If you’re looking for a list of the best Bay Area dog friendly hikes, look no further!

I love to hike and luckily so does my dog. Over the years, I’ve amassed a list of favorite dog friendly hikes in the Bay Area.

Not only does my dog like these hikes, but so do my kids. They often won’t go hiking unless our dog can come too – so I’ve been motivated to find a variety of hikes to keep us all entertained and coming back for more. No matter where you live in the Bay Area, I’ve got you covered: from easy to challenging hikes, scenic hikes, coastal hikes, redwood hikes, and waterfall hikes.

Luckily many of the best Bay Area hikes are also dog friendly! I’ve personally done all of the Bay Area dog friendly hikes listed below. If you have other great hikes that aren’t listed here, please let me know in the comments so I can check them out!

San Francisco: Dog Friendly Hikes

There are a surprising number of dog friendly hikes in San Francisco. Dogs love San Francisco’s mild year round weather!

Lands End Trail

Land's End Trail in San Francisco California
Land’s End Trail in San Francisco (in July!)

Lands End Trail Details

Not only is Lands End dog friendly, but it’s also a perfect San Francisco hike for amazing views, a little history, and a lot of nature. Park in the lot at Lands End Lookout which is next to the Sutro Baths and the trailhead. Lots of signage along the way explaining the history of the area from the Ohlone Indians to shipwrecks in the Golden Gate Strait, and learn about the steam train that once ran along the same path. Take the offshoot trail to Mile Rock Beach and look for the rock labyrinth along the way.

  • 3.5 miles
  • Difficulty: moderate (there are a lot of stairs)
  • Dogs on leash
  • Kid-friendly, but not stroller friendly
  • Free Parking
  • Location: 680 Point Lobos Ave, San Francisco, CA 94121
  • Restrooms: at Lands End Lookout

Check out the full Lands End Trail guide here.

Glen Canyon Park

Dog friendly Glen Canyon Park consists of 66 acres of open space in the Glen Park neighborhood! You’ll find a large rec center, sports fields, a playground & tennis courts, but lose yourself in the trails just beyond!

Glen Canyon Park, San Francisco. Dog Friendly Hikes San Francisco
Glen Canyon Park, San Francisco

Creeks to Peaks Trail

We love the 4-mile out-and-back Creeks to Peaks Trail. Begin in Glen Canyon Park by wandering along Islais Creek Trail, a shaded dirt trail that follows Islais Creek.

The trail crosses the creek via some bridges and winds among the trees. After the rain, the trail can be muddy. The trail does a switchback and emerges along a grassy hill covered with yellow flowers in spring next to houses on stilts and ends at the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts at Portola Drive.

Cross Portola Drive and follow the trail along Twin Peaks Blvd. The trail crosses the road and cuts up the hill rather than following the road all the way. It will turn into the Twin Peaks Ridge Trail going up and over both peaks with fantastic 360-degree city views. Go a little bit further to Christmas Tree Point and then head back.

Note: Coyotes live in this park so be sure to keep dogs on leash at all times! We saw a big coyote near the creek as we came around a corner on our return. So instead of going back along Islais Creek, we followed Gum Tree Girls Trail along the hill which was more open with views down into the canyon below.

  • 4.0 miles
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Dogs on leash
  • Kid-friendly, but not stroller friendly
  • Free Parking along the street
  • Location: Elk Street & Chenery Street, San Francisco, CA 94127
  • Restrooms: at Rec Center

Mt. Sutro Open Space

Dog friendly Mt Sutro Open Space in San Francisco, an urban oasis. Dog Friendly hikes San Francisco, California
Dog friendly Mt Sutro Open Space in San Francisco, an urban oasis

Mt Sutro Loop

We like the Mt Sutro Loop within Mt Sutro Open Space. The Historic Trail trailhead is at the intersection of Stanyan Street & 17th Street in Ashbury Heights. We’ll often grab something to eat in Cole Valley and then walk over to the trailhead.

