Although Los Angeles is a large city, there are many wonderful hikes you can take with your dog around the city. Surrounded by hills, mountains, forests and the beach, the Los Angeles area experiences beautiful year-round weather and is ideal for trail walks and hikes with your dog.
- Griffith Park: Bronson Canyon: Griffith Park features many trails across 4,300 acres of parklands, and Bronson Canyon is a short hike that is less than one mile in length. As a film set for several movies and featuring a short tunnel that is known as Batman’s famous Batcave, this is a fun place for you and your dog to explore.
- Griffith Park: West Trail Loop: Starting near the Fern Dell picnic tables, this picturesque hike spans more than two miles and provides views of the observatory, the Los Angeles Basin and the famous Hollywood sign. City views and meandering trails provide many opportunities for your dog to sniff and for you to enjoy the scenery.
- Griffith Park: Brush Canyon: This peaceful hike offers two miles of magnificent views along Mount Hollywood Drive. Starting on Canyon Drive, you’ll head up and out of the canyon, and the trail includes a picnic spot, so you can enjoy lunch with your dog. Your hike intersects with Mulholland Trail, so you can vary your path and easily add more miles to your hike.
- Runyan Canyon Loop: This three-mile hike is very popular for dogs, and it offers beautiful views and off-leash opportunities for your dog. The summit of the trail, Cloud’s Rest, provides beautiful views of the city, the Hollywood sign, and the Los Angeles Basin. Your well-socialized dog will enjoy this trail, but if you are looking for peace and solitude, you may prefer a different location.
- Franklin Canyon Park: Discovery Trail: This one-mile trail around the Franklin Canyon Reservoir is near the center of Los Angeles. This 605-acre park is home to many movie and television sets, and as an environmentally sensitive area, it is important to stay on the trails. The lake itself was the location for the opening credits of the Andy Griffith Show and the classic movie, Black Lagoon.
- Wilacre Park: The San Fernando valley is featured when you choose this nearly three-mile trail. Be prepared to pay a $3 fee to park on Fryman road, but you’ll also have access to restrooms, water and a picnic stop. You’ll find shady trails that offer both elevation gains and level walking, and you’ll also discover the headquarters of TreePeople, an environmental organization.
- Eaton Canyon: Four miles and a waterfall make this a special hike off of Altadena Drive in Pasadena. At 190 acres, this is a natural preserve, but leashed dogs are welcome. Equestrian trails, picnic tables, streams and the waterfall make it a picturesque destination. Be prepared to cross small creeks when the water is high in the spring.
- Will Rogers State Park: Rustic Canyon Loop, Inspiration Point: This challenging hike is about six miles in length and provides beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Monica Mountains at the former home of Will Rogers. The fee of $12 provides access to the park, and the hike starts at the main house. Inspiration Point adds a quick additional hike and provides the best view. Six-foot leashes for dogs are required.
- Westridge-Canyonback Wilderness Park: From Escondido, you’ll hike the Santa Monica Mountains surrounded by 1,500 acres of land. Leashed dogs, horses, mountain bikers and hikers share the trails in this beautiful, natural area.
- Kenneth Hahn Recreation Area: The 2.6-mile loop hike includes a small elevation gain and is a moderate hike for dogs and people. A $6 entrance fee provides access to a playground, community center, restrooms and picnic spots. Quiet trails are ideal for bird watching, and this peaceful area provides beautiful city views.
- Beaudry Loop: Verdugo Mountains: At 5.8 miles in length, this is a moderate hike in Glendale with an elevation gain that makes it a good workout. Wildflowers, beautiful views and a peaceful, uncrowded trail make it a great destination for a day hike for you and your leashed dog. There is very little shade, so it is best to do this hike on a cool day or early in the day.
- Wild Flower Hill: Theodore Payne Foundation: This short, easy hike is a great outing in the Sun Valley area. As a native plants and wildflower nursery, you will need to visit during open hours. Birdwatching and wildflower viewing opportunities are abundant, and you will likely see wildlife as well. Leashed dogs are welcome to enjoy the trail with you.
- Victory Trailhead Loop: You can choose to hike for five miles or less on this easy-to-moderate hike. This beautiful space features wildflowers and grasslands among oak and sycamore trees. It is a destination for leashed dogs, horseback riders and mountain bikers. As the east entrance of the Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Park, there is a $3 access fee. This is a large area, and a good map is helpful to ensure that you find the right trail.
- Paramount Ranch: It’s worth the drive to Agoura Hills to hike Paramount Ranch in the Santa Monica Mountains. A trail of 2.8 miles and a small elevation gain is easy for dogs and humans. As a Western town movie set, Paramount Ranch is still used for filming. Leashed dogs will enjoy the trails through oak trees and the set of dozens of movies and television shows, such as “Gunsmoke” and “The X-Files.”
- Solstice Canyon: Rising Sun Trail: A road trip to the beach should include this three-mile trail in Malibu features sensational views of the Pacific Ocean, a small waterfall and the ruins of old buildings. Stay on easy Solstice Trail, or take the switchbacks of sunny Rising Sun Trail to the hilltop for panoramic views of the area.
- Escondido Canyon and Falls: Also in Malibu, Escondido Canyon features a 4.2-mile trail that ends at a waterfall. Be prepared to cross the creek several times to reach your destination, especially in the winter and spring. With a slight elevation gain, you will be rewarded with an up-close view of the 50-foot falls, and you can wade in the pool or climb the rocks to the upper tier.
- Red Rock Canyon to Calabasas Peak: Although Topanga State Park does not allow dogs on trails, nearby Red Rock Canyon is dog-friendly. A hike of 4.6 miles and an elevation gain of over 1,000 feet makes this a moderate hike. Expect unimproved roads and a parking fee of $5. Beautiful rock formations define this hike along with views of the Santa Monica Mountains.
- Elysian Park: Angel’s Point: At almost three miles, this easy hike can be difficult to locate, but it is fun to experience. In the heart of Los Angeles, it sits above Dodger Stadium, and it offers a rugged hike that is unexpected in the center of the urban jungle and views of the stadium and the city. When you reach Angel’s Point, you’ll enjoy public art.
- Trebek Open Space: Another three-mile hike offers an elevation gain of over 400 feet, and it is a moderate hike for you and your dog. You can adjust the difficulty by choosing different trails throughout the 62-acre system. This area is rarely full of people, and it features beautiful views for a peaceful and fun hiking experience.
- Ernest E. Debs Regional Park: An elevation gain of 400 feet and 5.2 miles of trail make this a moderate hike for humans and dogs. The trail entrance at the Audubon Center leads to a network of paved and unimproved trails; a map will help you find your way. Beautiful views, a fishing pond and picnic grounds make this an enjoyable place to spend the day.
Explore Your City
Hiking with your dog is a wonderful way to explore your city and enjoy wildlife, wildflowers and beautiful views. With our dog grooming, dog boarding and doggie daycare services in Santa Monica, The Wags Club will keep your dog happy at our luxury resort while you are at work, and you can spend your weekends enjoying these beautiful urban hikes together.