Backpacking/Hike In camping options with 9 & 12 yo and dog

I am hoping to find a place to take our two kids and a dog backpacking. National and state parks are out because of the dog restrictions. I'm not familiar enough with national forest options to feel comfortable picking one based solely on online information. OK to travel ~2-3 hours from the Bay Area. Any tips much appreciated!

Parent Replies

New responses are no longer being accepted.

Desolation Wilderness in the Tahoe area is great for dogs. Our favorite backpacking destination is Dick's Lake but there are so many options. You will need to get a permit so check the Forest Service website. 

Consider bureau of land management (BLM) land, such as the Lost Coast for backpacking. You can bring your dog and camp along the beach.

Unfortunately, there isn't much national forest area within 2 - 3 hours of the Bay Area - you've got to go up or down the coast, or east to the Sierras. I'd recommend looking at the Big Sur area (e.g. Ventura Wilderness - Sykes Hot Springs is a popular hike) or Desolation Wilderness near Tahoe (although the season is about over in the Sierras).