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10 Pawsome Dog-Friendly Hikes in 2023 That'll Make Your Pup Wag Tail

10 Pawsome Dog Friendly Hikes in 2023 That'll Make Your Pup Wag Tail

Sep 08, 2023




Embarking on a hiking adventure is just as enjoyable when a cheerful puppy follows you along. But as any dog owner knows, finding the perfect trail that fits your pup's preferences and hiking aspirations isn't easy.

Are you a dog owner looking for a cord-free playroom outdoor place for your pup on his first hike or to take your older friend on a challenging adventure?

From tips for hiking beginners to site recommendations for advanced hikers. Here, we will answer everything for you.


We've got a great list of the 10 best dog friendly hikes to recommend - from easy to hard. Let's unleash the excitement and dive into these scenic places together!

7 Tips For Preparing For Your Dog's Hike

Your adorable dog is ready for exciting outdoor adventures with you. But, before you hike together, there are a few things to consider. Let's explore some helpful tips to make your pup's hiking experience safe and enjoyable.


● Wait until they're ready: Wait until your puppy is at least 6 months old, fully vaccinated, and healthy before going on a hike. Puppies under 6 months should stick to short walks to avoid any risks.


● Start small: Help your puppy get used to the outdoors by starting with a walk in the neighborhood. Gradually increase the distance and difficulty to build their stamina and comfort.


● Know Their Limits: Know your puppy's fitness level and when they need a break. Some breeds are better for hiking than others.


● Pack these essentials for your pup:

Plenty of water will keep them hydrated.

A collapsible bowl for drinking on the go.

Leashes and collars for safety and control.

A first aid kit containing essential supplies for an emergency.


● Plan the route: Choose an easy route that is appropriate for your puppy's age and health. Avoid steep or rough trails, and choose a cooler time of day to prevent overheating.


● Watch out: Watch for signs of fatigue or pain during your hike. Take breaks when needed, and always keep your puppy on a leash.


● Friendly Trails: Follow good trail etiquette and clean up puppy tracks. Be considerate of other hikers and their pets.


Remember, your puppy's safety and enjoyment come first. You and your furry friend can enjoy many memorable hikes together with proper preparation.

10 Best Dog Friendly Hikes——From Easy to Hard

1. Runyon Canyon


Runyon Canyon



● Trail Length: 3.3 miles

● Difficulty: Easy

● Elevation Gain: 800 feet

● Location: Hollywood

● Highlights: Stunning views and well-maintained trails.



Runyon Canyon in Hollywood is a bustling spot, but it's a favorite among active locals and furry friends. This LA Parks Map can help you map out a paw-some route through the 160-acre green area. I suggest trying the full loop for a great workout and stunning views.

You'll come across viewpoints like Clouds Rest and Inspiration Point in different parts of the park. These spots offer impressive views of the city stretching out to the San Gabriel Mountains and Santa Monica Bay on clear days. And if you're looking for more Hollywood-area hikes minus the yoga mats, check out the scenic Trebek Open Space next door, named after the late host of "Jeopardy," Alex Trebek.


2. Inspiration Point Loop


Inspiration Point Loop



● Loop Length: 2.25 miles

● Difficulty: Easy

● Elevation Gain: 350 feet

● Location: Pacific Palisades

● Highlights: Gentle stroll and breathtaking coastal panoramas.




It's a gentle 2.25-mile loop that's perfect for an easy stroll. Bring your furry companion along to share the experience as you discover the beauty of Will Rogers State Historic Park in Pacific Palisades.

This park is a tribute to Will Rogers, an American humorist who valued nature. Begin your journey with a glimpse into history at Rogers' ranch house and the only official polo field in Los Angeles. Get ready for stunning coastal views as you and your pup ascend some switchbacks. You'll be treated to continuous and expansive panoramas of Santa Monica Bay and the Pacific Ocean along the ridge.


3. Griffith Park


Griffith Park


● Trail Length: 4.0 miles

● Difficulty: Easy

● Elevation Gain: 600 feet

● Location: Los Angeles

● Highlights: Expansive park with hidden treasures and scenic trails.



With over 4,000 acres, this park holds hidden gems and trails that you and your pup can explore together. Kick off your adventure at the Merry-Go-Round parking lot on the Mineral Wells Trail.

Starting or ending at the Old Griffith Park Zoo and Picnic Area is great. Here, you and your furry friend can explore the remains of the old granite animal enclosures. After passing the Mineral Wells Picnic Area, you'll find a steep fire road leading up to Amir's Garden.

Amir's Garden is a charming botanical spot established in 1970 by the enthusiastic hiker and local legend Amir Dialameh. 


4. O'Melveny Park


O'Melveny Park



● Trail Length: 4.25 miles

● Difficulty: Moderate

● Elevation Gain: 1,500 feet

● Location: Granada Hills

● Highlights: Challenging climbs and spectacular vistas.



This park promises challenging climbs and breathtaking views. The trail's loop leads to the park's highest point at 2,730 feet. While the ascent is demanding, the vistas make it all worthwhile.

