5 Best Dog-Friendly Hikes in Malibu

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Malibu has been our favorite place to explore during summer since I started hiking with Xena. There are several dog-friendly trails that range from 3 to 6+ mile long. You can easily finish them in 2-3 hours with breaks. Although these trails are open all year around, I like them especially in summer due to its close proximity to the ocean. A lot of times, it’s foggy and cool with a marine layer early in the morning. Go early and beat the heat!

Click on the trail name link for a detailed hiking guide.

1.  Zuma Canyon

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Canyon View Trail – Ocean View Trail loop is the popular 3.1 mile (5K) route but this hike can be expanded to include Zuma Canyon Trail. I recommend doing this clockwise by starting the loop from Canyon View Trail and descend via Ocean View Trail so you can enjoy the ocean view and the breeze from the ocean.

  • Difficulty Rating:  Easy – Moderate
  • Best Time:  Early morning or sunset
  • Notable:  No shade, ocean view, less travelled, horses
2.  Solstice Canyon

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With an option to expand, this 3 mile long hike is very popular all year around. It has ruins to explore along the way so it’s perfect for history lovers. Whenever you can, take the side trails for less travelled paths and shade. They all eventually meet with the Solstice Canyon trail, which is mostly paved. The automatic gate to the parking lots open at 7 AM.

  • Difficulty Rating:  Easy – Moderate
  • Best Time:  Early morning
  • Notable:  Partly shaded, ruins, history, ocean view with longer route
3.  Corral Canyon Park

Note: This is different from Corral Canyon in Malibu Creek State Park which is not dog-friendly.

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Although the trail begins from the busy Pacific Coast Hwy (PCH), quickly you will forget how close you are from the road. The uphill is short but it will give your legs a good workout. This 3.1 mile long hike has the best ocean view among these hikes.

  • Difficulty Rating:  Moderate
  • Best Time:  Early morning or sunset
  • Notable:  No shade, ocean view, $5 for vehicle
4.  Charmlee Wilderness

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Overall, the trails are well maintained but not all well marked. There are multiple ways to do the loop. I think no matter how you decide to do the loop, it will be around 3 miles. Charmlee Wilderness Park is small but charming. There is a lot to experience in the park. It’s kid-friendly as well.

  • Difficulty Rating:  Easy/Moderate
  • Best Time:  Early morning
  • Notable:  No shade, ocean view, $4 for vehicle, partly shaded large picnic area, flush toilet
5.  Escondido Falls

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After being dry for 4-5 years due to drought, water was flowing again at Escondido Falls this spring/summer. Even though most of the water is gone already, this multi-tiered 150 foot tall waterfalls is still beautiful with all the colors. This 4 mile long hike is family-friendly.

  • Difficulty Rating:  Moderate
  • Best Time:  Early morning
  • Notable:  Partly shaded, waterfalls, parking lot is 3/4 miles from the trailhead and there is no shade in this section

 

Please check out our summer hiking guidelines before you head out and have a safe and fun summer!

Happy Hiking!
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