As soon as you enter this urban oasis, you’ll feel miles away from the city – it’s truly magical. You’re immediately engulfed in eucalyptus trees, vines, and ferns. Toward the top, there are views of San Francisco and multiple paths to wander around. Mt Sutro Open Space lies within San Francisco’s fog belt so the trees are watered by summer fog keeping the area green and often damp and/or muddy all year.

  • 2.1 miles
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • 500 feet elevation gain
  • Kid-friendly (especially the fairy houses!)
  • Dogs on leash
  • Free street parking in the surrounding neighborhood
  • Watch for runners & mountain bikers

Batteries to Bluffs Trail

Batteries to Bluffs Trail. San Francisco, California

Batteries to Bluffs Details

Batteries to Bluffs Trail is undoubtedly one of the best hikes in San Francisco!

Start at Baker Beach and hike all the way to the Golden Gate Bridge. Enjoy views of the Pacific, the Bridge, and the Headlands while climbing 470 stairs on this recently refurbished trail. Head down to Marshall Beach at low tide for iconic views of the bridge and explore the many batteries along the trail.

  • 3.5 miles
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • 450 feet elevation gain including 470 stairs
  • Kid-friendly (I’d recommend a minimum of 5 years because of all the stairs)
  • No dogs on the Batteries to Bluff section but allowed on other trails
  • Free Parking & Restrooms at Baker Beach

Check out the full Batteries to Bluffs Trail guide here.

Peninsula: Dog Friendly Hikes

The Peninsula is full of dog friendly hikes. Coastal hikes, including those exposed to the sun, are often cool and breezy even in the summer. Many of the inland hikes have great tree coverage creating shade to help keep dogs cool.

Even more Dog Friendly hikes in San Mateo County here

Mori Point

Hiking along the Bluff Trail at Mori Point. Mori Point Trail. Pacifica, California
Hiking along the Bluff Trail at Mori Point

Mori Point Details

Mori Point is a popular destination for dog friendly hiking on the peninsula with stunning coastal views. Go early if possible, especially on the weekend or on a warm day as it gets crowded. There is a very small parking area at the trailhead on Mori Point Road, but there is ample street parking in the neighborhood.

Mori Point has a lot of trails that crisscross all over so I recommend using an app like Alltrails to find a route and follow using GPS to make sure you follow your intended path. The 110-acre park has mostly low coastal plants making it quite visible so it’s tough to get lost. If your dog gets startled by other dogs coming around corners, then this is generally a good spot because the trails are open and it’s easy to see oncoming hikers & dogs.

We like the 2.5-mile Mori Loop Trail and the 2.2-mile Old Mori Road to Timigtac Trail Loop. At the top of Bootlegger’s steps, be sure to look back towards Sharp Park Beach for stunning views. Then head out to The Point for some stunning views (there are some precarious drop-offs so be careful). And don’t miss the 360-degree views from The Peak!

  • Varies, but around 2.5 miles
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • 436 feet elevation gain
  • Kid-friendly, but lots of bluffs with steep drops
  • Dog Friendly
  • Free Parking

Sweeney Ridge

Dog Friendly Sweeney Ridge Trail in San Bruno - looking north toward the Marin Headlands. San Mateo County, California
Dog Friendly Sweeney Ridge Trail in San Bruno – looking north toward the Marin Headlands

Sweeney Ridge Details

 The dog friendly trails at Sweeney Ridge are well-marked, well-maintained, and are mostly wide which is great to give dogs space to pass each other. There is not a lot of shade, so we have only done this hike on mostly overcast/cloudy days. Generally, it’s foggy until we reach the ridge and then the fog may burn off a bit to reveal a view. From the ridge, there are views west toward the Pacific and east to the bay and SFO. Hiking north, there are views of the Marin Headlands and a few glimpses of the Golden Gate Bridge.

We have started this trail from Skyline College in San Bruno: Notch Trail to Sweeney Ridge Trail all the way to the SF Peninsula Watershed gate (~5 miles total out-and-back). We hiked in spring and the Notch Trail was really pretty – very green with spring wildflowers. The trail ascended and descended through little valleys with views toward the bay.

