dog-friendly campgrounds
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Chewy EditorialPet Parenting / Travel

15 Dog-Friendly Campgrounds for Happy (and Furry) Campers

There’s nothing quite like roasting marshmallows beside a crackling campfire, spending the night beneath the stars or waking to the glow of a forest sunrise. And that’s not just true for human campers—many dogs love escaping to the great outdoors, too! Luckily for you both, there are thousands of dog-friendly campgrounds and campsites across the nation, welcoming both pups and their adventure-seeking parents.

Where to begin? Start by brushing up on basics like safety precautions and necessary gear. Then, consider what activities you and your dog might enjoy while camping. For active pups, seek out dog-friendly trails for hiking or biking. If your dog loves the water, a beach or lake-side campsite for swimming, kayaking, boating or canoeing will be ideal. And if you have an older dog, perhaps simply pack a hammock so you can both enjoy a relaxing day lazing around camp.

Your next step: Find a campground that meets your criteria. We’ve rounded up the best dog-friendly campgrounds in the U.S., based on overall campsite experience, nearby activities and of course, dog-friendliness.

Note: Due to COVID-19, wildfires and other factors, some campgrounds may be closed or have reduced amenities. Be sure to check for current closures, restrictions or required reservations before visiting any campgrounds.


West

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Crescent City, California: Jedediah Smith Campground

  • Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, 1461 US-199, Crescent City, CA
  • Sites: RV, trailer, tent and group
  • Amenities: Full-service including RV hook-ups, drinking water and flush toilets
  • Reservations: Visit www.reservecalifornia.com
If you’re looking for dog-friendly camping in northern California, you won’t want to miss this peaceful getaway amidst the legendary California redwoods. Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park was established in 1929, and the park’s 87-site campground is a prime spot to appreciate the magnificent old-growth redwoods. Each campsite has a table, fire ring with grate and food storage locker, and the campground has water, restrooms with flush toilets, a visitor center and a boat launch. The nearby Smith River, the last major free-flowing river in California, is an incredible backdrop. Dogs are not allowed on trails within the state park, so if you are looking for a nearby dog-friendly outing, take a short drive to the Walker Road Day Use Area where dogs are allowed on leash.

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Monterey, California: Pfeiffer Big Sur Campground

Located just inland of the stunning Big Sur coastline, the 189-site Pfeiffer Big Sur Campground books up six months out, so be sure to make your reservation well in advance if you want to secure a spot. Each site has a campfire ring with a grill and a picnic table, and most spots are located on or near the Big Sur River. The campground has water, pay showers, a dump station and flush toilets. And once you leave the shade of this pleasantly wooded campground, you can enjoy outstanding views of the coast and beach access at nearby dog-friendly Pfeiffer Beach. If you are looking to go hiking in the area, though your dog is not allowed on the trails in the state park, check out the dog-friendly trails in Ventana Wilderness.

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Carson City, Nevada: Nevada Beach Campground

  • Lake Tahoe Nevada Beach Day Use Area, Bittlers Road, Zephyr Cove, NV
  • Sites: RV, trailer, tent and group
  • Amenities: Basic with flush toilets and drinking water but no RV hookups
  • Reservations: Visit recreation.gov
The 54 campsites of Nevada Beach Campground sit on the shore of Lake Tahoe. From the pine tree dotted landscape, you can look out over the bright blue waters of Lake Tahoe’s eastern shore — most of the campsites have a lake view. Each site also has a picnic table, campfire ring with a grill, and a paved pullout for easy parking. The campground has flush toilets and drinking water. The big draw of this location is obviously Lake Tahoe, and luckily both you and your pup can enjoy splashing in the water at the dog-friendly southern end of Nevada Beach which is a short stroll from the campground (just make sure your dog stays off the designated swim beach where pups are not allowed). Be sure to book your reservation well in advance as it’s unlikely you’ll be able to grab a last-minute reservation at this popular campground.

Pacific Northwest

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Newport, Oregon: South Beach Campground

Located four miles south of the town of Newport, Oregon, along the Yaquina Bay Bridge, South Beach Campground has over 300 campsites to choose from. With 227 sites with electrical hookups, 60 tent sites and 27 rustic yurts (14 of which are actually dog-friendly), you can pick the perfect site for your desired outing. Plus, the location can’t be beat. Walk with your dog on one of the dog-friendly trails at historic South Beach State Park and enjoy views of the Oregon coast. Or, if you’re looking for a dog-friendly beach for a chance for you and your dog to splash in the waves, head to Agate Beach, a short drive north of the town of Newport.

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Granite Falls, Washington: Verlot Campground

  • Verlot Campground, Mountain Loop Highway, Granite Falls, WA
  • Sites: RV, trailer and tent
  • Amenities: Basic with flush toilets and drinking water but no RV hookups
  • Reservations: Visit recreation.gov
Verlot Campground is a small, peaceful campground, located off the Mountain Loop Highway in Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. Tucked in the old-growth forests on the west side of the Cascades, this 24-site campground is about 60-miles northeast of Seattle. A U.S. Forest Service managed campground, Verlot doesn’t have a ton of amenities, although it covers the basics, including picnic tables, flush toilets and drinking water. But the easy access from the campground to the tranquil banks of the South Fork Stillaguamish River and Benson Creek will make up for the lack of bells and whistles. Plus, you and your dog can explore some of the 1,500 miles of trails in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest before returning for an evening of riverside stargazing.

