Dog-Friendly Hikes in Los Angeles
Are you a Los Angeles dog owner with no space to walk your dog from? It is not only you; many others are sailing in the same boat. Fortunately, this post about to unleash to you the best news you have had in a while. There are tens of top dog-friendly hikes Los Angeles spots around the larger LA County, and some are a lot welcoming to both humans and dogs alike.
Finding a spot to walk your dog in peace and knowing their policies in advance will save you quite a lot in planning and time. Just for you, we picked some of the best spots across LA and the larger California area;
When you live in LA, you cannot resist owning a dog. Overall, the city and the entire county have so many dog walking trails that you will have difficulty choosing the best. Google for ‘dog hikes Los Angeles’ and pick whatever comes close to you. As you do so, you may have to find the best dog car seat covers if you will be riding with your dog to the hiking location.
- Griffith Park
Boasting of the most magnificent views of the Hollywood sign in all of LA, Griffith Park sits on 4,300 acres with 50 miles of dog-friendly trails. The Park is one of the most popular trails with a spectacular view of the Hollywood sign at the highest peak of Mt. Hollywood.
Trails at this park are super dog and human-friendly. Top of them all is the Ferndell Trail offering plenty of shade and a café (The Trails Café) that sells both dog and human food. Next, the Bronson Canyon houses the famous Bat Cave that appeared in the Batman TV series in the 1960s. There is also the West Observatory Trail offering panoramic views on its lower and upper trails. Additionally, the park has an off-leash policy for dog walkers.
- Westridge Trail
The Westridge is part of the Westridge-Canyon Wilderness Park and was started in the 1950s as a military facility to defend the city of LA from Soviet missile attacks. The park has seen immense growth over the years to become a popular hiking trail with great views of different LA sights and landmarks. The path has an off-leash dog policy that lets you play and walk alongside your dog in the park. Parking is available from the street in the neighborhood as you access the trail.
- Upper Canyonback
This is a famous Westridge dog walking space for residents of the Beverly Hills area. It is so popular with dogs that there are more dogs than people at times. Also, it has both wide and narrow trails to ensure your hike is filled with adventure and fun as you try to conquer the 3-mile trail.
- Runyon Canyon Park
Runyon Canyon Park, often frequented by celebrities, is one of the most favored dog-friendly hiking trails in Los Angeles. Sitting in the heart of Hollywood, the park offers both easy paved trails and a rugged trail along the park’s outer border for those interested in a little adventure. Different pathways have different and attractive views, including those of the Pacific Ocean in autumn. The park is a recognized dog park and offers god-walkers off-leash opportunities to walk their canines around. There is also a nearby hiking trail, Trebek Open Space that is connected to the park.
Streets around the park have a few parking restrictions hence to avoid getting a parking ticket, will need to read the signs carefully or find a parking spot a little further from the park.
- Cahuenga Peak
Cahuenga Peak is located near Hollywood Hills and Griffith Park. This trail not only offers a moderate hiking challenge to hikers but also has steep climbs that make the hike exciting and a little adventurous. The park, which has an off-leash policy, has a 360-degree of the city below it at the Wisdom Tree, which is at the peak of the trail. The trail leads up to the backside of the Hollywood sign through the newly named Hugh Hefner Overlook. The major problem with the park, however, is the unavailability of a parking space. You will be forced to park on the street where you will also watch out for signs to ensure you park at the right and designated areas. Nevertheless, this is a great spot to relax and have quality time with your dog.
Malibu is best known for her pristine sandy beaches. Interestingly, Malibu has some equally thrilling dog walking trails. With beaches stretching for miles and Canyons competing for your attention, you and your dog are about to have a fun day.
- Sandstone Peak
Ranking at the top and most loved hike in Southern California, this 6-mile trail offers a great view of the Pacific Ocean, the city, the Channel Islands and in bright days, gives a most beautiful view of the San Gabriel Mountains. You can get your dog to accompany you or aid you in conquering the 3,000+ feet Santa Monica Mountain peak, which is a rewarding accomplishment that offers you a magical view of the city at your feet.
Remember to carry lots of water when hitting this trail that almost has no shade. Notably, it will also be useful to avoid hiking at midday due to the heat or at any hot hours of the day.
- Solstice Canyon
This 3-mile hike trail has grown to be one of the most popular dog-friendly hike trails as it is an all-weather-friendly park. Besides, the trail also has old ruins along it offering history lovers a fantastic chance to visit these ruins as they walk their canine friends through the canyon. If you have the adventurous guts, you can wander into the side trails to use the less traveled shaded paths. The trail is excellent for early morning hikes with the parking lot gates opening automatically at 7am every day. The longer routes offer a great view of the ocean all year round. Honestly, who would not want such a combination of fun at no expense at all?