We also started from the Shelldance Nursery on Highway 1 in Pacifica. This route was much more strenuous as it begins uphill on the Mori Ridge Trail gaining +1000 feet in the first mile. This climb is much more challenging than starting from the Notch Trail. Mori Ridge Trail meets up with Sweeney Ridge Trail and we took it to the SF Peninsula Watershed gate (~5 miles out-and-back). The fog burned off as we hiked along Sweeney Ridge and we had great views of SFO & the bay before we turned around and headed back into the fog!

Pulgas Ridge

Hiking down among the oaks on the Dick Bishop trail at Pulgas Ridge
Hiking down among the oaks on the Dick Bishop trail at Pulgas Ridge

Pulgas Ridge, located in Redwood City just off 280, not only has 6 miles of dog friendly trails, but also a 17.5 acre off-leash dog area (note: that it is not fenced in). Naturally, this makes Pulgas Ridge a very popular dog friendly hiking destination on the peninsula. We hike here often because it’s easy for us to get to, is dog friendly, and we like the climb to the ridge making it a good workout for us and our dog!

Cordilleras -> Polly Geraci -> Dick Bishop Trail Details

The trails here are well-marked and well-maintained with beautiful wildflowers in the spring. Except for the Blue Oak Trail and Hassler & Hassler Loop trails, most trails are narrow making it a little cumbersome to pass others, especially those with dogs. That is the one thing I don’t like about Pulgas Ridge.

Our favorite loop (just under 3 miles and ~400 feet of elevation gain) starts on the Cordilleras Trail to Polly Geraci and then back down on the Dick Bishop Trail. The trail begins and ends winding through oak-covered valleys that wind up to the mostly exposed ridge. From the ridge, there are views east toward the bay and west toward 280 & Skyline. While there are some views, they don’t compare to some of the other nearby hikes.

My favorite part of this dog friendly peninsula hike is walking through the oaks on the Dick Bishop trail. I always find it particularly peaceful!

  • San Carlos
  • Distance Varies: ~2.5 – 5 miles
  • Elevation: 400’
  • Our rating: Easy – Moderate
  • Dog Friendly
  • Parking: Small parking lot – lots of street parking
  • Restrooms: Yes at the trailhead

Pearson-Arastradero Preserve

Relaxing by Arastradero Lake at Pearson-Arastradero Preserve in Los Altos, California. Bay Area Dog Friendly Hikes Peninsula
Relaxing by Arastradero Lake at Pearson-Arastradero Preserve in Palo Alto

Pearson-Arastradero Preserve Details

The 622-acre Enid Pearson-Arastradero Preserve in Palo Alto is only about 5 minutes from the 280 freeway making it very easy to access. 10 miles of trails meander through native grass areas, shaded oak woodlands, and alongside creeks and Arastradero Lake. The trails are wide and well-maintained. Much of the preserve is exposed to sun so it’s best to avoid hiking during the hottest time of day.

Note: These trails are open to equestrians, mountain bikers & hikers. Visibility on the trails is very good so it’s easy to see traffic coming.

  • Palo Alto
  • Distance Varies: ~2 – 5 miles
  • Elevation: 400’
  • Our rating: Easy
  • Dog Friendly (also equestrian, mountain biking friendly)
  • Parking: Relatively small parking lot – street parking available about half a mile away
  • Restrooms: Yes at the ranger station near the parking lot

East Bay: Dog Friendly Hikes

The East Bay has some of the most dog friendly hiking guidelines in the Bay Area. Dogs can be off-leash in Regional Park open spaces, but must always be under voice control. There are areas where dogs must be on leash such as in all parking lots and picnic areas, as well as some specific trails and areas. You can find the specific guidelines here.

Mission Peak

Views of the Bay from Mission Peak trail in Fremont
Views of the Bay from Mission Peak trail in Fremont

Mission Peak Details

Mission Peak is a tough climb with a fabulous payoff! The trail is wide and well-maintained except for the last push towards the peak which is rocky and uneven. Even though we passed many hikers, we never felt crowded on the trail. I loved the expansive views looking out over the bay and towards the peninsula.

