It's a Dog Day Morning, Afternoon & Night in LA: Dog-Friendly Hikes and Parks in Los Angeles

Enjoy dog-friendly hiking trails, parks and beaches in LA

Dog hiking in Runyon Canyon
Runyon Canyon | Photo: @__a_m_e_l_i_a_, Instagram

Read on for off-leash dog parks, spectacular dog-friendly hikes and dog beaches in Los Angeles that you can enjoy with your canine companion.

For more dog-friendly places in Los Angeles, check out our Ultimate Guide.

Property of Discover Los Angeles
Westridge-Canyonback Wilderness Park | Instagram by @hikinggirlwithdog

Dog-Friendly Hikes

With hundreds of miles of trails spanning Greater Los Angeles, there's plenty of territory for you and your dog to explore. As a rule of thumb, National Recreation Areas and National Forests are dog-friendly - you can start planning your dog-friendly hikes in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area and Angeles National Forest, which includes the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument.

Dog sunrise hike at Runyon Canyon
Sunrise at Runyon Canyon with Hector | Photo: @hector_the_goldador, Instagram

City of Los Angeles and L.A. County parks allow dogs on trails, but California State Parks usually do not. Dogs are supposed to be leashed on most trails, but there are two notable exceptions for off-leash dog hikes:

  • Runyon Canyon Park - Spanning 160 acres, L.A.'s most popular hiking area for humans and dogs features an off-leash "Dog Park" - 90 acres for your dog to run free!
  • Westridge-Canyonback Wilderness Park - Less well-known than Runyon Canyon, this park spans more than 1,500 acres of open space and includes a former Nike Missile Control Station among the sights. 
Dog at the Bronson Caves in Griffith Park
Peak got the Bat-Signal at the Bronson Caves | Photo: @thenamespeak, Instagram

Griffith Park

One of the largest municipal parks in North America, Griffith Park features 70 miles of trails with numerous landmarks, including:

  • Amir's Garden - This hidden gem is a lush urban oasis.
  • Bronson Caves - A popular film location best known as the Batcave from the '60s Batman TV series.
  • Ferndell - Tropical plants and flowers thrive along this winding trail. Stop by the Trails Cafe for dog treats!
  • Mount Hollywood - This 1,625-foot peak has amazing views of the Griffith Observatory, Hollywood Sign and Downtown L.A.
  • Wisdom Tree - Hike the Wonder View Trail to the top of Cahuenga Peak for this lone pine tree and spectacular city views.
Whitnall Off-Leash Dog Park in North Hollywood
Whitnall Off-Leash Dog Park | Photo: @lunalovepuppie, Instagram

Dog Parks in LA

Following is a short list of popular dog parks across the city. For a full list of Los Angeles dog parks, including a map and park rules, visit the Dept. of Recreation & Parks website.

Lucky the Dalmatian on the beach at Leo Carrillo State Park
Lucky cools off at Leo Carrillo State Park | Photo: @therealluckydalmatian Instagram

Dog-Friendly Beaches

Most LA beaches prohibit dogs, but there are exceptions - with restrictions.

  • Leo Carrillo State Park - Looking for a dog-friendly beach in Malibu? Malibu’s scenic Leo Carrillo State Park allows dogs on a leash in the day-use areas, campground and north beach (north of Lifeguard Tower No. 3).
  • Rosie's Dog Beach - Opened in 2003, the four-acre Rosie's Dog Beach in Long Beach is the only legal off-leash dog beach in LA County. The "Dog Zone" is in effect daily from 6am to 8pm. Note: only one dog is allowed per adult, so bring a friend if you have two dogs!