The summer season ends and the weather in the Bay Area just gets better, so now’s the time to pack it up and venture outdoors with your pup. With miles and miles of dog-friendly secluded hiking nearby, your weekend camp out calls.

Even if your pup isn’t as fit as he once was, or you’re not –hiking is definitely still an option. Our top picks for easy car camping with fabulous hiking trails: Spring Lake in Santa Rosa, Dillon Beach in North Marin and Lake Sonoma in Geyserville.

Before you get going, just call ahead to make a reservation, check the leash laws and pack your pup’s pack. 

Here’s what he’ll need:

More Food, Please. All that exercise equals an appetite to match. Bring along a few extra portions in a sturdy, water and bear-proof container. Extra water is important too. A large Camelback water pack is an easy way to carry and dispense lots of water for you and your dog.

Bowls to Go. So light and handy, the collapsible water and food bowls are a snap to pack. Some even feature a draw cord to store kibble inside. Just release and serve.

Bug out. Mosquitoes stop at nothing. They’ll even bite your dog. Before you go, ask your vet for a pup-safe repellent and good flea and tick treatments.

Be Vet Smart. Bring along the contact information for the closest 24-hour vet clinic to your camping spot, just in case. Bring a recent list of your dog’s vaccinations too.

Enhance Your First Aid Kit.  Add doggie essential medications, a tick remover and your canine emergency first aid booklet and be prepared for anything.

Glow Collar, Glow. Spot your dog in that darkest night with a blinking or reflective collar. And if you have room, pack in an extra collar and leash in case one gets lost.

Boot Up. Spare a tear of his precious paw pads if you’re hiking on rocky trails. Consider booties for those four furry feet.  


The Scoop:

Bay Area Easy Camping Spots

Spring Lake in Santa Rosa

Dillon Beach in North Marin

Lake Sonoma in Geyserville


Thank you to Burma, Marc and Rebecca for the photo.