Dog Friendly Hikes In Marin County, California

There are thought to be over 150,000 household pets in Marin County, a sizeable percentage of which are dogs.

Man’s best friend can feel at home in this California county as there are plenty of dog friendly hikes and parks where they can exercise, play, and poop to their heart’s content!

Baltimore Canyon Open Space

  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Length: 2.2 Miles

This is one of the county’s best dog friendly hiking spots. It’s also one of the only places where you can let them off the leash. The walk will only take you an hour or so and it’s not too taxing, making it perfect for beginners.

Miwok and Coastal Trail

  • Location: Marin Headlands
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate
  • Length: 5.6 Miles

This is a dog friendly hike in the Marin Headlands that will lead you over 5.6 miles of trail and showcase some breathtaking views of the Golden Gate Bridge.

There’s more to this hike than the famous bridge, as well. You’ll also have some beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean and could encounter lots of wildflowers and wildlife on your walk.

Dawn Falls Trail

  • Location: Near Larkspur
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate
  • Length: 2.7 Miles

A beautiful green hiking route that is short, enjoyable, and completely dog friendly. It should take you just an hour and a half to cover, so it’s okay for old dogs and small puppies. Just make sure you take plenty of water and treats with you and keep your dog on a leash.

Phoenix Lake Trail

  • Location: Near Ross
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate
  • Length: 5 Miles

The Phoenix Lake Trail is a deceptively tough hike. You’ll be cruising for the first part of the journey, but that gives way to rocky and rugged terrain, testing the durability of even the best walking boots.

You can finish this hike in between 2 and 3 hours, so it’s not too long, but it’s not ideal for young children or very inexperienced hikers. If you have an older or disabled pooch, you may be better off with an alternative hike.

You may also want to give it a miss after heavy rain. It can get very muddy, slowing you down and leaving you with a big pooch clean-up job at the end of your walk.

Bolinas Ridge Trail

  • Location: Near Olema
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate
  • Length: 11 Miles

Bolinas Ridge is one of the longest dog friendly hikes in Marin County. It’s also one of the most challenging and will take you around 5 hours to complete.

Take plenty of water and treats to keep your furry friend happy and don’t let it tire itself out too early on the hike. The elevation gain is over 1800 feet and there are some tough parts, but it’s a very enjoyable hike overall and is perfect in mild or warm weather.

Fairway Falls Trail

  • Location: Ignacio Valley Preserve
  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Length: 1.3 Miles

The Fairway Falls Trail is a short hike that ends at the Fairway Waterfall. It’s a great little hike for beginners and is also suitable for moderate hikers seeking a leisurely stroll.

It has an elevation gain of 150 feet or so and will take you just 30 to 45 minutes to walk.

Waterfall Trail at Indian Valley

  • Location: Indian Valley
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate
  • Length: 3.2 Miles

A great hiking spot for all of the family, Waterfall Trail is a simple 3.2-mile loop that takes you through a forest of oak trees and passes a few perfect picnic spots.

This dog friendly hiking spot charges a small parking fee, but there is no charge on Sundays and Holidays.

Carson Falls Trail

  • Location: Pine Mountain Fire Road
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate
  • Length: 4 Miles

With a fantastic waterfall, gorgeous views, and over 1000 feet of elevation gain, this is a fun but challenging dog friendly hike. The trail starts at Pine Mountain Fire Road and should take you a few hours to complete. Be sure to keep dogs on a leash and take some strong and comfortable walking shoes, as there is a lot of rocky terrain to cover.

Tiburon Ridge Trail

  • Location: Tiburon
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate
  • Length: 7.4 Miles

A popular spot among Marin hikers, this is also a dog friendly trail, providing you keep your dog on a leash. It will take you around 3 hours to cover this trail and it’s best suited for experienced hikers.

Are Dogs Allowed on Marin Trails?

There are very few areas where you can hike with free-roaming dogs in Marin County. Leashed dogs are fine on many trails, but unleashed dogs scare away wildlife and damage animal habitats. Furthermore, while most dog owners are happy to pick up after their pets, there are a few exceptions and they ruin it for everyone.

Nothing ruins a scenic stroll quite like stepping in a steaming pile of dog poop.

Check the park/trail rules before visiting, don’t forget the leash, and remember to pick up after your pooch!

Can Dogs Hike in Marin Headlands?

There are a handful of dog friendly hikes in Marin Headlines. The Headlands are famed for their views of the Golden Gate Bridge, as well as the vast areas where you can walk, bike, or run.

Some of the dog friendly hiking trails in the Headlands include:

  • The Coastal Trail, which stretches from the Golden Gate Bridge to Wolf Ridge Trail.
  • Wolf Ridge Loop, which goes from Coastal Trail, through Wolf Ridge Trail and Miwok Trail and then back.
  • Loop Trails, which goes from the parking lot at Rodeo Beach up Old Bunker Road and then back to Rodeo Beach.

Where are Dogs Allowed in Marin County?

In addition to dog friendly hiking trails and beaches, Marin County is home to festivals, events, restaurants, and other dog-friendly outings. This county loves its dogs, so there’s no shortage of options.

If you’re a tourist in Marin County, you should check out the area’s many dog-friendly hotels. These include Cavallo Point, which is a stone’s throw from the Golden Gate Bridge and many great dog friendly hiking spots, and Waters Edge, which is a little out of the way and offers some gorgeous views of San Francisco.

Acqua Hotel is also dog friendly and if you’re looking for something a little cozier and quainter, check out Nick’s Cove.