Dog-Friendly Hikes In Orange County


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Looking for the perfect spot to hike with your furry companion? Check out these fun Orange County trails! There are many great hiking trails throughout Orange County, and here are just a few:

Aliso Summit Trail

More along the lines of a walk than a hike, this easy trail goes along the southern ridge of the Aliso and Wood Canyons Regional Park. At the end of the trail, enjoy wonderful views of the ocean and Aliso Beach County Park.

Length: ~7 miles

Difficulty: easy

Leash required: yes

Las Ramblas Trail

Sweeping mountain and coastline views characterize this moderate hiking trail, with several gradual inclines and one steep hill. The best times for this trail are early morning and early evening, mainly because there is no shade and the views are all the more spectacular at sunrise and sunset.

Length: 3.4 miles

Difficulty: moderate

Leash required: yes

Ridgeline Trail

Although it’s not a wilderness trail, San Clemente’s Ridgeline Trail has a fair amount of roller-coaster hills. Because it follows the ridgeline, you get gorgeous views in every direction. You can see the Dana Point Marina, Santiago and Modjeska Peaks, and on clear days, Catalina and San Clemente Islands. Plus the trail is paved, making it a great choice for all hikers and


Length: 4.7 miles

Difficulty: easy to moderate

Leash required: yes

San Clemente Beach Trail

This easy, beachside trail is a great choice if you’d like to stay close to town and amenities. The trail extends from the Metro station parking lot at North Beach to Calafia State Beach in the south. It is basically a flat, fairly smooth crushed-granite trail that’s shared by walkers, runners, bikers, dogs, and strollers. Because it’s a flat out-and- back trail, you can make it as easy or as challenging as you want.

Length: 4.6 miles

Difficulty: easy

Leash required: yes

Colinas Bluff Trail

This trail is a great mixed-use, double-track trail that follows the Colinas ridge between Laguna Niguel and San Juan Capistrano. It’s a suburban trail with terrific 360-degree views from Santiago Peak to the ocean and Catalina Island on a clear day. As an outand- back trail, it can be adjusted to any length or difficulty, but the geography of the trail lends itself well to two variations: the full 6.7-mile hike or a 4.6-mile abbreviated version.

Length: 6.7 miles (full hike); 4.6 miles (abbreviated hike)

Difficulty: easy to moderate

Leash required: yes

Chiquito Falls

You will want to go on several easy-to-moderate hikes before embarking on this difficult, beautiful hike to the lovely Chiquito Falls. Make sure to visit San Juan Falls either on the way out or back. If you see shade, take advantage of it and rest, because much of the hike is exposed. Some might say this trail is not technically located in Orange County; it’s on the OC/ Riverside border off Ortega Highway. But as a beautiful double-waterfall out-and-back trail, we thought it would be a shame not to include it on our list.

Length: 6.8 miles

Difficulty: difficult

Leash required: yes

Sitton Peak Trail

This trail is a moderate 10-mile hike to sweeping views, where you can see the ocean and Catalina Island when the weather is clear. There is no water along the trail, so bring plenty for the round trip. This area gets pretty hot in the summer months. It’s still do-able, but you’ll enjoy the fall through spring season best. If possible, hike this on a clear day so you can really appreciate the views. Also, consider bringing a map, because some trail junctions are not well marked. This is another trail that falls on the OC/Riverside border off Ortega Highway.

Length: ~10 miles

Difficulty: moderate

Leash required: yes

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Pet Companion Mag
Pet Companion Mag
Southern California's Local Pet Magazine


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