For dog owners who enjoy the great outdoors and getting closer to nature, taking your dog camping is the next level. Of course, there are a lot of things to consider, from the best location to packing the proper supplies, but with a little preparation, camping can be a rewarding activity for both of you.
Which Campgrounds Allow Pets?
The very first thing to research is whether a particular campground is dog friendly. In addition, says Cyndy Zbierski, executive director of the Northeast Campground Association, it’s important to understand that campground rules can vary.
“[Rules] will include keeping them on leash, cleaning up immediately after a pet, not bringing them to the pool or beach, and making sure that if they do leave an unattended dog at the site while they step away, that a dog is not left to bark,” she says. “Most campgrounds will ask for a cell phone number upon check-in to remedy a situation with a barking dog immediately.”
It’s also a good idea to keep your dog in mind when choosing a campground, says Jennifer Ludovice, a spokesperson for Thousand Trails and Encore, whose online booking site has 170 RV resorts and campgrounds to choose from.
“You want to look at photos of the property,” she says. “If your dog likes to swim, look for a location with a lake; if you like to hike with you dog, look for a place with nature trails.”
With that in mind, here are 10 dog-friendly campgrounds for you to consider:
Casini Ranch Family Campground, Duncan Mills, California
This campground offers two dog parks for your furry friend and numerous activities for the humans in your party, including beach bonfires and hayrides.
Located beside the Russian River, this campground allows you to book a variety of accommodations. Dogs must be on a dog leash when not in one of the dog parks.
Details: Open year-round; rates vary from $54 to $225 for RVs, $49 to 275 for tents and $75 to $105 for cabins. The pet fee is $2 per day.
Ocean Lakes Family Campground, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
You and your pup can enjoy the beach by the campground together, though note that there are time restrictions for when your dog can be on the beach from May 1 until Labor Day. Dogs should always be leashed and be sure to clean up after them or you could face a fine.
Details: Open year-round; prices vary but range from $34 to $82. There is no pet fee.
Jellystone Park, Quarryville, Pennsylvania
Yogi Bear is the host of this 63-acre campground about an hour from Philadelphia. There’s a fenced-in “bark park” with fun obstacles. Other activities include mini golf, fishing and laser tag for humans. Crates are required for dogs in cabins and dogs staying in tents can’t be left alone. Dogs must be leashed outside.
Details: Open April to October; rates vary from tent campsites for $45 to $98, cabins for $75 to $456, and RV campsites $46 to $129 per night. Holiday rates are higher. A one-time $25 fee is added for pet-friendly cabins.
Zion River Resort, Virgin, Utah
Located near Zion National Park and the Virgin River, this campground has an off-leash dog area that gives pups access to the river.
Keep in mind that they don’t allow dogs to be unattended in tents or cabins, however, so you can only bring your pup if you’ll be staying in an RV or hard-sided travel trailer. Though not on-site, there is a dog “dude ranch” nearby.
Details: Open year-round; rates vary based on site type, but range from $50 to $250 daily. There is no pet fee.
Sunshine Holiday Daytona, Daytona, Florida
This campground has both a canal and a pond on the property, along with 602 campsites. There’s also a dog park for your canine companion. Bocce ball, mini golf and horseshoes are a few additional activities for you to enjoy. Just note that dogs aren’t allowed to stay in cabins here.
Details: Open year-round; rates vary based on season and length of stay. There is no pet fee.
Hid’n Pines Family Campground, Old Orchard Beach, Maine
Water-loving pups are allowed on the beach at this campground (though they’re restricted to before 10 a.m. and after 5 p.m. from Memorial Day to Labor Day). Pets aren’t allowed in the swimming pool, must be leashed at all times, and have to be walked by someone over 13 years old. Additionally, you should have you pup’s vaccination papers ready to be inspected at registration.
Details: Open May to September; rates vary based on season and site amenities from $25 to $75 per night. There is a pet fee of $2 per dog per night.
Olympic Peninsula/Port Angeles KOA, Port Angeles, Washington
Close to the Pacific Ocean and Olympic National Park, this campground has a dog park for pups and wagon rides and ice cream socials for people. Leashes of six feet or shorter are required for dogs when outside.
Details: Open year-round. Rates vary based on accommodation type and season. There is no pet fee.
Crow Wing Lake Campground, Brainerd, Minnesota
Two hours from Minneapolis, this campground offers your an off-leash dog park and a place for you to clean your pet off with a pet wash station (but dogs cannot be left unattended at this campground). There are also plenty of sports for the humans in your party, from badminton to shuffleboard.
Details: Open May 1 to September 30; tents are $44 to $50 and RV amenities like electricity and water have an additional fee. Additional children, adults and lakeside sites cost more. There is no pet fee.
Whispering Pines Campground, Newport, North Carolina
Located near the coast, this 84-site campground offers a dog park for your pup as well as outdoor recreation like basketball and fishing for the humans. Dogs must be leashed when outside and owners are required to clean up after them.
Details: Open year-round; rates vary based on site accommodations and season. There is a pet fee of $5 per night.
Jellystone Park, Nashville, Tennessee
With 233 sites, including dog-friendly cabins, this campground is less than a half hour from downtown Nashville and close to the Cumberland River. There’s a dog park on site and human activities like golf, archery, and “dive-in” movies.
Details: Open year-round; rates vary based on season and accommodations but range from $58 to $190 per night. Pet fees include a one-time $50 cleaning fee and a $50 returnable deposit for cabins. There is no fee for pets in tents.
Elizabeth Xu is an Ohio-based freelance writer focusing on pets and travel.