Top 10 Best Places To Hike With Your Dog In Los Angeles

Hiking is the most fun you can have with your dog! (Photo Credit: Shutterstock)

One of the best parts of living in Los Angeles is how many hiking trails and paths are scattered throughout the city and surrounding areas. Luckily for dog-loving Angelinos and tourists alike, there are plenty of dog-friendly hiking spots. Here are a few of our favorites:

Runyon Canyon

160 acres of sprawling mountains and trails, Runyon Canyon is easily one of the most popular hiking destinations in Los Angeles. Because it is such a Hollywood Hills social hot spot, your pup will have to be on a leash at all times while hiking up the trail. If your dog is the outgoing, friendly type, this is the perfect place to take him.

Zuma Ridge Trail

Located in Malibu, this hike is not for the casual outdoorsman and his best friend. Steep hills and beautiful coastal scenery make this a favorite spot for avid hikers. Feel like you’re up for the challenge? Bring your pup along with you, he’s even allowed to go off leash.

Elysian Park

A hidden spot close to downtown, this park boasts loads of grassy areas for your pup to run free. The hiking trails are leisurely and the foot traffic is generally sparse, so this is a great place to bring a dog that may be a little shy or isn’t used to vigorous exercise.

Upper Canyonback Ridge

This three mile hiking loop sits in the area of the Santa Monica Mountains known as the Big Wild. Despite its somewhat intimidating name, the hike is moderate at most. Dogs are allowed off leash under direct supervision, so grab your pup and enjoy the scenic views of Los Angeles.

Seascape Trail

Looking for an oceanside hike? Check out Seascape Trail with your canine companion. Dogs are allowed on the trails while on a leash. Soak up some salty ocean air on this easy, breezy trail on the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

Bronson Cave Trail

Are you and your pup movie buffs? Check out the gentle hike over at Bronson Cave Trail, AKA the entrance of the Batcave in the 1960s TV series. It is one of the simplest hikes in Los Angeles, with only 50 feet of elevation over the course of two-thirds of a mile. Come, Batdog to the Batcave!

LA River Bike Path

Although this is more of a walk than a hike, it is scenic and a great place to get some sun and have fun with your pup. The path goes from Burbank (right off of Riverside Drive) and careens along the dried riverbed all the way downtown. Future revitalization plans have the path going a whopping 51 miles. If you do take your pup on this walk, be sure to have them on a shorter leash, as you will be sharing the path with cyclists, joggers and lots of other people and dogs.

The Old Zoo

Who doesn’t want to hang out in an abandoned-zoo-turned park? The Old Zoo in Griffith Park has a myriad of spooky and adventuresome areas to explore with your pet. There is a wildness about the place, with weeds and other flora taking over what was once a 20th century concrete zoo. If you are looking for the perfect Instagram opportunity with Fido, look no further.

Cahuenga Peak/Tree of Life Trail

A rugged and steep trail, this is a great place to bring your active pup and get your blood pumping. The challenging three mile hike is worth it once you reach the peak, where the Tree of Life (AKA Tree of Wisdom) sits. This tree was the only tree to survive the Hollywood Hills fire in 2007, so it is revered. Bring your dog here to gain some sage advice from Mother Nature.

Temescal Canyon

This Pacific Palisades park is one of the most popular dog hikes in the Los Angeles area. There are a myriad of trails to try out for all types of hiking experience levels. Bring your pup (on a leash) and take in the glorious view of the Santa Monica Bay on a clear day.

Remember when taking your dog to public spaces to be mindful of other dogs. Just because another dog is off leash, doesn’t mean it should be or that it’s OK. Park rangers patrol often and do hand out citations. Pay attention to park signs and if you are unfortunate enough to encounter an aggressive dog, be sure to report it to park rangers on duty immediately.

Never forget your poop bags!

Here are some links to amazing dog friendly hiking trails in other parts of the country.