Ingrid Taylar, via Flickr Creative Commons

As spring swings into full gear, there’s no better time to grab a four-legged friend and hit the trails. Narrowing down dog-friendly hik…

kimberly0gomes  – September 26, 2017 | Updated March 24, 2020


As spring swings into full gear, there’s no better time to grab a four-legged friend and hit the trails. Narrowing down dog-friendly hikes can be tricky, so here’s a quick compilation for San Francisco pet owners itching for on and off-leash runs.


Ingrid Taylar, via Flickr Creative Commons

1. Fort Funston, San Francisco

When it comes to dog parks, this beloved beachfront scene is pretty standard amongst San Franciscans. Canines under voice command roam the trails and beach off-leash, creating a fun environment for both pets and parents.


Miguel Vieria, via Flickr Creative Commons

2. Cataract Falls, Mt. Tamalpais

Pack a lunch and plenty of water for this stunning, up-hill hike. Fitting for leashed dogs, these slender trails weave up the lush terrain of Mount Tam, and pass three, beautiful waterfalls. Given California’s drought, water may be sparse, but seasoned hikers can extend the gorgeous views by taking the Cataract Falls trail past Laurel Dell for a round trip of 7.7 miles.


Drew Kelly

3. Inspiration Point, San Francisco

This easy, 2.9-mile Presidio stroll comes with immaculate city views and endless clusters of swaying trees. Leashed dogs and their owners will enjoy Andy Goldsworthy’s artistic installations, including the 90-foot high tower of Monterey trunks, known as Spire, and the curved Wood Line. Don’t forget to stop by the lookout point for a breathe-taking shot of the Palace of Fine Arts.


John-Morgan, via Flicker Creative Commons

4. Diablo Foothills Regional Park, Walnut Creek

Incredibly vast, this East Bay gem features 1,060 acres of untouched land. Experienced hikers and off-leash dogs will enjoy both moderate and rigorous trails with plenty of intense fire roads. This park harbors very little shade, so bring water, sunscreen, and an adventure hat.


Skip Brown

5. Crissy Field, San Francisco

Catch a clear view of the Golden Gate Bridge, while the pups roam off-leash. The east and central beaches are open dog runs year-round, but the west beach is only leash-free from May through July. A popular pick amongst pet owners, Crissy Field has a doggie water fountain and a washing station.

6. Cascade Falls, Fairfax 

Perfect for a relaxing, family hike, this 1.2-mile trail showcases a waterfall just after the rain, and also welcomes leashed dogs. The trek sits amidst Cascade Canyon’s 498-acres and serves as fertile round for bird and wildlife watching.


Kimberly Gomes

7. Mori Point, Pacifica

This frequented weekend spot comes with 2.0 miles of waterfront trails. While most dogs stay on leash when walking the dirt path, trained canines often sprint throughout the neighboring beach. These waves tend to harbor dangerous riptides, so keep pet play on the sand.


Kimberly Gomes

8.Muscle Rock, Daly City

Tucked behind the Muscle Rock Disposal Site, these rolling hills remain one of the peninsula’s best-kept secrets. Dog walkers can trek through gravel paths, soak up stunning coastal views, and even admire the hang gliders taking off from the cliffs.


Jay Sterling Austin, via Flickr Creative Commons

9. Bolinas Ridge, Olema 

Located just under 40 miles from San Francisco, Bolinas Ridge comes with a 10.5-mile trail and must-see views of Tomales Bay, Bolinas Lagoon, and the Pacific Ocean.

10. Dawn Falls, Larkspur

Nestled in Baltimore Canyon at the base of Mount Tamalpais, Baltimore Canyon features 193 acres of redwood, wildlife, and tranquility. The 30-foot high waterfall highlights the trip during wet months. With plenty of routes to choose from, this trail can be as short as three miles for those who turn back after the falls. Keep your four-legged friends on leash for this one.

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