Take a hike! No really- it’s good for your health – physical and mental. And not just your health but also your best friend’s – the one that’s always eager to hit the trail with you; you know your dog!
Wait! Something to know is that not every park or location allows dogs on its hiking trails, so some research into where you can take your Fido on the next bonding outdoor adventure is in order.
Many national parks only allow dogs in limited areas. Make sure your dog is allowed, find out about leashing requirements, and get a trail map so you can get on the right trail for both of you. The good news is that NO&YO has done some research for you. And here it goes. Most of the hikes listed here are easy to moderate, so it’s not necessary to be an experienced hiker to enjoy them.
3998 Solstice Canyon Rd, Malibu, CA
Solstice Canyon is a treat for dogs and people alike. Gorgeous scenery, easy hike and the waterfall at the end of the trail; with deep pools, huge boulders to climb on, and ruins, etc. It also houses the oldest standing stone building in Malibu.
Just a quick turn off the Pacific Coast Highway north of Malibu, the entrance to Solstice is just a few hundred feet away from the beaches. Dogs are welcomed on-leash.
Distance: from 3.2 to 6 miles round-trip
Difficulty: Easy- moderate
Huntington Beach – Dog Beach
100 Goldenwest St, Huntington Beach, CA
The Huntington Beach dog beach isn’t a trail but it’s one of the best off-leash only places in Southern California. It’ far away from the Huntington Beach Pier and so it doesn’t get crowded with tourists. The park is located a bit north of Main Street between Seapoint Ave, and 21st Street. The beach is open everyday from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Distance: 1 mile
Difficulty: Easy walk
Santa Monica Mountains- Mishe Mokwa Trail
14041 Yerba Buena Rd, Malibu, CA
The Mishe Mokwa Trail to Sandstone Peak and Tri Peaks is one of the nicest hikes in all of Southern California. This trail will take you to the highest point in the Santa Monica Mountains and with awesome views of the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Monica Bay, this is an absolute must-hike. Dogs are allowed on-leash.
Distance: 7.1 miles
San Onofre State Beach – The Bluffs
Old Highway 101, San Clemente, CA
There are 6 beach trails that descend from the Bluffs to the beach. Dogs are permitted on trails 1 and 6 but none of the trails in-between. Some of the sections are impassable due to the high tide so check tide tables before setting on your hike.
Distance: 2 miles
Aliso and Wood Canyon Wilderness
28373 Alicia Parkway, Laguna Niguel, CA
Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park is made up of 4,200 acres of scenic canyons, rock formations, sycamores, elderberry trees, and a freshwater marsh.
The land on which the park is located was originally inhabited by the Juaneño (Acjachemen) and Gabrieleño (Tongva) tribes of Native Americans, whose territories were separated by Aliso Creek. Many of the trails in the park have been given Native American names, such as Aswut (golden eagle), Toovet (brush rabbit), Alwut (crow) and Hunwut (black bear).
Selected trails are dog friendly while on-leash.
Disctance: .25 – 3 miles
Difficulty: easy- moderate
As a general rule – dogs are usually allowed on-leash on National Forest and National Recreation Area land. Trails in state, local, and National Parks are more restricted and so it’s always a good idea to check with the rangers ahead of your hike, especially in areas where state and federal land boundaries are confusing. That way your outdoor adventure with your best friend is off to a great start. So take a hike!
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