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U.S. Forest Service

Metaline Falls, Washington: East Sullivan Campground

  • Colville National Forest, Metaline Falls, WA ● Sites: RV, trailer, tent and group
  • Sites: RV, trailer, tent and group
  • Amenities: Limited with vault toilets and drinking water and no RV hookups
  • Reservations: Visit recreation.gov
At East Sullivan Campground, you have over 30 campsites to choose from tucked at the north end of Sullivan Lake. This campground has all the basics without too many extras—don’t expect to find electricity or flush toilets here. The area offers a remote feel with plenty of recreation options to keep you and your dog entertained. From your campsite, take a short walk to the Sullivan Lake Day Use Area where you can stroll along the lakeside trail, enjoy lunch at a scenic picnic table, or head down to the swimming area. If your dog is a water-lover and you’ve brought your canoe, kayak or stand-up paddle-board, strap on their dog life-jacket and head out on your flotation device of choice to explore the 1,291-acre lake. Be aware that wildlife, including cougars and black bears, are common in the area, so you will want to be sure to secure all food and trash at your campsite as recommended.

Rocky Mountains

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Alamosa, Colorado: Piñon Flats Campground

  • Great Sand Dunes National Park, 11999 CO-150, Mosca, CO
  • Sites: RV, trailer, tent and group
  • Amenities: Basic with flush toilets and drinking water but no RV hookups
  • Reservations: Visit recreation.gov
Great Sand Dunes National Park is a memorable place to spend a few days. The impressive sand dunes, located in southern Colorado, are surrounded by the towering Sangre de Cristo mountain range, and this campground is nestled in the heart of all this spectacular scenery. The Piñon Flats Campground is remote with basic amenities like flush toilets and food lockers, but no electric hook-ups or showers, so prepare accordingly. It’s well worth the trip, though, as you can take your dog hiking on the sand dunes and on several of the trails in the area, including the climb up Mosca Pass or a trip to Zapata Falls. At night, the stargazing is truly remarkable at this certified International Dark Sky Park.

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Cedar City, Utah: Kodachrome Basin Campground

Basin Campground is the largest of three campgrounds at Kodachrome Basin State Park, with 37 standard and 13 full-hookup sites—along with views of the area’s red rock formations. If you are looking for dog-friendly hiking in Utah with scenery reminiscent of Bryce Canyon, Zion or Canyonlands National Parks, Kodachrome offers a similar vibe with fewer crowds. Plus, your four-legged companions will be allowed on the park’s five outstanding hiking trails. You can take a stroll on the short, interpretive trail or soak in the remarkable scenery of the 6-mile long Panorama Trail. Plus, the campground has electric hookups, drinking water, flush toilets and showers. If you’re looking for a peaceful campground with modern facilities in a desert landscape, Basin Campground should fit the bill.

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Jackson, Wyoming: Curtis Canyon Campground

  • Bridger-Teton National Forest, Forest Road 30443, Jackson, WY
  • Sites: RV, trailer and tent
  • Amenities: Limited with vault toilets and drinking water but no RV hookups
  • Reservations: First come, first served
If you want to get off the beaten path, this remote dog-friendly campground is a great option for a rugged camping expedition. The dirt road into Curtis Canyon Campground is a bit rough, and a 4WD vehicle with good ground clearance is recommended. There are 11 sites that fill on a first come, first served basis, so keep this in mind if you are hoping to snag a spot on a busy summer weekend. The campsite has some basic amenities including vault toilets and a food storage box, but it’s definitely a more primitive camping experience. A quick stroll from your campsite with your pup will take you to jaw-dropping views of the National Elk Refuge and the jagged Tetons across the valley. If you and your dog are hoping for a hiking outing, you can check out the many miles of dog-friendly trails in Bridger-Teton National Forest.

Southwest

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Phoenix, Arizona: Burnt Corral Campground

  • Tonto National Forest, 3547 AZ-88, Roosevelt, AZ
  • Sites: RV, trailer and tent
  • Amenities: Limited with vault toilets and drinking water but no RV hookups
  • Reservations: Visit recreation.gov
Camping at Burnt Corral Campground gives you and your pup the chance to enjoy the scenic Sonoran Desert while within close proximity to water. This 76-site campground is located on the shores of Apache Lake, a 17-mile long reservoir that is the perfect respite in an otherwise hot, dry desert landscape. The campground has vault toilets, drinking water, picnic pavilions and a paved boat launch. The individual campsites are equipped with a fire ring with grill, shade ramada and picnic table. When you aren’t enjoying the shade at your camp, you and your dog can head down to the water for refreshment. Bring your boat, kayak, canoe or stand-up paddleboard (and doggy life jacket) to enjoy the full lake experience. In the cooler months, you and your dog can explore the many nearby dog-friendly hiking trails.

