.gov

Reservation: Reserve six months in advance

Amenities:

  • Picnic table
  • Fire ring
  • Some sites with full hookups
  • Restrooms with flush toilets
  • Piped water
  • Store

San Elijo State Beach is a top pick for those who love beach camping. This oceanside campground in San Diego County welcomes dogs on leashes and offers fantastic choices for beachcombing, swimming, and surfing. The site provides RV and tent camping options, and with a well-maintained boardwalk, you and your pup can take long, scenic walks along the coast on the beach south of Lifeguard Tower 16.

8. Cachuma Lake Recreation Area

dog friendly campsites

Address: 1 Lakeview Dr, Santa Barbara, CA 93105

Phone: 805-568-2460 

Website: www.countyofsb.org

Reservation: Yes definitely

Amenities:

  • Picnic table
  • Fire ring with grill
  • Some sites with hookups
  • Restrooms with flush toilets
  • Laundromat
  • Store
  • Amphitheater
  • Playground
  • Recreation hall

Located in the Santa Ynez Valley Cachuma Lake Recreation Area is a dog-friendly oasis nestled in a beautiful mountain setting. The park offers camping facilities for both tents and RVs, and you can explore the picturesque lake by renting a kayak or paddleboard. Numerous trails and wildlife viewing opportunities await you and your furry friend but remember to keep your dog on a leash and be aware of the local wildlife.

9. Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

dog campsites in southern california
Photo by Matthew Dillon from Flickr

Address: Borrego Springs, CA 92004

Phone:(760) 767-4205

Website: www.parks.ca.gov

Reservation: Do it in advance

Amenities:

  • Picnic table
  • Shade ramada
  • Food locker
  • Fire ring
  • Some sites with full hookups
  • Restrooms with flush toilets
  • Tap water
  • Campfire circle

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is a true desert gem that welcomes dogs and their owners to explore the beauty of Southern California’s arid landscapes. The park features a variety of campsites, picnic areas, and designated roads suitable for dogs on leashes. With its stark beauty, the park offers a unique experience for campers who appreciate the desert’s solitude and breathtaking night skies.

10. Lake Perris State Recreation Area

dog friendly camping in southern california

Address: 17801 Lake Perris Dr, Perris, CA 92571

Phone: (951) 940-5600

Website: www.parks.ca.gov

Reservation: 6 months in advance

Amenities:

  • Picnic tables
  • Fire rings
  • Many sites with hook-ups
  • Restrooms with flush toilets
  • Piped water
  • Amphitheater

Lake Perris State Recreation Area, discovered in Riverside County, is a perfect destination for water lovers and their canine companions. The park offers camping and picnicking areas. And other water-based activities such as fishing and boating (dogs may go on your boat). Dogs on leashes are welcome in most parts of the park except designated swimming beaches.

11. Doheny State Beach

Address: 25300 Dana Point Harbor Dr, Dana Point, CA 92629

Phone: (949) 496-6171

Website: www.dohenystatebeach.org

Reservation: Reserve campsites and lodging in advance

Amenities:

  • Picnic table
  • Fire ring
  • No hook-ups
  • Restrooms with flush toilets
  • Piped water
  • Amphitheater

Another splendid beachside camping location, Doheny State Beach in Orange County, is perfect for a coastal getaway with your dog. This dog-friendly campground offers plenty of shoreline and sandy shores, but dogs are not allowed on the beach. Make sure to follow the rules for dog-friendly areas, which are clearly marked, and ensure your dog is always leashed.

12. Idyllwild RV Resort (Thousand Trails Idyllwild)

Address: 24400 Canyon Trail, Idyllwild-Pine Cove, CA 92549

Phone: 951-659-4137

Website: thousandtrails.com

Reservation: yes needs reservation

Amenities:

  • Clubhouse
  • Shuffleboard
  • Swimming Pool
  • Fishing
  • RV Storage
  • Store
  • Restroom/Shower Facilities
  • Laundry Facilities
  • Picnic/BBQ Area
  • Playground
  • Volleyball
  • Basketball
  • Horseshoes
  • Billiards/Game Room
  • Library
  • Dog Park
  • Satellite TV

Idyllwild RV Resort is nestled in the charming town of Idyllwild, surrounded by the stunning San Jacinto Mountains. This pet-friendly resort offers RV and tent camping options, with amenities like a swimming pool, a dog park, and outdoor recreation areas. The nearby San Jacinto Wilderness provides numerous hiking opportunities for you and your furry friend.

13. Refugio State Beach

 best dog campsites in south california
Photo by Tony Webster from Flickr

Address: 10 Refugio Beach Rd, Goleta, CA 93117

Phone: (805) 968-1033

Website: www.parks.ca.gov

Reservation: 6 months in advance

Amenities:

  • Amphitheater
  • BBQ Grills
  • Camp Store
  • Campground Host
  • Campsite Tables
  • Cell Service – Good
  • Drinking Water
  • Equipment Rentals
  • Fire Pit
  • Fire Rings
  • Firewood Available
  • GrillsGroup Camping
  • Overflow Parking
  • Picnic Tables
  • Rentals
  • Restrooms (Flush Toilets)
  • Showers

Situated along the Gaviota Coast, Refugio State Beach is a dog-friendly paradise for those examining for a tranquil beachside camping experience. The park features scenic paved trails ( allows dogs on leash), a beachside picnic area, and pet-friendly campgrounds. While enjoying your stay, you and your dog can explore the beautiful coastal scenery.

14. Malibu Creek State Park

dog friendly camping in south california

Address: 1925 Las Virgenes Road, Calabasas, CA 91302

Phone: (310) 457-8144

Website: www.parks.ca.gov

Reservation: Same-day reservation.

Amenities:

  • BBQ Grills
  • Campfire Center
  • Campsite Tables
  • Cell Service – Fair
  • Drinking Water
  • Dump Station
  • Equestrian trail
  • Fire Pit
  • Fire Rings
  • Grills
  • Laundromat
  • Picnic Tables
  • Restrooms (Flush Toilets)
  • Showers
  • Visitor Center

Nestled in the Santa Monica Mountains, Malibu Creek State Park is a favorite among outdoor enthusiasts and dog lovers alike. The park offers camping facilities, hiking trails, and rock climbing opportunities. Dogs on leashes are welcome in the campgrounds and on designated trails, allowing you to explore the scenic landscapes and perhaps even spot some wildlife.

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