Camping with Your Dog in Northern California
Have a yen to pitch a tent and get close to nature — with your favorite canine in tow? If so, numerous Sonoma County campgrounds welcome vacationing four-legged family members. Rules and regulations vary, but you'll typically need to keep Fido on a leash during the day and inside your tent or RV at night.
Together, we can protect and preserve the beauty and natural resources of Sonoma County for generations to come. Check out our page on Sustainable Travel, and look over the Leave No Trace Seven Principles.
You can browse our listings of all Sonoma County Campgrounds & RV Parks, but first here's a quick overview of "pooch camping" in Sonoma County:
Most campgrounds in the regional park system allow dogs on a leash, charging a nightly fee of $2 per dog (no pooches permitted in "environmental" campsites, though). Campsites are available in Doran Regional Park, Gualala Point Park, Hood Mountain Park, Spring Lake Park, Stillwater Cove Park, and Westside Regional Park. Each September, Spring Lake hosts the Water Bark, when dogs can play in the swimming lagoon. You might also want to check out Sonoma County Parks to Walk Your Dog.
Dogs are allowed in most state campgrounds (except for those designated as "environmental"). They must be kept on a leash no longer than six feet at all times. Except for service animals, pets are not allowed in park buildings, on trails (unless specifically designated), or on most beaches.
Most of the county's private campgrounds allow dogs (be sure to double-check and ask questions before booking, in case the situation changes).
Here's a look at what's in store for Fido at a few of Sonoma County's campgrounds:
Cloverdale Wine Country KOA Camping Resort welcomes most dogs, but insurance restrictions prevent them from accepting doberman, rottweiler or pit bull breeds or mixes. All pets must be on a leash, maximum six feet.
Ocean Cove Campground allows dogs to stay overnight for a small nightly charge. When not in the tent or vehicle, they must be on leash at all times.
Casini Ranch Family Campground, along the Russian River, allows dogs for $2 per day, and offers two fenced dog areas for off-leash fun. Pets cannot be left unattended at any time, must be leashed (except in the dog park areas), and must stay in the RV or tent at night.
By the way, if you're camping on the Russian River, check out the full-day Memorial Beach-to-Wohler Bridge inflatable canoe trip offered by Russian River Adventures: it's dog-friendly, with a long river section where dogs can swim and have fun in the water.
Porto Bodega RV Park allows dogs on a leash.
Written by Sonoma Insider Suzie Rodriguez.