These days, Lucy is navigating a new challenge: living with cancer. As we face this together, I’m reminded to face difficult things with as much heart as she does. So, these hikes may not be the absolute easiest. But if your pack loves an adventure, try one of our favorites, will ya?
Los Feliz – Los Angeles, CA
1.3 Miles, Moderate
This short but challenging trail will bring you right to the Observatory door. Start at sunrise for amazing city views and reward yourself for waking up at the literal crack of dawn with a treat from Trails Cafe (located right by the trailhead). We often do this hike on weekday mornings, but even on a weekend it tends to be less crowded than the nearby West Observatory Trail. Take this hike easy on your first time. There are a few slippery parts that will likely trip you up more than your dog. And, be prepared to get that fine LA dust between your toes. Trust me, it’ll be worth it to see your four-legged friend scale some scrambles.
Silverlake/Echo Park – Los Angeles, CA
2.4 Miles, Easy
This place is perfect for socializing your pooch with others, because I’m pretty sure there’s always more dogs than humans here. Plus, the trail is great for beginners of all species (you’ll probably see some horses here, too). Not only is Elysian pretty conveniently located, but it also has some killer city views and really beautiful botanical life. If only they allowed dogs in Dodger Stadium…
Hollywood Hills – Los Angeles, CA
3 Miles, Moderate-Difficult
If Firebreak is your sunrise spot, Wisdom Tree is the single most perfect place to catch the sun as it sets. This quick hike is technically part of Griffith Park, but the trailhead begins amongst the mansions of Wonder View Drive. It’s definitely a thigh-buster, but totally worth it for the views. The top is marked by a lone tree clinging to the mountain—the only in the area that survived the Hollywood Hills Fire in 2007—and a summit box with beautiful register entries. Our crew typically departs 30 minutes before sunset, enjoys a beverage (beer, to be specific) at the top while the sun is setting over the city, and we make it back down to the car just in time for nightfall.
Montecito Heights – Los Angeles, CA
5.2 Miles, Easy-Moderate
This place is the best. Between the dog-friendly trails off the park’s 5-mile loop, Audubon Center, adorable pine tree-lined pond (it’s called Peanut freakin’ Lake!), and well-kept picnic area and restrooms, you could spend a whole day at Deb’s. If you’re visiting for the first time, I suggest picking up a map and borrowing some binoculars from the Audubon Center. You’ll see some amazing views of DTLA and Pasadena and, if you’re lucky, some incredible wildlife too. If you’re hungry when you leave, swing by Kitchen Mouse for some incredible eats. They have tables outside, so your pooch can hang with you.
6.1 Miles, Moderate
Without a doubt, my favorite day trip includes a hike to Sandstone Peak and a picnic at the nearby Leo Carrillo State Park beach. Leave early to make a day of it, and head to the highest point in the Santa Monica Mountains. During the hike up, you’ll encounter a variety of landscapes and views of both the mountains and the coast, at which point you’ll remember why you deal with the traffic and anything else you can think to complain about here. But, the best thing about this trail IMO is what happens after a rainstorm: the sage, bay laurel, and other fragrant native plants come alive and it smells delicious.