Hidden Gems: Best Dog-Friendly Hiking Trails in San Diego

There a load of different trails to explore with your furry friend in San Diego, but some of my favorite hidden gems are all located near me in the Poway area. These top 5 best hikes were chosen because they have low foot traffic, plenty of open space, and a clear path to make it easy to navigate. Taking your dog on hiking walks and/or runs is so beneficial to their mental health because it provides both stimulation and exercise. Being able to incorporate these together allows you to fulfill your dog’s senses far more than a normal walk around the block. Check out some of these moderate level dog hikes near Poway and see for yourself!

5. Sycamore Canyon

Distance: 6.5 miles

Elevation Gain: 994 feet

Why: Sycamore Canyon offers an easy hike for about 90% of the trail. It is mostly flat, but has a tough mile climb at the end of the trail. Be aware of the various mountain bikers and horses riding the trails, especially on the weekends. This is a great weekday hike to escape into nature and bond with your dog!

For directions to Sycamore Canyon, click here

4. Rattlesnake Canyon

Distance: 2.7 miles

Elevation Gain: 459 feet

Why: This trail is typically overgrown and not marked as well as the others but offers some spectacular wildflowers and a beautiful view at the top of “Tooth Rock”. There is only one major incline during the ascent, and the rest is mainly flat and easy to navigate. This is a nice short hike that you can do in under an hour top to bottom, which makes it perfect for an after work sunset hike with your dog!

For directions to Rattlesnake Canyon, click here

3. Twin Peaks Trail

Distance: 1.6 miles

Elevation Gain: 597 feet

Why: Twin Peaks is one of my favorite hikes to catch the San Diego sunset! It takes about 30 minutes to get to the top and it offers an awesome 360-degree view of San Diego with ocean views for you and your pup to see! Make sure to use a GPS to help navigate yourself to the top, as there are some dead ends and unmarked paths.

For directions to Twin Peaks Trail, click here

Twin Peaks Trail

2. Van Dam Peak: Savannah Trail

Distance: 2.8 miles

Elevation Gain: 828 feet

Why: Van Dam Peak Is an awesome single-track trail that offers a panoramic view of Poway and Rancho Penasquitos. It has a steep beginning that may be tough for novice hikers but is followed by rolling hills and an easy climb to the peak. It is a great trail to disconnect from the world and bond with your pup!

Parking tip: park at the Sabre Springs Park nearby and then make your way to the Savannah Trail.

For directions to the Van Dam Peak Savannah Trail, click here

1. Goat’s Mountain

Distance: 3.1 miles

Elevation Gain: 1,125 feet

Why: This is my favorite trail to take my dog in all of Poway! It is never busy and offers a great challenge to get to the top! What’s great about this trail is that there is a midway point peak that offers total seclusion and an awesome view of Poway. If you feel spent, you can stop here and rest for a bit, before making your way back down. However, if you are feeling good, you can continue your ascension to the top of the peak, where you will find 360-degree views of Poway and Ramona. This hike is not for the faint of heart, so make sure you have the proper gear and are ready to do some climbing.

Parking tip: park at the end of Quiet Valley Ln. There’s plenty of street parking, and the trail head begins at the end of the road.

For directions to Goat’s Mountain, click here

Goat’s Mountain

Originally published at https://craftycanineclub.com on March 13, 2020.

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