Best Hikes with Dogs – Southern California

Listed below are 42 additional dog friendly hikes from Allen Riedel’s Best Hikes with Dogs – Southern California. (These hikes aren’t listed in any of the other hike books we own.) Photos and blog write-up links are attached below to hikes we’ve completed. The numbers below follow the listing in the book.

Central California Coast

01. Point Sal State Beach. 10.3 miles. 1300′ elevation gain. 5 hours. Best year round. Difficult.

02. La Purisima Mission State Historic Park. 5 miles. 300′ elevation gain. 2 hours. Best year round, hot in summer. Easy.

03. Nojoqui Falls County Park. 0.6 miles. 200′ elevation gain. 1.5 hours. Best year round. Easy.

04. Refugio State Beach to El Capitan State Beach. 5.4 miles. 100′ elevation gain. 2 hours. Best year round. Easy.

Los Padres National Forest

05. Aliso Trail. 3.25 miles. 1000′ elevation gain. 1.5 hours. Best year round, hot in summer. Moderate due to steep elevation gain.

06. Knapp’s Castle. 0.93 miles.  100′ elevation gain. 1 hour. Best year round, hot in summer. Easy.

07. Coal Oil Point. 1.5 miles. 25′ elevation gain. 1 hour. Best year round. Easy.

08. Reyes Peak. 0.25 miles. 800′ elevation gain. 4 hours. Best during summer. Roads and campgrounds are closed seasonally, during wet periods or fire danger. Moderate.

09. Piedra Blanca. 2.5 miles. 300′ elevation gain. 2 hours. Best late fall through late spring. Easy.

10. Rose Valley Falls. 0.75 miles. 150′ elevation gain. 0.50 hours. Best year round, hot in summer. Easy.

Santa Monica Mountains

11. Satwiwa Loop. 1.5 to 2.5 miles. 260′ elevation gain. 1.5 hours. Best year round, hot in summer. Easy.

12. Mishe Mokwa Trail. 6 miles. 1550′ elevation gain. 3 hours. Best year round. Moderate.

13. Simi Peak. 5 miles. 1100′ elevation gain. 3 hours. Best year round, hot in summer. Moderate.

14. Zuma Canyon Loop. 1.85 miles. 150′ elevation gain. 1 hour. Best year round. Easy.

Angeles National Forest – San Gabriel Mountains

19. Waterman Mountain. 4.5 miles. 1400′ elevation gain. 2.5 hours. Best year round, snow in winter. Moderate.

22. Mount Williamson. 5 miles. 1600′ elevation gain. 2.5 hours. Best year round (closed in winter at Islip Saddle). Moderate.

25. Big Horn Mine. 3.5 miles. 850′ elevation gain. 2.5 hours. Best year round (Angeles Highway sometimes closed before Vincent Gap during winter). Moderately easy.

26. Mount Baldy – Manker Flats Loop. 11.6 miles. 4000′ elevation gain. 8 hours. Best late spring to late fall. Very difficult.

27. Ontario Peak. 12.5 miles. 3900′ feet. 7 hours. Best summer through late fall’ spring is discouraged due to bighorn sheep mating in the area. Extremely difficult.

San Bernardino National Forest

28. Cleghorn Mountain. 10 miles. 1700′ elevation gain. 4 hours. Best late fall to early spring, scorching hot in summer. Moderate.

29. Little Bear Creek. 3.8 miles. 800′ elevation gain. 2 hours. Best year round, hot in summer. Easy.

30. Grays Peak. 7 miles. 1200′ elevation gain. 3.5 hours. Best April to November (trail closed in winter). Moderate.

32. Castle Rock. 1.6 miles. 700′ elevation gain. 1 hour. Best year round, snow in winter. Easy, but with a steep and short elevation gain.

33. Grand View Point. 6 miles. 1400′ elevation gain. 3 hours. Best year round, snow in winter. Moderate.

34. Sugarloaf Mountain. 7 miles. 1500′ elevation gain. 3.5 hours. Best year round. Moderate.

San Gorgonio Wilderness

35. Shields Peak. 12.2 miles. 4000′ elevation gain. 7.5 hours. Best late spring through late fall. Extremely difficult.

36. Dry Lake. 11 miles. 2400′ elevation gain. 6.5 miles. Best late spring/early summer through first snowfall. Very difficult.

38. Kitching Peak. 8 miles. 2700′ elevation gain. 5 hours. Best year round, snow in winter. Difficult.

Other

39. Terri Peak. Lake Perris State Recreation Area. 3.5 miles. 1000′ feet elevation gain. 1.5 hours. Best year round, summer is very hot. Moderate due to the steep elevation gain.

40. Huntington Dog Beach. Huntington Beach. 1-2 miles. 25′ elevation gain. 1 hour. Best year round. Easy.

San Jacinto Mountains

41. Black Mountain. 8 miles. 2700′ elevation gain. 4 hours. Best year round, but summers can be hot. Difficult.

43. Palm View Peak. 9 miles. 2200′ elevation gain. 4 hours. Best fall through spring. Difficult.

44. Pyramid Peak. 7 miles. 1700′ elevation gain. 4 hours. Best late fall through late spring.

45. Thomas Mountain. 12 miles. 2300′ elevation gain. 6 hours. Best year round, hot in summer, snow in winter. Difficult.

Santa Rosa Mountains

46. Sheep Mountain. 12.5 miles. 2600′ elevation gain. 8.5 hours. Best late fall through late winter, devastatingly hot in summer. Extremely difficult, off-trail desert hiking.

Cleveland National Forest

53. Pacific Crest Trail to Eagle Rock. 5.5 miles. 750′ elevation gain. 2.5 hours. Best late fall through early spring. Moderate.

Greater San Diego Area

54. San Elijo Lagoon. 2-3 miles. 50′ elevation gain. 1 to  hours. Best year round. Easy.

55. North Beach – Del Mar Dog Beach. 0.5 miles. 20′ elevation gain. 0.5 hours. Best year round, but dogs allowed off-leash September through June only. Easy.

58. Pioneer Mail Trail. 1.75 miles. 250′ elevation gain. 1 hour. Best year round, very hot in summer. Easy.

59. Laguna Mountain Recreation Area – Sunset Trail. 3.25 miles. 350′ elevation gain. 2 hours. Best year round. Easy.

61. Fiesta Island. 3 to 5 miles. 10′ elevation gain. 2 to 3 hours. Best year round. Easy.

62. Cabrillo Tide Pools. 0.5 miles. 20′ elevation gain. Less than one hour. Best year round. Easy.

Have you hiked some of these with your dog(s)? How were they?! Which hikes are we missing? Which of these should we prioritize?

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