The Bay Area is one of the most dog-friendly locales in the U.S.—in fact, dogs outnumber kids in San Francisco! Plus, it’s got some of the most amazing scenery around. Combine the two and you’ve got some truly awesome hikes for dogs and their families. Check out 5 of the most idyllic, dog-friendly hikes in San Francisco and beyond.
1. Fort Funston
- Known as “Doggy Disneyland”
- Mainly off-leash, under voice control trails
- All hiking levels welcome with easy, paved walking trails and steeper sandy hills
- Beach access
- Easy and abundant parking—a hot commodity in San Francisco!
- Ongoing controversy to restrict access, but no restrictions have been implemented yet
- Marvel at the hanggliders flying off 200-foot bluffs
- Leisurely, low-to-moderate difficulty trails
- Four miles round-trip with possible alternate routes
- Amazing views of the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco, including The Golden Gate Bridge
- Dogs must be on-leash
- Parking available after 7 a.m.
- Can get quite chilly at times with the fog and wind—come prepared!
3. Marin Headlands—Miwok and Coastal Trails
- Dogs only allowed on-leash on the Miwok Trail and a section of the Coastal Trail—do not stray onto other trails with your pooch or you will be ticketed
- Nearly 8-mile round-trip trail with strenuous hills—on average, a 12% grade
- Well-maintained trail with lookout points providing breaktaking views of some of the Bay Area’s most prominent landmarks
- Rapidly-changing weather is common—bring layers of clothing for you and protection for your dog from the harsh terrain
- Watch for cyclists and wildlife
- Vast network of hiking trails over 1,830 acres
- One of the only off-leash, voice-control park trails in the East Bay
- Some on-leash trail walking, including on Serpentine Prairie and the Stream Resource Protection Area
- Dog walkers limited to a maximum of six dogs; all users walking four to six dogs must obtain a permit
- Beautiful scenery, with 150-foot tall redwood tree forests
- 17.5 acres of off-leash, voice-control space—accessible from the Cordilleras Trail, Polly Geraci/Hassler Trails, and the Blue Oak Trail
- Leashed dogs allowed on all trails in the preserve
- No bikes or horses allowed
- Mainly level-grade trails
- Open sunrise to sunset
The Bottom Line
San Francisco is one of the most densely populated major cities in the United States, but there is still plenty of room to enjoy the great outdoors in the city limits and beyond. In a city with more dogs than children, the pets here get pampered with daily walks and hikes.
If you don’t have time to check out one of these amazing hikes yourself, send your furry friend with a local Rover dog walker—your dog will thank you.