Dogs on the Runyon

Hike a dog-friendly loop at Runyon Canyon in Los Angeles

Calling all movie-star-worthy mutts! If your furry best friend plays a leading role in your life, head for one of the best dog-friendly recreational romps in Tinseltown. Runyon Canyon is Hollywood’s go-to green space, and the trail system here is one of the most popular for active Angelenos and their canine companions. Grab a park map and opt for the feature-length 3.3-mile loop that climbs 800 feet through the 160-acre park.

Hiker going uphill at Runyon Canyon with views of LA below in Los Angeles

Two hikers and a dog going up a tree lined hill at Runyon Canyon in Los Angeles

Hiker taking a break on stair steps and looking out to the city view of LA at Runyon Canyon in Los Angeles

Park on the street and pass through the entrance gates, which often have an “honor system” snack bar set up for hungry and thirsty hikers. After passing by bougainvillea and under towering palms, go through a gate designating the beginning of the off-leash area (leashes are required at the north end of the park). Stay right, go counter-clockwise on the loop, beginning with an immediate descent up the eastern canyon walls. Get with A-list vistas over the city: To the east see the hulking San Gabriels, and look west for shimmering Santa Monica Bay. Right in front of you is the sprawling Hollywood metropolis and downtown skyline.

Hiker about to start down a trail at Runyon Canyon in Los Angeles

Throughout the park, find outlooks Cloud’s Rest and Inspiration Point, providing big-budget panoramas. About a half-mile north of Cloud’s Rest via a paved fire road, the off-leash area ends briefly but resumes after a short horseshoe stint (FYI, the north entrance for Runyon is up here, at the intersection with Mulholland Drive). 

Man and his dog walking along a flat pathway with palm trees at Runyon Canyon in Los Angeles

Continue south along the West Trail to get closer views of the neighboring Trebek Open Space and Wattles Garden Park to the west. Run, run, Runyon!

Selfie of couple on a hike at a Runyon Canyon overlook in Los Angeles overlooking the city

To get to Runyon Canyon’s south entrance and trailhead, take the US-134 to Highland Ave., heading south (alternatively, from the north, take Forest Lawn Dr. left onto Barham Blvd. followed by a left onto Cahuenga Blvd., which connects with Highland Ave.). When you hit Franklin Ave., turn right and head west for 0.75 mile and take another right onto Fuller Ave. At the terminus of the road is the park entrance; find street parking around here. Bring plenty of water for you and your pet—this route is exposed to sun. Dog-friendly (off-leash area included)!

Story and photos by Matt Pawlik

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