DUER Los Angeles - 8 Best Dog-Friendly Hiking Trails in LA

With over one million dogs in Los Angeles county, it’s a good thing LA has a variety of dog-friendly hiking trails. We’ve put together a short guide on hiking with a dog that includes a list of all the essentials you should pack, trail etiquette to know before heading out, and a list of the best dog-friendly hikes in LA.

Hiking with a dog

A happy DUER dog

Planning your hike

Before hitting the trail, consider your dog’s hiking capacity based on their age, breed, size, activity level, and overall health. 

Most dogs can hike two miles without a problem. Anything over five miles and under 10 miles is acceptable for young and healthy dogs. For extremely active and well-conditioned dogs, 15 to 20 miles is realistic but is starting to creep into the warning zone. Anything beyond 20 or 25 miles can be extremely tiresome for dogs. 

What to bring with you

To keep your dog safe, you’ll want to bring the following items with you on your hike:

  • Dog collar with ID tag
  • Poop bags
  • Dog treats
  • Plenty of water 
  • Portable water dish
  • Food (if doing a longer hike)
  • Bear bell
  • Headlight or reflective jacket or collar
  • Extra leash
  • Pet first aid kit

Doggo trail etiquette

A cool DUER dog

Following the written and unwritten rules on a trail allows everyone to have an enjoyable experience. Familiarize yourself with the following trail etiquette when hiking with a dog:

  • Check to see if the trail requires dogs to be on a leash: If a leash is required, be sure to follow these instructions as they are in place to keep you, your dog, and surrounding wildlife safe.
  • Yield to cyclists or other hikers: Give others on the trail plenty of space when they are passing you and your pooch. 
  • Always pick up your dog’s poop: If you forgot poop bags or you’re on a multi-day hike with no trash bins for hundreds of miles, walk about 70 paces away from any path, campsite, or water source, bury the waste in a hole at least six inches deep, and kindly disguise the spot when you are finished. 

Why do some trails require dogs to be on a leash?

Another cool DUER dog

Certain areas come with risks that could put your dog in danger. Poisonous plants or contaminated puddles or streams can turn a pleasant outing into a heartbreaking situation. Off-leash dogs can also cause harm to smaller animals or trigger aggressive behavior from wildlife.

Why are dogs not allowed on some trails?

No dogs allowed

As you know, dogs like to mark their territory. If a dog marks up areas with wild animals, it can disrupt the terrain and interrupt wildlife corridors. Because many wild animals show a strong aversion to trailheads where dog use and waste are concentrated, this reduces the amount of space they have to roam. Conserving these spaces specifically for wildlife is essential for them to thrive. 

Some trails also don’t allow dogs for their own safety. There have also been instances where dogs have killed or caused harm to wildlife such as deer, birds, rabbits, and other animals, or vice versa where dogs have been killed or harmed by wildlife. It’s best to obey trail guides and look for dog-friendly hikes instead.

Can dogs hike the Hollywood sign?

This is quite possibly the most common question among dog-owners in LA! 

The answer is yes, dogs can hike the Hollywood Sign, but only on certain trails. Be sure to check how dog-friendly each trail is before heading out and at the very least, you can always venture to the Bronson Canyon Caves where there is a designated off-leash area for dogs.

Are dogs allowed at Griffith Park trails?

Don’t be afraid to bring your furry best friend for a car ride up Canyon Drive as you wind your way up to Griffith Park. Dogs are allowed on some of the trails in Griffith Park. Of the 63 trails in one of California’s largest urban parks, 45 of Griffith Park trails are dog-friendly.

Are dogs allowed on Los Liones Trail? 

If you were hoping to see Los Liones Trail on the list, we’re sorry to disappoint but there are no dogs allowed on Los Liones Trail. Lucky for you, there are many other excellent hikes in LA that do allow dogs! Check out the complete list below.

Where can I hike with my dog in Los Angeles?

While there are hundreds of hiking trails to choose from in LA, not all of them are dog-friendly. Among those that are, some require dogs to be on a leash while others allow dogs to be off-leash. We’ve included a mix of both in the below list.

Dog-friendly hiking trails in Los Angeles

  1. Brush Canyon Trail 
  2. Wisdom Tree, Cahuenga Peak, and Mount Lee Summit Loop
  3. Runyon Canyon Loop Trail
  4. Solstice Canyon Loop
  5. Franklin Canyon Site Trail
  6. Bridge to Nowhere 
  7. Fryman Canyon Trail
  8. Kenter Fire Road Trail

1. Brush Canyon Trail in Griffith Park

Brush Canyon Trail is a dog-friendly hike that is located in Griffith Park. This trail gets great views of LA’s landscape, the Griffith Observatory, and the Hollywood sign. It’s a wide trail with plenty of places to stop for a rest on the way. Depending on the time of day, you and your dog may get some shade to help escape the heat.