The most important thing to know is that there is essentially no shade on this trail and it can get hot. The trail to Mission Peak is dog friendly but there are a lot of signs warning against heat exhaustion. Go early to avoid the crowds and the heat and be sure to bring plenty of water for you & your dog!

We started at the Stanford Avenue Staging Area. There is a lot for about 30 cars at the Stanford Avenue trailhead with overflow parking on Vineyard Avenue (this is where we parked when we arrived at 7:30AM on a Friday). Alternatively, you can begin from Ohlone College where the route is a little longer (~8 miles), there are fewer crowds, and this trail stays open until 10PM making it a great option for a sunset hike! There is a small day-use fee (~$4) to park at nearby Ohlone College, but supposedly there is much more parking here.

  • Fremont
  • Distance: 6.2 miles
  • Elevation: 2135’ gain
  • Our rating: Challenging
  • Dogs Friendly
  • Parking: small parking lot at Stanford Ave trailhead – residential parking with posted limitations
  • Restrooms: Yes

Sunol Regional Wilderness Preserve – Hike to Little Yosemite

Hiking to Little Yosemite in Sunol Wilderness Regional Park. East Bay dog friendly hikes. Sunol, California
Hiking to Little Yosemite in Sunol Wilderness Regional Park

Sunol Regional Wilderness Preserve is a gorgeous open space in the East Bay with dog friendly trails. It’s a bit of a trek from the 680 freeway but we thought it was worth it! We went on a Sunday afternoon and ran into very few other hikers.

We hiked to the Alameda Creek Overlook (Little Yosemite). There are multiple ways to get there. The most direct route is to hike up Camp Ohlone Road (a fire road) which follows Alameda Creek and approaches the gorge overlooking Little Yosemite.

I recommend hiking a loop rather than returning via Camp Ohlone Road. Take Cerro Este Road to Canyon View Trail which ends back at the parking lot. This route provides canyon vistas and meanders through an oak woodland.

  • Sunol
  • Distance: ~3 miles
  • Elevation: 600’ gain
  • Our rating: Easy to Moderate
  • Dog Friendly
  • Parking: Lots of parking. $5/car weekends & holidays. $2/dog
  • Restrooms: Yes

Lake Chabot

Hiking along Cameron Loop Trail at Lake Chabot. Castro Valley, California. East Bay dog friendly hikes.
Hiking along Cameron Loop Trail at Lake Chabot

Hiking is just one of the many things to do at Lake Chabot. There were lots of picnic areas, large grass areas, and a playground. We saw people in boats fishing, and cruising around on pontoon boats & paddle boats. You can take lake tours, charter a pontoon boat, even do a guided kayak tour!

Ten Hills Trail > Cameron Loop Trail > East Shore Trail > Mc Gregor George Trail > Ten Hills Trail

We parked on a residential street and began at an entrance gate on Grovenor Drive (Castro Valley). The trail began & ended with some mild hills on a shaded dirt trail. Even after some significant rain, the trail was mostly dry with some isolated muddy sections that we could avoid (although my dog sought them out!). 

East Shore Trail along the lake was paved and had a lot more traffic (bikers, runners, scooters). There were some great views toward the bay once we got to McGregor George Trail on our way back.

  • Castro Valley
  • Mostly flat & easy (+482 feet)
  • Dog Friendly!
  • Kid & (jogging) stroller friendly
  • Outhouses along the trail with better ones near the parks/marina area.
  • $5 to park at the main entrance; $2 dog fee; plus small fees for fishing/kayaks etc

Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park

Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park is 1833 acres with nearly 40 miles of trails in the Oakland hills. The park is filled with coast redwoods, evergreens, chaparral, and grasslands. This park was the site of extensive logging in the 1800s. The coast redwoods there now were planted to replace the ones that were once cut down.

Checking for ladybugs in dog friendly Reinhardt Regional Park in Oakland, California. East Bay
Checking for ladybugs in dog friendly Reinhardt Regional Park in Oakland

If you go in the winter (November – February), be sure to look out for lots of ladybugs! Millions of them cluster on logs, trees, and bushes and it is quite a sight! We found the best hike to find ladybugs is the East Ridge -> Phillips -> Eucalyptus -> Steam Trail Loop which begins at the Skyline Gate Staging Area and is just short of 2 miles. There are a few steep climbs but overall it’s an easy-to-moderate hike. It can also be muddy after the rain.

This is a protected area so dogs must be on leash at all times.

  • 1.8 mile loop
  • Easy (+360 feet)
  • Dog Friendly!
  • Kid & (jogging) stroller friendly. Kids will LOVE the ladybugs!
  • Restrooms at the Skyline Gate Staging Area
  • Free street parking on Skyline Blvd at the Skyline Gate Staging Area

South Bay: Dog Friendly Hikes

These dog friendly hikes in the South Bay span a wide area between Mountain View & Morgan Hill.

Uvas Canyon

Exploring Basin Falls on the Short Waterfall Canyon Loop in Uvas Canyon Park. Gilroy California
Exploring Basin Falls on the Short Waterfall Canyon Loop in Uvas Canyon Park

We did the 1.8 mile Short Waterfall Loop trail, but there is also a longer loop (~3.5 miles) which starts the same way on Waterfall Loop Trail, but then veers onto Contour Trail and then returns to the start via Alec Canyon Trail. The trail meanders along a creek for most of the way and passes by 3 waterfalls: Black Rock Falls, Basin Falls, and Upper Falls. Our kids enjoyed climbing the rocks, finding sticks, and exploring each area.

Morgan Hill heats up in the summer, but all the coverage in Uvas Canyon, along with the creeks and running water, keeps it feeling cooler for dogs.

Uvas Waterfall Loop Trail Details

  • Morgan Hill
  • Distance: 1.8 miles
  • Elevation: 620’ gain
  • Our rating: Easy
  • Dog Friendly: Yes
  • Parking: Plenty of parking. $6 entry fee and reservations required.
  • Restrooms: Yes

Almaden Quicksilver County Park

The Almaden Quicksilver County Park gets its name from its 135 year history of mining mercury, “quicksilver,” during the Gold Rush, since mercury was used to extract gold from ore. The mine was shut down in 1976 and by that time had mined nearly 84 million pounds of mercury!!

Dog friendly Almaden Quicksilver Park in San Jose, California. Dog Friendly hikes south bay
Dog friendly Almaden Quicksilver Park in San Jose

The park has over 37 miles of trails. We like the Mockingbird Trail (Buena Vista Trail -> Randol Trail -> Hacienda Trail) where there are sweeping views of San Jose and lots of oaks. Spring wildflowers are stunning and in fall there are some bright red & yellow leaves.

On the Buena Vista Trail, we explored the remains of an old pump house which reached down 2300 feet (600 feet below sea level). There are additional remnants of the park’s mining history sprinkled throughout. All the original mines have been sealed, however, the San Cristobal mine (on the Mine Trail) is still viewable from behind a locked gate.

While there is some shade beneath trees, much of the trails are exposed and it’s hilly. Summer temperatures can be quite high so we stick to hiking here during the cooler months with our dog.

  • Distance: 3.6 miles
  • Elevation: 692’ gain
  • Our rating: Moderate
  • Dog Friendly: Yes on leash
  • Parking: Free parking in the lot at the Mockingbird Hill entrance off Mockingbird Hill Lane, San Jose.
  • Restrooms: Yes

Fremont Older Open Space Preserve

Dog friendly Fremont Older Open Space in Santa Clara County. Dog Friendly Hikes South Bay. California
Dog friendly Fremont Older Open Space

Leashed dogs are permitted on all trails within the Fremont Older Open Space in Santa Clara County. The preserve is named after Fremont Older, a newspaper editor who lived here for 60 years with his wife, Cora. This land was once used for orchards, hayfields and pasture. Now the rolling hills and forests are open for hiking. There are sweeping views of Santa Clara Valley from some of the trails as well as Hunter’s Point and Maisie’s Peak.

We hiked 2.8 mile Seven Springs Loop which is mostly shaded with some sunny exposed sections. We went in the spring when the hills were green and full of wildflowers and we took a short offshoot to Hunter’s Point for great views.

  • Saratoga
  • Distance: 2.8 miles
  • Elevation: 550’ gain
  • Our rating: Easy to Moderate
  • Dog Friendly: Yes. Also open to mountain bikers.
  • Parking: Parking is limited (21 spaces) at the Prospect Parking area (Seven Springs Loop trailhead). We had to wait about 10 minutes for a spot to open up. There is no parking on the roads leading into this lot. Additional parking is available at Stevens Creek County Park which is adjacent to Fremont Older.
  • Restrooms: Yes in parking lot

Marin: Dog Friendly Hikes

Marin has always been one of my favorite places to hike for the amazing coastal views, challenging trails, and redwoods. Below are some fantastic dog friendly hikes in Marin.

Kehoe Beach, Point Reyes

Where the trail meets the beach! Point Reyes National Seashore. California
Where the trail meets the beach!

Kehoe Beach Trail

Kehoe Beach Trail is a relatively easy dog friendly hike in Point Reyes. Kehoe Beach Trail is the only trail within Point Reyes National Seashore where dogs are permitted.

The hardest part of the hike is climbing over the sand dunes at the end of the trail to reach the beach. Kehoe Beach is huge with plenty of space to spread out and let dogs run. The beaches here feel so rugged – we saw lots of kelp, seaweed, jellyfish, and crab scattered on the beach. The kids loved running around the beach and chasing waves with our dog. The trail was nice and we felt like we had it to ourselves, but the beach was the real winner here.

  • Distance: 2.5 miles (out & back)
  • Elevation: Flat
  • Our rating: Easy
  • Dogs on leash
  • Parking: Free on the side of the road
  • Restrooms: Yes at the trailhead

Rodeo Beach, Coastal Trail Loop, Hill 88

The Rodeo Beach – Miwok Trail – Coastal Trail 5.3 mile loop is a great workout with 1000+ feet elevation gain. There is very little coverage so there are gorgeous views of the ocean and surrounding headlands, but there is also a lot of sun. There is a large parking lot at Rodeo Beach and I’ve never had an issue finding a spot here.

Another option is to take the Coastal Trail from Rodeo Beach all the way to Hill 88. This out-and-back trail is only 3.8 miles but still has an impressive 1000-foot climb.

Bay Area Dog Friendly Waterfall Hikes

Bay Area waterfall hikes are special because a waterfall’s existence is seasonal and varies year-to-year depending on rainfall. When it’s a dog friendly waterfall hike that’s even better! See below for some of the best bay area waterfall hikes – that are also dog friendly!

  • Uvas Canyon, Morgan Hill
  • Cataract Falls, Stinson Beach
  • Cascade Falls, Mill Valley

If you’re looking for dog friendly hikes with water…

  • Waterdog Lake, Belmont

Bay Area Dog Friendly Coastal Hikes

Bay Area coastal hikes are some of the best to do with dogs because the coast stays cool here, even in the summer.

  • Kehoe Beach, Point Reyes
  • Rodeo Beach, Marin Headlands
  • Batteries to Bluffs, San Francisco
  • Lands End, San Francisco

You can find all the details for the dog friendly coastal hikes below in this post.

  • Mussel Rock, Daly City
  • Devil’s Slide, Pacifica
  • Pedro Point, Pacifica
  • Gray Whale Cove, Pacifica
  • Mori Point, Pacifica
  • Rancho Corral de Tierra, Moss Beach
  • Pillar Point, Moss Beach

Bay Area Dog Friendly Redwood Hikes

Bay Area redwood hikes are also good dog friendly options as they are generally shady & cool. Below are dog friendly hikes in the redwoods that we like.

  • Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park, Oakland
  • Uvas Canyon, Morgan Hill
  • Cataract Falls, Stinson Beach
  • Cascade Falls, Mill Valley

Bay Area Dog Friendly Beaches

Here’s a roundup of the Bay Area dog friendly beaches we’ve found. Before visiting, be sure to double check the rules as some beaches have additional guidelines for pets.

Lots of room to social distance at the beach. Mussel Rock Beach. Daly City California
Dog Friendly Thornton Beach in Daly City

Dog Friendly Beaches in Marin

Dogs allowed on leash at these Marin beaches:

  • Kehoe Beach, Point Reyes – on beach to the north of the trail only
  • Duxbury Reef at Agate Beach, Bolinas
  • Dillon Beach, Dillon Beach
  • Upton Beach, Stinson Beach
  • Seadrift Beach, Stinson Beach

Dogs allowed off leash at these Marin beaches:

  • Bolinas Beach (Brighton Beach), Bolinas
  • Lawson’s Landing Beach, Dillon Beach
  • Muir Beach, Muir Beach – dogs allowed off-leash if under voice control
  • Rodeo Beach, Sausalito – Dogs allowed off leash if under voice control

Dog Friendly Beaches in San Francisco

Dogs allowed on leash at these San Francisco beaches:

  • Candlestick Point Recreation Area, San Francisco – Dogs allowed on leash in park and on beaches

Dogs allowed off leash at these San Francisco beaches:

  • Fort Funston, San Francisco – Dogs allowed off leash if under voice control
  • Mile Rock Beach at Lands End, San Francisco – Dogs allowed off leash if under voice control
  • Crissy Field Beach, San Francisco – Dogs allowed off leash if under voice control
  • Ocean Beach, San Francisco – Dogs allowed off leash if under voice control except from Sloat Blvd to Stairwell 21 where leashes are required

Dog Friendly Beaches on the Peninsula

Dogs allowed on leash at these Peninsula beaches:

  • Mussel Rock Park Beach, Daly City
  • Thornton Beach, Daly City
  • Phillip Burton Memorial State Beach, Daly City
  • Maverick’s Beach, Half Moon Bay
  • Poplar Beach, Half Moon Bay
  • Redondo Beach, Half Moon Bay
  • Pillar Point Harbor Beach, Half Moon Bay
  • Surfers Beach, Half Moon Bay
  • Mirada Surf Beach, Half Moon Bay
  • Montara State Beach, Montara
  • Pacifica State Beach (Linda Mar), Pacifica – Dogs allowed on leash
  • Rockaway Beach, Pacifica
  • Sharp Park Beach, Pacifica
  • Pebble Beach at Bean Hollow State Beach, Pescadero
  • Whaler’s Cove, Pescadero – Dogs allowed on leash at cove
  • Pescadero Point Beach, Pescadero

Dogs allowed off leash at these San Francisco beaches:

  • Pelican Point Beach, Half Moon Bay
  • Miramar Beach, Half Moon Bay
  • Esplanade Beach, Pacifica – Dogs allowed off leash at the north end of beach and on leash everywhere else

Dog Friendly Beaches – East Bay

  • Buchanan Beach, Albany – Dogs allowed on leash
  • Point Isabel Regional Shoreline, Richmond – Dogs may be off leash within the park

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Hiking Gear for Dogs

Dogs don’t need much gear for hiking aside from a sturdy leash, some treats, and a water bowl. There’s a lot of gear out there if you do want to outfit your dog.

Here is the hiking gear we have for our dog:

Leash (6ft leash for large dogs) – I prefer a standard leash because I feel I have more control over our dog with this over a hands-free leash.

Hands-free leash – my husband prefers a hands-free leash. He originally bought this to take our dog running, but she’s really not a runner. So now he uses this when they go on long walks.

Long leash – We use this 30ft leash for recall training. We also take it with us to “off-leash” dog areas that are not contained – mostly beaches. Our dog is hit or miss with recall, especially if she sees something more interesting than us. We don’t usually trust her in areas that are not contained, so we put her on an extra long leash which gives her the freedom to run around but allows us to maintain some control.

Collapsible Water Bowl – We’ve had these water bowls for years and they are still going strong.

  • They collapse flat for easy packing & storage.
  • Include a carabiner to easily attach to a backpack.

Dog Treats – My favorite dog treats for hikes and walks are Zuke’s Mini Naturals.

  • The treats are small so a huge handful lasts over several walks. I give my dog 2 at a time when I reward her and she loves them.
  • Multiple flavors like Chicken and Peanut Butter & Oats (my favorites) and also Beef and Salmon (my least favorite because of the smell).

Bag for storing treats – This is the exact bag I walk with and I love it! It’s very compact but still holds everything I need.

  • Several pockets to store everything I need.
  • Mesh pocket in front great for keeping hand sanitizer – I like Touchland hand sanitizer because it’s flat and fits well in the pocket, has scents that I love, and one bottle feels like it lasts forever.
  • Poop bag dispenser for easy access.
  • Shoulder strap, waist strap & belt clip
  • D-rings to clip a bowl, or a training clicker

Poop Bags – These bags by Amazon Basics are currently my favorite dog poop bags. I love that I can buy them in bulk.

  • Sturdy – I haven’t had any issues with the bags tearing or ripping.
  • The bag opening is plenty big to get everything in without making a mess.
  • Comes in multiple color options. I prefer black as I don’t want to see what’s in the bag while I’m carrying it around.

Dog Brush – This is the brush we’ve had for years. It has 2 sides: one for detangling and the other is softer – more for a massage.

We always brush our dog when we get back from a walk or hike. She has longer hair so we brush out any dirt and debris she picked up, and we look for ticks as we go too. We also check her toes & paws for foxtails which can sometimes get stuck and are extremely dangerous to dogs if they penetrate their skin. We’ve made at least 3 trips to the emergency vet to get these removed.

Splurges that are fun but are definitely NOT necessary!

Go Pro Fetch Dog Harness – We bought this for our dog because we thought it would be fun to see hiking from her perspective. The camera can either attach to the top (on the dog’s back) or hang below (on the dog’s chest). We have used both of these options and our dog usually forgets she’s wearing the harness. I tend to prefer attaching it to her back. We have had to stop and adjust the camera in the harness while hiking, but overall we’ve been happy with the results.

Go Pro Hero – We have the Go Pro Hero9 and we’ve been extremely happy with the videos. Initially, we were worried about how the videos would turn out because the camera bounces around a lot in the harness. But the stabilization feature is fantastic and the videos look very smooth! I recommend the Hero9 but the newer models are probably even better.

Paw Washer – My husband bought this and I laughed, but we’ve actually used it after some muddy hikes. Yes, you can wipe your dog down with a towel, but when I saw all the muddy water we dumped out of this I was sold. We fill it with water, stick our dog’s paw in, twist the canister around to let the scrubbers work, and surprisingly her paws come out quite clean! This one is for large dogs, but they make smaller ones too!

Tips for Hiking With Dogs in the Bay Area

  • Know which hikes are dog friendly – Some open spaces are completely dog friendly, but others don’t allow dogs on certain trails or at certain times of the year. If I’m unfamiliar with an area/hike, I always check the website for the managing body to confirm it’s dog friendly before I go.
  • Follow leash laws – Some open spaces have generous off-leash laws, while others do not. Let’s all follow the rules so these open spaces remain friendly to dogs!
  • Always bring water!!!!! It gets hot out there. Bring plenty of water for both you & your dog. Watch your dog for cues that it needs a break.
  • Be mindful of the weather – Hike during cooler morning/evening hours during the warmer months.
  • Pay attention to posted signs about wildlife – There are coyotes, bobcats, mountain lions etc out in these areas.
  • Check your dog after hikes for ticks & foxtails
  • HAVE FUN!!!

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