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15 of California's Best Dog-Friendly Hikes

10.13.17

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15 of California's Best Dog-Friendly Hikes
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  • The Branceforte Creek Trail is a dog friendly hike.- 15 of California's Best Dog-Friendly Hikes
  • The trail to Potato Chip Rock starts by hugging the shores of Lake Poway.- 15 of California's Best Dog-Friendly Hikes
  • View back to the Bay from the trail.- 15 of California's Best Dog-Friendly Hikes
  • The view as you approach Rodeo Beach along the Fort Cronkhite Loop Trail.- 15 of California's Best Dog-Friendly Hikes
  • The view of Rodeo Beach as the Fort Cronkhite Coastal Trail continues to climb.- 15 of California's Best Dog-Friendly Hikes
  • Big Rock Trail.- 15 of California's Best Dog-Friendly Hikes
  • The Lower Redwood Loop Trail.- 15 of California's Best Dog-Friendly Hikes
  • Yellow aspens grow along the Middle Fork of Bishop Creek down to the inlet on Lake Sabrina.- 15 of California's Best Dog-Friendly Hikes
  • Looking south at the Mount Judah Loop, which follows the ridgeline connecting Mount Judah and Mount Lincoln.- 15 of California's Best Dog-Friendly Hikes
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Contributor

If there's anything that makes a clear, sunny hiking day all the sweeter, it's an ecstatic four-legged hiking buddy. So, if you're like us, a prerequisite for almost any outdoor adventure is dog-friendliness. This means more than simply noting if dogs are allowed on the trail—it's important for us to ensure that there's plenty of shade, that it's not incredibly crowded or mostly paved, and it fits well within our particular canine's abilities. 

Likewise, the ability for a wide variety of human adventurers to even enjoy the trail in the first place is contingent on every last dog owner's devotion to simply being a good owner. There's nothing worse than a sweeping ocean view tainted by green poop bags or a rowdy off-leash rambler. Before you embark, check out A Guide to Summer Adventuring with your Dog. The short of it:

  • Make sure your dog's fitness level matches the trail.
  • Know the particular strong points and limitations of your dog's training and behavior and handle her accordingly.
  • If you're headed out on a particularly busy trail, it can be a good idea to wear her out beforehand. 
  • Be prepared. Think: poop bags, water, food, first aid.

As with most things, more experience leads to more efficiency; the more you take your dog out and explore with her, the better you will be at properly preparing for any situation and the easier it will get for everyone. 

In short, take precautions, think about trail-specific training, and enjoy these 15 spectacular summertime hiking adventures!

Northern California

Eastern Sierra

The Bay Area

Greater L.A. Area

San Diego

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