A hiker wearing DUER pants hiking up to the Hollywood sign
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Route Type: Out and back hike
  • Elevation gain: 725 feet
  • Distance: 2.8 miles round trip
  • Duration: 1 hour 37 minutes
  • Dogs: Off-leash
  • Shade: Some

2. Wisdom Tree, Cahuenga Peak, and Mount Lee Summit Loop 

This dog-friendly loop trail is accessible year-round and lets you see LA the way the famous  Hollywood sign sees LA. With incredible views, this trail reaches the highest summit in Griffith Park, Cahuenga Peak. 


Silhouette of the Wisdom Tree

Just 10 minutes from Cahuenga Peak is Burbank Peak where the Wisdom Tree is located. The Wisdom Tree is the only tree in the area that survived the Hollywood Hills fire in 2007, making it a worthy point of interest.

  • Difficulty level: Moderate
  • Route Type: Loop
  • Elevation gain: 1,407 feet
  • Distance: 3.91 miles round trip
  • Duration: 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Dogs: On-leash
  • Shade: None

3. Runyon Canyon Loop Trail 

This popular loop trail offers great views of the Hollywood Hills and the Santa Monica Mountains. Runyon Canyon Trail is quite exposed so plan to bring your fur baby on a cooler day and bring extra water and bug spray. Keep an eye out for various labyrinths and secret shrines along the way, and pack a lock if you’d like to contribute to the Love Lock fence on the trail. 


The Canyon Loop Trail
  • Difficulty level: Moderate
  • Route Type: Loop
  • Elevation gain: 748 feet
  • Distance: 2.6 miles round trip
  • Duration: 1 hour 4 minutes
  • Dogs: Off-leash
  • Shade: None

4. Solstice Canyon Loop in the Santa Monica Mountains 

Do go chasing waterfalls with this gorgeous loop tail. Solstice Canyon Trail includes several natural features like a waterfall, a creek, and views of Santa Monica Bay and the Pacific ocean. At the end of the trail, you will find the ruins of Roberts Ranch House. Built in 1952, what remains of the brick structure is a unique point of interest that adds to your adventure.

Solstice Canyon Education Center
  • Difficulty level: Moderate
  • Route Type: Loop
  • Elevation gain: 669 feet
  • Distance: 2.98 miles round trip
  • Duration: 1 hour 13 minutes
  • Dogs: On-leash
  • Shade: Some

5. Franklin Canyon Site Trail 

Located in Franklin Canyon Park, this short hike is perfect if you’re pressed for time but still want to get out in nature. Watch for turtles and ducks that call the Upper Franklin Canyon Reservoir (Franklin Canyon Lake) home. This trail is also ideal for older or smaller dogs that are not up for a challenging climb.


Franklin Canyon Site Trail
  • Difficulty level: Easy
  • Route Type: Loop
  • Elevation gain: 220 feet
  • Distance: 1.99 miles round trip
  • Duration: 48 minutes
  • Dogs: On-leash
  • Shade: Some

6. Bridge to Nowhere 

If you’re up for an adventure, this historical hike is located just outside of Los Angeles in the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument. The bridge was built in 1936 as part of a roadway project that was abandoned after a flood washed out the road. There are many opportunities to jump into the river during this hike and be on the lookout for bungee jumpers off the bridge!


  • Difficulty level: Moderate
  • Route Type: Out and back hike
  • Elevation gain: 1,246 feet
  • Distance: 9.51 miles round trip
  • Duration:  3 hours 49 minutes
  • Dogs: On-leash
  • Shade: Some

7. Fryman Canyon Trail in the Santa Monica Mountains

Located just outside of Studio City, this loop trail passes through Wilacre Park and Coldwater Canyon Park. The terrain includes a mixture of dirt roads and paved residential streets as it weaves through various landscapes. The elevation and location make it a great spot to watch the sunset with your pooch.

  • Difficulty level: Moderate
  • Route Type: Loop
  • Elevation gain: 456 feet
  • Distance:  260.98 miles round trip
  • Duration: 1 hour 21 minutes
  • Dogs: On-leash
  • Shade: None

8. Kenter Fire Road Whoop-De-Doos Trail

The Kenter Fire Road Whoop-De-Doos Trail (also known as the Lower Canyonback Trail) is located in Rustic Canyon Park in West Hollywood. The trail crosses Canyonback Ridge between Brentwood and a development of estate homes. The hike offers views of West Los Angeles, Santa Monica Bay, and the Santa Monica Mountains. There are some shaded areas along the way and the swinging bench under a large oak tree is a lovely spot for a break with your pooch and some pictures.

  • Difficulty level: Moderate
  • Route Type: Loop
  • Elevation gain: 712 feet
  • Distance: 3.29 miles round trip
  • Duration: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Dogs: Off-leash
  • Shade: Some

Look as cute as your dog on the trail

Well, maybe not as cute, but just about! DUER’s hiking pants combine function and fashion with Coolmax® technology for temperature control as you climb on those hot days. They’ve even got enough stretch to make picking up after your dog a painless task.

A DUER with her dog

Should you find yourself in West Canada, we’ve also put together a list of the top dog-friendly hikes in Vancouver and Squamish