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Amarillo, Texas: Juniper Campground

Palo Duro Canyon is also known as the Grand Canyon of Texas—and it won’t take you long to see why. This outstanding state park is home to the second largest canyon in the U.S., and you and your pup are going to want more than a single day to explore the area. Luckily, you can stay at the Juniper Campground to soak in the rugged scenery with all the comforts of a modern campground. This campground has top-of-the-line amenities with electric hookups, water, flush toilets and showers. The 18 campsites each have a picnic table, fire ring and lantern post, so you can set up your camp exactly how you want. During the day, you and your on-leash pup can head out to explore the breathtaking landscape on one of the park’s many dog-friendly hiking trails. Just be sure to bring plenty of water in the hotter months.

Northeast

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Georgetown, Maine: Sagadahoc Bay Campground

Any time you can swing an ocean-front campsite, it's sure to be a memorable beach camping experience. A trip to Sagadahoc Bay Campground is no exception. This scenic dog-friendly campground in Maine is located on Molly Point on Georgetown Island, offering forested and ocean-front sites. All sites have running water, a fire ring and a picnic table, and the RV sites have electrical hook-ups so you and your pup won’t be roughing it too much. During the day, you can take your dog for a short, on-leash walk directly out to the beach to enjoy a swim or scenic stroll. And though your dog may not appreciate this quite as much as you, you can order a lobster bake delivered right to your campsite—the freshly caught lobster can be ordered either cooked or live. Nothing says Maine quite like a lobster dinner under the stars.

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U.S. Department of Agriculture/Flickr

Conway, New Hampshire: Lost River Campground

  • 951 Lost River Road, North Woodstock, NH
  • Sites: RV, trailer, tent and group
  • Amenities: Full-service including RV hook-ups, drinking water and flush toilets
  • Reservations: Visit lostriver.com
This family and pet-friendly private campground is more like a camping resort, tucked right in the heart of the White Mountains. The Lost River Campground has 139 sites to choose from, and you can request a wooded or brookside site. There are electric hook-ups for RVs and trailers, and almost all other sites have drinking water, picnic tables and firepits (with the exception of a few primitive tent sites). The campground has modern restrooms and plenty of other amenities. Dogs are allowed on-leash around the campground property and will enjoy exploring the wooded area with you. And if you’re looking for a longer adventure to tire out your pup, you are minutes away from some of the best dog-friendly hiking in New Hampshire on the beautiful trails in White Mountain National Forest.

Southeast

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Ocala, Florida: Silver Springs Campground

If you’re on the hunt for dog-friendly campgrounds in Florida, check out Silver Springs Campground. The campground consists of two loops with 59 sites. All sites have water, electric hook-ups, a fire ring, grill and picnic table so you can set up all the comforts of a home-away-from-home. Though you are close to civilization, you won’t feel like it at these secluded and quiet sites. Silver River, which runs through this state park, is home to Silver Spring, one of America’s largest springs. You and your on-leash dog can enjoy views of the crystal clear water from the shore or head out kayaking or canoeing for a peaceful day on the water. The Fort King Paddling Trail is a great option for a leisurely 1.1-mile loop around Ross Allen Island. And if your dog prefers to stay on dry land, the state park has several dog-friendly nature trails that wind through the forests and sandhills for an equally beautiful outing.

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Courtesy of 4 Paws Kingdom Campground and Dog Retreat

Charlotte, North Carolina: 4 Paws Kingdom Campground and Dog Retreat

  • 335 Lazy Creek Drive, Rutherfordton, NC
  • Sites: RV, trailer, cabins and yurts
  • Amenities: Full-service including RV hook-ups, drinking water and flush toilets
  • Reservations: Visit 4pawskingdom.com
The 4 Paws Kingdom Campground and Dog Retreat is a one-of-a kind campground. Though many campgrounds can claim to be dog-friendly, not many can match 4 Paws for being entirely dog-centric. This campground is specially designed as a dog retreat (don’t worry, humans 18-years and older are invited to tag along too). The campground has a fully fenced dog swimming pond, multiple off-leash play parks, an agility park, hiking trails and a dog bathhouse with a grooming station. And 4 Paws doesn’t skimp on the people amenities either. If you bring your own RV or travel trailer, you get full hook-ups and a modern restroom with laundry facilities. The RV deluxe and super deluxe sites even come with a deck and small fenced yard. Or you can simply rent one of 4 Paws’ dog-friendly cabins, yurts or RVs on site. If your pooch is looking for some pampering, the 4 Paws Kingdom Campground is sure to treat them to a dog’s dream camping trip.

Though this list of the best dog-friendly campgrounds barely scratches the surface of the many great dog-friendly campgrounds around the U.S., we hope it inspires you to plan your own dog-friendly camping trip. With some research, a little legwork and a solid packing list, you and your dog will be sure to enjoy your next dog-friendly camping trip, wherever your travels take you.

By: Kristen Arendt
Kristen is a writer, editor and lover of the great outdoors. In addition to running, hiking, backpacking, biking and skiing, she enjoys reading and spending time with loved ones, of both the human and animal variety. When she's not playing with words or planning her next adventure, she's daydreaming about living on a horse ranch in New Zealand. She is based in Niwot, Colorado.

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