National Take a Hike Day Safety Tips + Great Hikes to Do with Your Pup


dog hiking

We don’t know about you (well okay, we have a pretty good idea), but at Bow Wow Labs we love the outdoors almost as much as we love dogs. This week, our hearts and paws are with California as the latest wildfire fury unfolds. The timing is bittersweet, because The American Hiking Association’s National Take a Hike Day takes place on November 17th and we’re sure that California’s ravaged lands will not be healed by then.

For those of us in other parts of the country, this annual event is designed to get you outdoors for some fresh air, beautiful scenery and exercise. Let’s celebrate it safely, with the intention to preserve our lands for as long as possible.

How Did National Take a Hike Day Start?

November 17th is a day in history when some exciting events happened in the world of hiking:

  • November 17, 1913: Climbers reached the peak of Mt. McKinley, the highest mountain in North America.
  • November 17, 1953: Climbers conquered Mt. Everest, the highest mountain in the world.
  • November 17, 1985: Dick Bass became the first person to reach the highest mountain peaks on all seven continents.

Now you can be a part of history too! If you take a hike with your pup on November 17th, 2018 be sure to tag @bowwowlabs and use the hashtag #nationaltakeahikeday.

dog and owner hiking

Safe Hiking with Your Dog

While we love the exercise and quality time with mother nature, National Take a Hike Day is also the perfect excuse to spend quality time with your pet. Stay safer when bringing Fido out on the trail with these tips:

  1. Always keep your dog on a leash, especially if you are unfamiliar with the environment and surrounding wildlife.
  2. Be a respectful hiker by following the law of Leave No Trace (LNT) - those rules apply to your dog too!
  3. Carry plenty of water and food for your dog. If it’s a warm day, be wary of doggy dehydration.
  4. Even though lots of hiking trails are dog-friendly by law, always yield to hikers without a dog; they have the right of way.

Where to Hike in California

We caught up with a few local Californians and their trusty four-legged hiking buddies. If you’re living in California, or planning a visit soon, here are some of the best dog-friendly (currently fire-free) hikes in the Golden State that are great for you and your pup.

hiking with dog in california

Northern California Hikes:

Hoo-Koo-E-Koo Trail & Fire Road, Marin County - A moderate 4.4-mile hike with beautiful views of San Francisco and the Bay Area. This trail intersects with lots of other trails for a “choose your own adventure” option. For the best directions on this hike, take a look at Barry Spitz’s Tamalpais Trails.

Montara Mountain, Half Moon Bay - This moderate to difficult 6.4-mile loop is best done on a sunny day. Sweeping views of the ocean are hard to beat, just remember to bring your sunblock!

Seven Springs Trail Loop, Fremont Older Open Space Preserve - For a quick morning jaunt outside or a close-in hike with the kids (or fur-babies), try out this 2.3 mile loop popular among hikers, bikers and runners alike.

hiking with dog in hollywood

    Southern California Hikes:

    Mount Waterman, San Gabriel Mountains - This 5.6-mile loop trail starts at Buckhorn Campground and provides sweeping views of the San Gabriel Mountain canyons and valleys.

    Sullivan Canyon, Santa Monica Mountains - Although a bit longer at 8.5 miles, this trail provides lots of shade, a rarity in most southern California desert hikes. Follow the trail and its many forest offshoots along the canyon floor between walls of Sycamore trees.

    Tahquitz Peak via Devil’s Slide Trail, San Jacinto Wilderness - There’s a reason why this 8.1-mile moderate trail is one of the most popular hikes in the San Jacinto Wilderness area, it is also one of the most beautiful! Moderately trafficked, this trail is located near Idyllwild, California, features beautiful wild flowers and is accessible year-round.