O'Melveny Park covers 672 acres, second in size only to Griffith Park. The loop takes you above this vast green expanse. Amid the park, you'll discover a grapefruit grove and a spacious picnic area shaded by oaks, sycamores, and eucalyptus trees. The park's history includes cattle grazing and bulldog breeding, adding to its unique charm as a place to exercise with your pup.


5. Cherry Canyon Park


Cherry Canyon Park



● Trail Length: 4.5 miles

● Difficulty: Moderate

● Elevation Gain: 900 feet

● Location: La Cañada Flintridge

● Highlights: Stunning views from an old fire tower.



This trail takes you on a challenging journey to spectacular views of an old fire tower and a panoramic spot aptly named the 'Ultimate Destination.'

With your furry friend by your side, explore the canyon through shaded narrow trails, then climb exposed fire roads to the Cherry Canyon Motorway. Here, you'll find breathtaking 360-degree vistas that will leave you in awe. The Cerro Negro fire tower offers views of Glendale and the Verdugo Mountains that stretch to the San Gabriel Valley.


6. Stewart Cascade Trail


Stewart Cascade Trail


● Trail Length: 3.5 miles

● Difficulty: Moderate

● Elevation Gain: 1,500 feet

● Location: Aspen Grove, Utah

● Highlights: Natural beauty and refreshing breezes.



Start your journey at the Aspen Grove Trailhead, just past the fee station. 

This trail offers stunning natural beauty, marked pathways, and occasional rocky and narrow sections with tree roots. You might need to scramble over fallen trees like an obstacle course, adding to the adventure. You'll find plenty of shade and refreshing breezes along the way. The trail leads to a beautiful waterfall, though it can get busy. If you're looking for a quieter experience, consider visiting on a weekday.


7. Lands End Trail


Lands End Trail


● Trail Length: 3.4 miles

● Difficulty: Moderate

● Elevation Gain: 359 feet

● Location: San Francisco

● Highlights: Coastal beauty and historic landmarks.



The area is quite popular for hiking, running, and leisurely walks, so expect to share the trail with others. This trail is open all year round, offering its beauty no matter when you visit. 

One of the highlights along the trail is the Sutro Baths, which were a large public bathhouse built in 1896. They served the San Francisco community until a fire destroyed the building in 1966. You can take a short path down to the shore for a closer look. Under the main platform, there's a small tunnel you can walk through to see the waves crashing on the rocks nearby. Afterward, return to the main coastal trail by heading back up the path.


8. Vital Link Trail


Vital Link Trail


● Trail Length: 3.0 miles

● Difficulty: Hard

● Elevation Gain: 1,500 feet

● Location: Wildwood Canyon Park, Burbank

● Highlights: Sweeping views and a rewarding challenge.



The effort is well worth it when you feast your eyes on the incredible views. Look out for iconic landmarks like the Hollywood Hills and Griffith Park, along with the majestic Verdugo and San Gabriel mountain ranges. Yes, there will be switchbacks, but the views make each step rewarding.

At the trail's peak, you'll find a radio tower and the Willie Mann memorial chair, offering a perfect spot to catch your breath and take in the scenery. Don't forget to ensure your pup gets a good rest and some water too. As you carefully make your way down the steep trail, you'll continue to enjoy sweeping vistas throughout the descent.


9. Mailbox Peak Trail Loop


Mailbox Peak Trail Loop


● Trail Length: 7.7 miles

● Difficulty: Hard

● Elevation Gain: 960 feet

● Location: North Bend, Washington

● Highlights: Challenging hike with iconic landmarks.



This trail is considered challenging and offers a popular hiking experience, so expect to meet fellow hikers along the way. The best times to explore this trail are from May to October. 

Look for a gate across a gravel road on your left after being dropped off by the shuttle. This is the beginning of the trail. Follow the gravel road uphill until you reach the trailhead. Head left and hike uphill to the top.

While most of the trail is shaded, apply sunscreen before reaching the exposed rock area near the top to avoid sunburn.


10. Mount Lafayette and Franconia Ridge Trail Loop


Mount Lafayette and Franconia Ridge Trail Loop


● Trail Length: 8.6 miles

● Difficulty: Hard

● Elevation Gain: 960 feet

● Location: Lincoln, New Hampshire

● Highlights: Scenic beauty and a challenging experience.



Experience the Mount Lafayette and Franconia Ridge Trail Loop, an 8.6-mile loop trail near Lincoln, New Hampshire. This trail is known for its challenging terrain and is popular for hiking and snowshoeing. Expect to encounter other hikers along the way, as it's a well-visited area. The trail is open year-round and offers scenic beauty in all seasons. Dogs are allowed and can be off-leash in certain areas.

Enjoy the beauty and challenge of the Mount Lafayette and Franconia Ridge Trail Loop, and remember to be prepared and respectful of the trail and fellow hikers.


Final Thoughts

After learning about the above 10 dog-friendly hiking destinations, are you ready to move? It's time to get ready to hit these amazing trails with your furry friends. Get ready to make great memories while enjoying the breathtaking views of nature.

Now, grab your dogs and gear, and let's enjoy some great hikes on these adventures!


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