Dog friendly road trip: LA to Redwood National Park, Lassen Volcanic National Park and Pinnacles National Park.

Dog friendly road trip from LA to Redwoods National Park, Lassen Volcanic National Park and the Pinnacles National Park

Ever since our big road trip last year to Glacier National Park I’ve been itching to hit the roads with my husband and the dogs again to check more National Parks off the list. While many trails aren’t open to dogs I still find it’s absolutely worth it to bring them with us. I’ll share what activities we were able to include the dogs in, how we managed to still see the nation parks and some of our favorite memories along the way (from the parks and on the roads getting us there).

We decided to focus on just two parks this trip, of course plans didn’t go as planned, and we ended up seeing three national parks. BUT, the original plan was to drive up to the Redwoods from Los Angeles and then head down/over to Lassen Volcanic National Park for a few days before returning home with a stop in Carmel over night to break up the drive. Instead we added Lassen Volcanic National Park into the trip too!

To keep this post focused and less of a runaway train, I’m breaking each National Park trip into it’s own blog post (links below), so if you’re looking just to read about the Redwoods National Forrest with your dog you can skip right to it!

If you’re looking to plan out your trip and connect other national parks I hope this encompassing post helps get your planning mind going.

Trip Itinerary – Los Angeles, CA – Redwood National Park – Lassen Volcanic National park – Pinnacles National Park – Carmel, CA – Los Angeles, CA

  • Day 1: Drive to Redwoods National Park – 10 hours drive time
  • Day 2: Explore Redwoods National Park
  • Day 3: Explore Redwoods National Park
  • Day 4: Drive from Redwoods to Lassen Volcanic National Park – Drive time 4hrs 45min
  • Day 5: Explore Lassen Volcanic National Park See Lassen NP + Drive to Pinnacles National park – 5hrs 30 mins
  • Day 6: Explore Lassen Volcanic National Park Explore Pinnacles National park
  • Day 7: Drive from Lassen Volcanic National Park Pinnacles Hotel to Carmel – Drive time 1hr
  • Day 8: Drive from Carmel to Los Angeles, CA (Pasadena) – Drive time 5 hours

We didn’t have as long as on the last trip, so hence the shorter distances and less parks. We left on a Saturday and returned the following Saturday – you definitely can see a few parks in a week. Above is a break down of our 8 day schedule. We did this trip over my birthday and decided we would go straight up in one day from LA to Redwoods National park, which is about a 10 hour drive not including breaks, we did this so on the following day – my birthday, we could enjoy the parks and hiking and not be spending it in the car.

From Redwoods we would spend two full days exploring beaches and hiking with the dogs. Then Drive east to Lassen Volcanic National Park.

Our dogs ride in crash tested Sleepypod carriers. If you’re interested in making sure your pets are safe in the car don’t skip reading our blog post here.

Redwoods National Park

The Redwoods National Forest was not as I expected and built up in my head but it was still amazing and absolutely magical and someplace I’m so glad we went and would happily return to again. From hiking trails to dog friendly beaches, the dogs really had a great time here.

Lassen Volcanic National Park

Oh what an adventure, we saw the parking lot. So while I don’t have a ton to share on this National Park I can share a lot on what I did wrong planning this tip, where we stayed and where this new turn of events took us. Will we go back? I’m not so sure, maybe?

Pinnacles National Park

Pinnacles was our surprise location, after a turn of events at Lassen Volcanic National Park. What a change of scenery. This is the newest of the National Parks in CA and it’s split into two completely separate areas to visit and it is not very dog friendly. Dogs aren’t allowed on any trails in Pinnacles National Park but we had a great time driving them around, they are allowed in campgrounds, on paved roads and at the picnic areas. Read more to learn more about this national park.

Overall it was a trip of memories and we can’t ask for more than that! Thanks for following along on our adventures and we hope we inspire you to travel more with your dog(s).

Travel Essentials

Travel water bottle

Sleepypod travle bowl

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Odor resistant water repellant leash

Freeze dried treats

Outdoor camping mat

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Crash tested Sleepypod car carrier (18lbs and under)

Crash tested Sleepypod car harness (18lbs and over)

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