The Best Day Hike You Can Take With Your Dog In California

Canyon Drive Trail
Griffith Park • Los Angeles

If there was one essential canine hike of Americana it would have to be the hike to the Hollywood sign, wouldn’t it? What was erected in 1923 as a billboard for selling houses and intended to stand for only 18 months is now the most recognizable icon of American culture to the rest of the world.

There are several choices to hike tothe Hollywood sign atop Mt. Lee but the Canyon Drive Trail is special because at its beginning Seaman can pay homage to another Hollywood legend - the campy 1960s Batman television series. A short hike from the trailhead in the opposite direction leads to Bronson Caves, best known to Adam West fans as the entrance to the Batcave.

The trip to the Hollywood sign will cover 3.25 miles and gain nearly 1,000 feet in elevation, most on a steady climb. Canyon Drive Trail is more drive than trail, wide and level which will come in handy for all the other unleashed dogs Seaman will likely encounter on this hike. There is almost no shade as you put the City of Angels further and further beneath you.

It is illegal to hike to the sign, perched safely behind restrictive fences, with or without your dog. Instead, the final steps to the summit wind be- hind the 50-foot high letters to the famous DOOWYLLOH view - Hollywood spelled backwards. Even without the sign, the panorama of Los Angelesand the Pacific Ocean from 1,708-foot Mt. Lee is amazing. A true American classic of a canine hike.

HIKING TIME: 3-4 hours

(from the book 300 Day Hikes To Take With Your Dog Before He Tires You Out: Trails where you won’t be able to wipe the wag off your dog’s tail)


National Parks with Hiking

Cabrillo National Monument
Dogs are allowed on leash only west of Gatchell Road

Channel Islands National Park
Dogs are not allowed on the island

Death Valley National Park
Dogs are not allowed on trails or in public facilities

Devils Postpile National Monument
Dogs are allowed throughout this park

Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Dogs are allowed in many areas of the park; signs are posted and dog-walking policies are subject to change

John Muir National Historic Site
Dogs are allowed in the two main areas of the park - the Mt.Wanda Unit and the orchards around the house

Joshua Tree National Monument
Dogs are allowed in the campground but not on the hiking trails

Lassen Volcanic National Park
Dogs are not allowed on the trails or in buildings

Lava Beds National Monument
Dogs are allowed on some trails in this park

Muir Woods National Monument
Dogs are not allowed in this park

Pinnacles National Monument
Dogs are not allowed on the trails in this park

Point Reyes National Seashore
Dogs are not allowed on trails or in campgrounds but are permitted on North and South beaches and part of Limantour Beach

Redwood National Park
Dogs are not allowed on the trails in this park

Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area
Dogs are permitted through most of this park except in state owned areas

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
Dogs are not allowed on the trails in these parks

Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity National Recreation Area
Dogs are allowed on the trails and through most of this park

Yosemite National Park
Dogs are not allowed on the trails or in the public buildings. For camping, dogs are allowed in Upper Pines in Yosemite Valley, the west end of the campground at Tuolumne Meadows and at White Wolf (Section C), Bridalveil (Section A), Crane Flats (Section A), Wawona, Hodgson Meadows and Yosemite Creek. Dogs can walk on some paved trails in valley.


State Parks With Hiking

California State Parks
Dogs are usually banned from state park trails and not allowed in the following California state parks: Angel Island State Park, on the trails at Annadel State Park, Ano Nuevo State Reserve, Seven Mile Slough and Windy Cove at Brannan Island State Recreation Area, on the trails at Castle Rock State Park, Crystal Cove State Park, on all trails at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park except Pipeline Road/Granham Hill/and Meadow, on the trails and beaches at Salt Point State Park, the Forest of Nivene Marks State Park except the entrance roads and picnic areas, everywhere but the campground and parking lots at Montana de Oro State Park and everywhere but the parking lot at Silver Strand State Beach.