Please note as, on March 2019, the Dry Canyon Trail has been closed following the Woolsey Fire incident.
- Escondido Falls
The falls, which had been dry for 4-5 days offer both a family and dog-friendly hiking trail to walk your dog and be with your family. Now you have a reason to bring your family and be together as you take a leisure walk in the company of your dog. The trail is 4 miles long with the best time to hit the rail being the early hours of the day. It has shaded trails and the waterfalls, which are multi-tiered and going up to 150 feet, thus offering a most beautiful sight with different colors. The falls are more active and beautiful in the springtime. It is a moderately steep trail for those without experience in hiking. Fortunately, there are many other hiking pathways cutting across all levels of experience.
- Zuma Ridge Trail
Since you have to drive to get here, you should invest in hammock car seat covers for dogs to keep your car clean.
The rail, considered as one of the best hiking trails in Malibu, offers scenic views of both the Zuma Beach and Malibu. Certainly, it feels like a haven seeing all the beauty from a bird’s viewpoint. Moreover, it provides varying hiking challenges with 4 different trail options with the longest extending to a 10.6-mile hike and allows dogs to be walked while off-leash. Such gives you a chance to both walk with and play with your dog. It is worth mentioning that the trail offers free parking to its customers at the trailhead. Besides their off-leash policy, of equal importance is the free parking policy.
Home to many big-name celebs, Beverly Hills could not miss a spot on the list of most dog-friendly hikes Los Angeles. For your picking, there are many parks you can take your dog for a healthy walk. To give you a teaser of what sits in waiting for you; here is the list of parks and walking trails;
- Franklin Canyon Park
This park is near Benedict Canyon and is at the geographical center of Los Angeles. It spans across 605 acres with over 5 miles of hiking trail available for dog walkers. The park, which has frequently appeared in films and TV shows, offers a leisurely stroll around the reservoir that has plenty of birds and wildlife. Additionally, it has access to more challenging rails like the Hastain Trail, which offers excellent views of West LA and the Pacific Ocean. The park also plays home to the Sooky Goldman Nature Center and the Franklin Canyon Lake giving you plenty of attractions to explore as you walk with your dog.
San Fernando Valley
- Fryman Canyon Loop
This 3-mile loop hiking trail is located on the Studio City side of the Hollywood Hills with dirt roads and paved residential streets offering a reasonably easy hike trail. The park has an on-leash policy with plenty of parking lots available at a fee of just $3. The park has glowing views of the San Fernando Valley with a picnic resting spot at Tree People Headquarters in Goldwater Canyon Park at the peak. Several picnic spots across the park offer you a chance to play with your pet.
You probably know Downtown LA for its art. However, did you know that this place has some great dog walking trails? If you didn’t, now you do. During the small hours of mornings and late into the evenings, the sight of dog owners taking a stroll is not a rare happening.
Santa Monica Mountains
Santa Monica has a lot of hills that climbing with your dog offers great fulfillment and absolute fun. Here is a full list of choices for your preference.
- Temescal Canyon
This wooded trail is among the most loved in Santa Monica. The park has an on-leash policy meaning your dog must be kept on its leash throughout your stay in the park. Moreover, there are park rangers that will ticket any dog found off its strap. There is a rich list of trails to make your choice depending on your preferences. Besides, there are areas within the park that dogs are not permitted. Equally, it is vital to respect that as well as watch out for such signs while hiking at the canyon. Additionally, there’s plenty of parking space in this park, but it is not free.
- Rosie’s Dog Beach
This is a pretty popular beach dog hike spot in all of LA. The Dog Zone is open from 6am to 8pm every day and is named after a bulldog, Rosie, through which this seaside spot was made available for dog walkers. Bags and pooper scoops are available from several dispensers across the beach with metered parking available in the Bennett Avenue lot and in the beachfront lot at Granada Avenue as well as the street – for free – with regard for signs and permits. Lastly, the beach has an off-leash policy allowing you to walk and freely play with your best friend.
LA is a great County for dog lovers and dog walkers alike. You are in for great forested parks opening their doors and gates to dogs and their owners to work out and explore. In the list of top attractions are caves, abandoned zoos and old military site peppered across the city that will boggle your mind and tickle your dog’s nerves. Now you can make a choice of where to go with your dog. For the drive, before you got to any of the hiking trails, remember you will need dog car seat covers to get hold of the mess and for easy cleaning.
Lastly, we wish you an enjoyable walking experience with your dog. Do not forget to be conversant with dog walking policies in your area before you brush off with the wrong side of the law.