50 Fabulous Dog-Friendly Hikes in San Diego

Hiking at Fiesta Island

Hiking at Fiesta Island

Spring is a great time to get out and go hiking with your pup. The weather is still cool and the flowers are in full bloom. San Diego County offers a broad range of hiking options that allow you to bring your dog along. There are urban strolls, mountain climbs, historical adventures, and, of course, seashore settings.

You can find the right hike – whether your, or your dog’s, fitness level is Ironman or couch pup. If you are on the extreme athlete level you could try one of the mountains – El Capitan, Cowles Mountain, Cuyamaca Peak, or Iron Mountain. If you want a more mellow experience, head out to Fiesta Island, one of the lagoons, or a more urban local where you can mix walking with stopping in a cafe.

Which ever you choose, dress appropriately, bring water, if necessary, obey the rules and watch for wildlife – such as rattlesnakes.

Please leave reviews to assist others in deciding where to go and let us know if we missed your favorite spot. If you IG, please #sdhappydogs.

CARDIFF

  • San Elijo Lagoon – multiple trails, best known as home to over 300 bird species

CARLSBAD

CORONADO

DESCANSO

EL CAJON

  • Crestridge Ecological Reserve –  4 mile out and back trail including a structure by noted architect James Hubbell and ancient history dating back thousands of years

ESCONDIDO 

  • Elfin Forest – 11 miles of trails with mountains and lakes and off leash allowed in parts
  • Lake Hodges Trail – 16 mile trail goes past the acclaimed David Kreitzer Pedestrian Bridge

FALLBROOK

IMPERIAL BEACH

  • Tijuana River Valley –  2,293 acres, home to 8 threatened and endangered species of plants and birds; some trails allow leashed dogs

JULIAN

LA JOLLA

  • Bird Rock Bike Path – 3.2 mile dirt trail from PB to La Jolla
  • La Jolla Cove Loop – 3 miles of scenic trail along the La Jolla coast
  • Mt. Soledad – 2.4 mile pavement trail to the top where eye can see to Mexico

LA MESA

LAKESIDE

MISSION BAY

  • Fiesta Island – off leash and plenty of places to hike along the bay and inland
  • Mission Bay Loop –  8.4 mile loop, following mostly concrete boardwalk and streets
  • Old Sea World Drive – 4.5 mile less used dirt path along the San Diego River

MOUNT LAGUNA

  • Sunset Trail – 3.2 mile loop with lots of different vistas and a real get away feel

OCEAN BEACH

PACIFIC BEACH

PALOMAR MOUNTAIN

POINT LOMA

POWAY

RAMONA

RANCHO PENASQUITOS

SAN DIEGO

  • On Balboa Park Trails

    On Balboa Park Trails

    Balboa Park: Green/Orange (Hillcrest) – paved paths through western and museum park area

  • Balboa Park: Red (Hillcrest) –  6.6 mile trail through not-often-seen natural areas of the park
  • Florida Canyon (North Park) – dirt trails in hilly area behind Morley Field Dog Park
  • Harbor Island (Downtown) – 7.7 mile hike encompasses Liberty Station and Spanish Landing as well, flat and paved
  • Maple Canyon Trail (Bankers Hill) – two historic bridges transverse this short hike
  • Rose Canyon (UTC) – 5 miles of dirt rails with pretty views
  • Tecolote Canyon Trail (Bay Park) – 6 miles, hilly, convenient to downtown
  • Waterfront (Downtown) – 2.8 mile loop along the Harbor is fun

SANTEE

  • Cowles Mountain Loop – 5 miles for this less used loop, steep to the highest peak in the city; busy on weekends

SCRIPPS RANCH

  • Lake Miramar – 4.9 miles of busy, flat paved trail around the lake

VALLEY CENTER

WARNER SPRINGS

 

 

 

 

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