12 of L.A.’s best urban trails for dogs
Los Angeles has no shortage of doggie-centric outdoor spaces, including the hipster hound haven that is Silver Lake Dog Park and Rosie’s Dog Beach, the beautiful stretch of coastline in Long Beach that allows for off-leash sand play. The Laurel Canyon Dog Park (the oldest in the city) and the massive (6½-acre) Sepulveda Basin Dog Park are also good options for a recreational romp with your dog. However, if you want to hit the trails for a hike with your pup, we recommend these 12 hikes as the best doggone adventures in town. For more places to go, check out the 50 Best Hikes in L.A. and the 40 Best California Outdoor Experiences.
Upper and Lower Canyonback Trail
Ready to unleash your inner mongrel? Bring your canis familiaris to the Upper Canyonback trailhead for an autonomous adventure, where dogs benefit from the sovereignty of a rare off-leash hiking area and humans have the freedom to choose one of two paths that run along the ridge. Take either a wide fire road or narrow single track (or one up, one down) to explore the canyon but note that while the trails do overlap, only the single track reaches the high point of the hilltop. You can optionally take the connecting Hollyhock fire road west to create a loop through Mandeville Canyon to San Vicente Mountain and the famous Nike Missile site. Otherwise, at the terminus of Upper Canyonback, take a short walk on the paved road to reach the Lower Canyonback trail which heads all the way to Kenter Ave in Brentwood and continues to offer great views of West LA (look for the Getty!), the summits of the Santa Monica Mountains and, of course, the Pacific Ocean. Talk about the pawfect doggie day trip! Trailhead: Off Mulholland Dr, just south of intersection with Encino Hills Drive. Park on the street. Off-leash OK. COVID-19 Trail Updates / Closures
Inspiration Point Loop
Amir's Garden and the Old Zoo in Griffith Park
Hike, beach, seafood: the recipe for a Malibu-tiful day and a fabulous coastal adventure with your dog. Find your primary ingredient on a leg-busting workout along the Sara Wan Trail through Corral Canyon Park, where the trailhead sits behind the local beach joint, Malibu Seafood. Before you begin your ascent, you’ll pass through coastal riparian features and remnants of an old stone chimney. As you climb the ridge, you are rewarded with pristine views of the Malibu shoreline and Santa Monica Bay, as well as rolling hills of the canyon to the north. Enjoy the seascapes with a pair of binoculars during whale-watching season; you can also spy gulls and hawks year-round. If you yearn for more playtime, drive up Pacific Coast Highway to Leo Carrillo State Beach, where you can find a rare dog beach in the sandy stretch between lifeguard towers 3 and 4. Free street parking; paved lot costs $12. Dogs must remain on leash. Start at 25623 Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu.