Want to be part of your pup’s exercise regime? We came up with five summertime walks and hikes you and your furry companion can take in together.
What you’ll need: Water, a water bowl, poop bags, and Musher’s Wax (or doggie footwear) to protect your pup’s paws from heat-induced blisters. If you plan on being out for a long period of time, bring a baggie of treats or even kibble—dogs need snacks, too.
Griffith Observatory West Trail Loop
Dogs are welcome in the Griffith Park and West Trail Loop. There is a quaint picnic area at the base where you can relax with friends and have lunch before heading out on the path. At the top, you’ll enjoy views of the city and observatory. Unfortunately, dogs are not allowed in the observatory, but if you are with a group of people, you can rotate in and out.
Malibu’s Sandstone Peak
At 3,111 feet, Sandstone Peak is the tallest point in the Santa Monica Mountains. The summit can be reached via a 6.25-mile loop with 1,075 feet of elevation gain that offers expansive views of the range. Just forty minutes outside Santa Monica, you will feel like you are embarking on a true adventure.
Palisades Park in Santa Monica
If there was a ‘see and be seen’ place for dogs, this would be it. Our Fitdog Runners Group meets at Palisades Park every other Sundays, and for our dogs it’s a social happy hour. Whether it’s early in the morning or the sun is setting, there is never a shortage of dogs walking, running or hanging out with their owners. There are also meet-up groups and social gatherings where dogs can get together and play.
Santa Monica Beach and South Bay Bike Path
Quintessential Southern California, this path will take you from Santa Monica through the oddities of Venice Beach all the way to Marina Del Rey. The only caveat: at the start of the path in Santa Monica, you will be sharing the road with bikers, roller bladers, walkers, and runners, so it’s important to have your dog securely by your side. If you are heading south towards the Santa Monica Pier, there is pedestrian path that is recommended for walkers (and dogs).
Loyola Marymount University Running Trail
This unknown trail offers runners and walkers a little serenity from the city only a short drive away. Right off Lincoln Boulevard, this dirt trail provides views of Playa Vista and the ocean. Since it’s never crowded, dogs are mostly found off-leash running the trail with their owners.
This article was originally featured by Los Angeles Magazine, the definitive resource for Angelenos, on August 1, 2014. Twitter: @mariellewakim @lamag