Best Orange County Hikes With Dogs
Orange County is home to hundreds of miles of great trails and hikes you can do with dogs. There’s everything from mountains to beaches, and this guide has some dog owner’s favorites. You can see a complete list of all hikes for dogs in Orange County here, but these are the top picks.
If you’re new to hiking with a dog in Orange County, here are two quick tips.
- Orange County hikes often lack shade and water, so make sure you bring a water bowl for your dog.
- Even if an area permits off-leash dogs, I recommend keeping them leashed because of the risk from rattlesnakes and other potential dangers.
Quail Hill Loop
Distance: 2 Miles
The short and easy Quail Hill Loop is the only Orange County Natural Landmark that allows dogs (leashed) and is conveniently located just off of the 405. There are bathrooms, trash cans, water, and plenty of parking at the trailhead. The trail is wide and easy to pass others.
Top of the World Hike
Distance: 2.5 Miles
If you have a dog with a ton of energy, doing the climb up to Top of the World is just the trick. The short but steep climb is easy to follow and offers some incredible views for the humans involved. The trail is wide, and there are trash cans at the trailhead and midway point.
Distance: 5.9 Miles or Less
The trails of Peters Canyon Regional Park are popular with dog owners for good reason. There are miles of trails and it’s easy to create a route to suit your needs. The full park loop is 5.9 miles and has bathrooms and trash cans at the midway point. The trails are wide and there is a variety of climbs from steep, to rolling, to gradual.
Black Star Canyon
Distance: 7.1 miles
If you have a dog that likes to explore and loves the water, the second half of the Black Star Canyon hike is for you. The first half goes along wide dirt paths, but then is a “choose your own adventure” up along the stream. There are some rocks on the path and most dog owners use booties here. There’s also some bigger rocks that dogs have to jump up, but I’ve seen many dogs do it. If you have a small dog, you may have to carry it up some sections. At the end there’s a waterfall and pool where your dog can splash around.
Distance: 7.2 Miles
Bedford Peak is a nice mountain hike to do with a dog. The trail is easy to follow, there are not too many crowds here, and you get to bag a summit in the process. This dog hike is more of a single-track trail than a wide fire road, so if you’re looking for more of a “hike hike” with your dog, Bedford Peak is a good option.
Check out all my dog-friendly hikes in Orange County here.