Admiral William Standley State Recreation Area Ahjumawi Lava Springs State Park
Anderson Marsh State Historic Park
Andrew Molera State Park
Antelope Valley Poppy State Reserve
Anza-Borrego Desert
Armstrong Redwoods
Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland State Park
Auburn State Recreation Area
Austin Creek State Recreation Area 
Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park
Bean Hollow State Beach
Benbow Lake State Recreation Area
Benicia State Recreation Area
Bidwell-Sacramento River State Park
Big Basin Redwoods State Park
Bodie State Historic Park
Bolsa Chica State Beach
Border Field State Park
Bothe-Napa Valley State Park
Burleigh H. Murray Ranch Park Property
Burton Creek State Park  
Calaveras Big Trees State Park
Candlestick Point State Recreation Area 
Cardiff State Beach
Carmel River State Beach 
Carpinteria State Beach
Caspar Headlands State Beach
Castaic Lake State Recreation Area 
Castle Crags State Park
Caswell Memorial State Park 
China Camp State Park
Chino Hills State Park
Clear Lake State Park  
Cuyamaca Rancho State Park
D. L. Bliss State Park
Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park
Emerald Bay State Park
Empire Mine
Folsom Lake State Recreation Area
Fremont Peak State Park
Garrapata State Park
Greenwood State Park
Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park  
Grover Hot Springs State Park 
Half Moon Bay State Park

Harry A. Merlo State Recreation Area
Heber Dunes State Recreation Area
Hendy Woods State Park
Henry W. Coe State Park
Humboldt Lagoons State Park
Humboldt Redwoods State Park
Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park
Indio Hills Palms Park Property
Jack London State Historic Park
Jedediah Smith Redwoods  
Jughandle State Reserve
Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area
Kruse Rhododendron State Reserve
Lake Del Valle
Lake Perris
Leo Carrillo State Park
Lighthouse Field State Beach
MacKerricher State Park  
Manchester State Park
Manresa State Beach 
Marina State Beach
McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park  
McConnell State Recreation Area 
McGrath State Beach
Mendocino Headlands State Park 
Mendocino Woodlands Region 
Millerton Lake State Recreation Area 
Mono Lake Tufa 
Montana de Oro State Park 
Montara State Beach 
Monterey State Beach
Montgomery Woods State Reserve 
Morro Bay State Park 
Morro Strand State Beach
Moss Landing State Beach 
Mount Diablo State Park
Mount San Jacinto State Park 
Mount Tamalpais State Park
Natural Bridges State Beach
Navarro River Redwoods State Park 
New Brighton State Beach 
Olompali State Historic Park 
Pacheco State Park 
Palomar Mountain State Park 
Patrick's Point State Park
Pelican State Beach 
Pescadero State Beach
Picacho State Park 
Pismo State Beach 
Plumas-Eureka State Park
Point Dume State Beach
Point Lobos State Reserve
Point Mugu State Park
Pomponio State Beach
Portola Redwoods State Park 
Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
Providence Mountains State Recreation Area
Red Rock Canyon State Park 
Refugio State Beach
Richardson Grove State Park 
Robert H. Meyer Memorial State Beach
Robert Louis Stevenson State Park
Robert W. Crown Memorial State Beach
Russian Gulch State Park
Saddleback Butte State Park
Salinas River State Beach 
Salton Sea State Recreation Area
Samuel P. Taylor State Park
San Bruno Mountain State Park
San Clemente State Beach
San Gregorio State Beach
San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area  
San Onofre State Beach
San Pasqual Battlefield State Historic Park  
San Simeon State Park 
Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park
Schooner Gulch State Beach
Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area 
Sinkyone Wilderness State Park
Smithe Redwoods State Reserve
Sonoma Coast State Beach
South Yuba River State Park
Standish-Hickey State Recreation Area  
Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
Sunset State Beach 
Tahoe State Recreation Area 
Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve State Park
Tomales Bay State Park
Tomo-Kahni State Park
Topanga State Park
Torrey Pines State Beach 
Torrey Pines State Reserve
Trinidad State Beach 
Turlock Lake State Recreation Area
Twin Lakes State Beach
Van Damme State Park
Washoe Meadows State Park 
Westport-Union Landing State Beach  
Wilder Ranch State Park
Will Rogers State Historic Park 
Woodson Bridge State Recreation Area

Hiking With Your Dog In California