Looking for a fun way to spend some time with your dog? Southern California is home to lots of dog-friendly hiking trails. These destinations make really fun day-trips for both humans and canines alike. Being outdoors in a new environment will thrill most dogs with all sorts of interesting & curious sights, smells, and textures. Lazy girl bonus: you can make your large breed dog wear a puppypack and tote your water & sunblock for you!
Please remember to be kind to the native plants & wildlife:
1) Keep your dog on a minimum of a 6-foot leash at all times (besides being able to control your dog's temptation to chase after squirrely squirrels, being on-leash lessens the chance of your dog picking up ticks & poison oak, running into a rattlesnake, or destroying a cuddlesome creature's home.)
2) Brush up on your "Leave It" and "Drop It" commands, and remember to apply a premium anti-tick treatment (like frontline, etc.) before embarking on your adventure.
3) Be sure to bring pick-up bags and properly dispose of your dog's waste in the trash (many people are not aware that dog waste can transmit really serious diseases to wildlife. Dog waste contains bacteria that wild animal waste does not have. Dog waste can also carry parasites that wild animal immune systems are not able to properly combat.) Plus (just like everywhere else you go) it's always gross to step in!
California Canine Hikers organizes group hiking trips (no need for beginners to worry about getting lost!) Besides being fun for the dogs, this is a great way for responsible pet parents to socialize. Eaton Canyon Natural Area (Pasadena)
Santa Monica Mountains Trails (TONS of trails to explore) Dogs are permitted only on National park land (not State land), so planning can be tricky. Refer to maps for help, or call the visitor center at 805-370-2301 for specifics.
Monrovia Canyon Falls (Monrovia) Click on site link.
Runyon Canyon (Hollywood) In addition to an off-leash dog park area, there are trails for hiking. There is one main, paved trail, and two dirt trails. This is not a supernaturey location, but it's ideal for those looking for a busy, populated (and popular!) site. Trivia FYI: Dog-loving celebs are often seen here. Top parking lot/entrance: Mullholland Drive, about five minutes west of the 101. Bottom parking/entrance: street parking, entrance is at north end of Fuller Ave.
Doggie and Me Trail Hikes (Fullerton) Join others for one-day group excursions, lead by the Fullerton Recreation Department.
Fullerton Trails: Hitscher Park Trail: Three miles, starting at the corner of W Valley View Drive and Bastenchury. Fullerton Panorama Trail: Three miles, starting at the Coyote Hills Golf Course. Fullerton East Coyote Hills Trail: Three miles, starting at Bastanchaury Blvd and Brea in Trail Rest Park. Juanita Cooke Greenbelt Trail: Five and a half miles, starting at the north end of Laguna Lake Park. For any Fullerton trail info, call: 714-738-6575.
Upper Newport Bay (Newport Beach) Three miles, starting at the corner of Irvine Ave and University Ave. 949-923-2290.