Ins and Outs of Reserving a Spot for Spot

By: DogTrekker Staff

Reserving a Spot for Spot


So, a friend told you about a great place to camp with your dog. But how do you make reservations? Here are three places to start:

  • Reserve America handles reservations for 572 federal, state, private and regional park district campgrounds in California (a dog icon designates those that are dog-friendly).
  • is an umbrella site for reservable activities on federal lands, including camping in national forests.
  • Foghorn Outdoors California Camping” by Tom Stienstra (Avalon Travel Publishing) is a useful tome for finding descriptions and reservation information for more than 1,500 campgrounds, most of them dog-friendly
  • Be aware that most of California’s coastal campgrounds, as well as most in popular destinations like Lake Tahoe, are booked out six months in advance for summer visits, so snagging a last-minute weekend reservation can involve as much persistence as finding a bargain airfare to Hawaii at Christmastime. But it can be done.
  • Inquire about the cancellation window at your chosen location (30 days at Yosemite, for example) and call that many days in advance of your preferred dates, hoping a spot has opened up.
  • Find out if your preferred campsite has any “first-come” or “overflow” sites in its inventory (most do). Take a risk by showing up at the gates about a half-hour before check-out time.
  • Some popular coastal campgrounds use a lottery system to distribute sites made available through cancellations. If you’re flexible, this can work.
  • Choose a campground that operates purely on a first-come basis and arrive on a Thursday if you want to stay over the weekend.
  • Go midweek, or wait until after Labor Day.

© 2024
Website by Brandhound