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Favorite Dog Friendly Hikes in California

Updated: Nov 15, 2020

This post is dedicated to my loyal husky Cloud of 11 years. He was my partner in crime on all the trails and he loved being outside and in the wilderness more than anything! Because we did so many adventures together, I put a list here of our favorite dog friendly hikes we spent time at in California.

Crystal Lake Trail, Mammoth Lakes CA

Length: 2.5 miles out and back | Level: Moderate | Duration: 1-2 hours | Elevation: 816

Dogs: Yes on leash

Directions and full hike info here

Crystal Lake Trail

Beautiful, classic Mammoth hike with some of the most gorgeous views of the lakes and mountains. This hike is a must-do on your trip to Mammoth with or without your pup. Cloud's favorite part was running free in the snow at the top of Crystal Lake.

Will Rogers State Park- Inspiration Point Loop, Los Angeles CA

Length: 2.5 Loop | Level: Easy | Duration: 1.5 hours | Elevation: 325 | Dogs: Yes on leash

Directions and full hike info here

Will Rogers Park

This hike was my go-to when I needed something more than a walk around the neighborhood with Cloud, but didn't have enough time for a long hike. Its a great quick loop with beautiful views of both the ocean and city, and a pretty tree-lined path. This was the last hike we did together!

Wildwood Park Trails, Thousand Oaks CA

Length: 6.5 Loop via Paradise Falls to Lizard Rock | Level: Easy-Moderate | Duration: 3 hours

Elevation: 816 | Dogs: Yes on leash

Directions and full hike info here

Wildwood Park Trails

You could spend all day here exploring the park and it's many trails. Cloud and I often opted for the full combo loop including Paradise Falls and Lizard Rock. It's beautiful with plenty of stop off areas to have a picnic, and also get in a great workout.

Westridge Canyon Trail, Los Angeles CA

Length: 7.5 out and back | Level: Easy-Moderate | Duration: 2-3.5 hours | Elevation: 730

Dogs: Yes off-leash

Directions and full hike info here

Westridge Canyon Trail

Our most favorite off-leash hike in LA! Over the years, I was here almost every other weekend with Cloud in the winter months when it's not too hot--as there is no shade. The great thing about this hike is you can make it as short or as long as you want. There are also two ways to do it, either the higher more strenuous ridge-trail part, or the straightforward gradual ascent path. You can mix and match depending on what you're up for- we usually did a figure 8 loop combo of 3-4 miles. Either way, the hike is perfect for you and your dog to get exercise and roam around leash free! Watch out for rattlesnakes as they do frequent this trail.

Charmlee Wilderness Park, Malibu CA

Length: 2-3 mile loop to do the whole park | Level: Easy | Duration: 1-2 hours | Elevation: 260

Dogs: Yes on leash

Directions and full hike info here

Charmlee Wilderness Park

An easy and beautiful loop, we never got tired of Charmlee. The park is a spread of trails that all loop around and connect, so it's the perfect place to build your own hike and spend the day here. Since this park is rarely ever crowded, it's a great quiet escape with sweeping views of the ocean, and some shaded tree areas off the main trails. Small parking fee of $4 that maintains the park and nature center.

Franklin Canyon - Hastian Trail, Los Angeles CA

Length: 2.7 Loop | Level: Easy-Moderate | Duration: 1.5 hours | Elevation: 617 | Dogs: Yes on leash

Directions and full hike info here

Franklin Canyon Trail

Another staple here in LA, this hike has a few different options you can take with your dog. We almost always opted for the Hastian trail, creating a loop with it by taking the strenuous uphill way to the top, then a nice stroll down the main path down. Great workout for you and your dog with a beautiful city and sometimes ocean view if it's clear, as a payoff. This park also offers another great trail that loops around the reservoir. Pick and choose your path with your pup!

Westchester Bluff Creeks Trail, Los Angeles CA

Length: 3.8 out and back or 5 miles round trip | Level: Easy | Duration: 2.5 hours | Elevation: 118

Dogs: Yes on leash

Directions and full hike info here

Westchester Bluff Trail

This was the to-go walking trail right in my backyard! When I first moved to the area here in Playa Vista, just below LMU college, this walk was an off leash place to take your dog. Since the locals respected the rules, we didn't have any issues and it was welcomed for all pups! Now with the big businesses in the area it's back to being on-leash, but even with that it's still a nice walk to take your dog when you are short on time and just need to do something different from the neighborhood walk.

Devils Post Pile-Rainbow Falls Trail, Mammoth Lakes CA

Length: 4-6 miles round trip | Level: Easy | Duration: 2.5 hours | Elevation: 690 | Dogs: Yes on leash

Directions and full hike info here

Devils Post Pile

I had to add this one in, as even though we only did it once it was one of my favorites with Cloud! This hike is best done in the spring/summer months when visiting Mammoth. You have to take the shuttle to get to the hike from the Mammoth adventure center (dogs wear muzzles for safety), but the hike is a perfect day out in the forest for you and your dog to explore.

Yosemite National Park, Los Angeles CA

No specific trail info here, but I'm ending this post with one of my favorite national parks. Yosemite is amazing all times of the year, but living in LA with our husky, we especially enjoyed it in the winter after a great snowfall. Many of the trails are closed in winter, but you can drive through most parts of the park and do a bunch of stop offs so your dog can play and have some fun in the snow!

Directions and full park info here

Yosemite National Park

I hope those of you with dogs enjoyed this post! California is a great state to adventure with a dog all year round. I know there are so many more great dog-friendly spots that I hope to explore in the future. Would love to hear any of your favorite places you've adventured with your pup!

RIP Cloud. You will be missed on the trails, but now you are running free!

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