Dog Friendly Hikes In Santa Barbara

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From parks and beaches to botanical gardens, restaurants, and more, there are many places to take your dog in Santa Barbara County.

It’s a pet lover’s paradise, and in this guide, we’ll discuss the county’s best dog-friendly hikes, helping you to combine your love of hiking with your obligations as a dog owner.

Enjoy the views, get some fresh air, bond with your pup, and see the best that Santa Barbara has to offer!

Cold Spring Trail Loop in Gould Park

  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Length: 2.7 Mile

The Cold Spring Loop covers just under 3 miles and is a relatively easy hike. Keep your pooch on a leash and take plenty of poop bags. It’s a good hiking trail for the summer as the trees provide some shade while the streams will give your dog a chance to cool down and stay hydrated.

Seven Falls Trail in Los Padres National Forest

  • Difficulty Level: Moderate
  • Length: 3.1 Miles

One of the most challenging dog-friendly hikes in Santa Barbara, the Seven Falls is heavily trafficked and spans over 3 miles. It’s a moderate hike, so it’s not best-suited for beginners, but it’s perfect if you’re looking for a relatively short but challenging trail.

There is a waterfall on the hiking trail and it’s accessible all year round. Be prepared to climb a little and to cover lots of rocky terrain.

Inspiration Point in Los Padres National Forest

A picture of the Santa Ynez Mountains in Santa Barbara, CA.

  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Length: 3.75 Miles

Inspiration Point is located at the Santa Ynez Mountains and provides some of the best views of Santa Barbara. This dog friendly hiking trail spans just under 4 miles with an elevation of just over 800 feet.

It will take you about two hours to cover the entire hiking trail, making it a decent trek for beginner hikers, as well as those looking for a moderate-length dog walk.

Arroyo Burro Beach Loop in Douglas Family Preserve

A picture of the Arroyo Burro Beach in Santa Barabara, CA

  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Length: 1.3 Miles

The Arroyo Burro Beach Loop is a short dog friendly hiking trail that’s also popular with runners, walkers, and mountain bikers. It’s available throughout the year, doesn’t have much of an elevation change, and is generally a very easy and fun hike.

Jesusita Trail in Los Padres National Forest

A picture of the Jesusita Trail in Santa Barbara, CA.

  • Difficulty Level: Moderate
  • Length: 6.5 Miles

At around 6 and a half miles with an elevation change of just under 500 meters, this is a moderate hiking trail that’s also used by runners and bikers. Leashed dogs are welcome, and it can be a challenging trek.

There are rocks on the way and some slippery spots. You may also encounter poison oak, so be careful if you have a very curious dog.

Blue Canyon Trail in Los Padres National Forest

  • Difficulty Level: Hard
  • Length: 12.5 Miles

This is one of the toughest dog friendly hiking trails in Santa Barbara. Bring water and food, make sure your dog is fit enough, and plan for a long hike, as it could take you could 7 hours to cover the full 12.5-mile hiking trail.

This dog friendly hiking trail is in the Los Padres National Forest, a short trek north of Santa Barbara.

Gibraltar Dam Loop in Los Padres National Forest

  • Difficulty Level: Hard
  • Length: 11 Miles

Also located in the Los Padres National Forest, the Gibraltar Dam Loop is a tough trail that spans nearly a dozen miles of difficult terrain and takes about 6 hours to complete.

Coal Oil Point Trail in Los Padres National Forest

  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Length: 1.5 Miles

An easy hike that you can enjoy with your pooch. Dogs are allowed on the beach and bluffs but keep them away from the protected dunes.

What Else Can Dogs Do in Santa Barbara?

Santa Barbara is a dog-friendly destination in general. After a day of hiking, take your pooch to one of the following dog-friendly destinations:

Dog Friendly Hotels in Santa Barbara

  • Camp Canine: Camp Canine is a pet resort and spa that opened back in 1984. Your dog can enjoy 5-star luxury from one of the best pet hotels in town.
  • Riviera Beach House: An arty hotel that’s just a stone’s throw from Funk Zone and the beach. There are plenty of amenities, eco-friendly rooms, and an invitation to bring your pooch along.
  • Canary Santa Barbara: A Spanish-style hotel with a rooftop pool, great views, and an amazing restaurant.
  • Hotel Milo: A highly rated hotel that welcomes dog owners and their pets. It features Spanish-style architecture, amazing views, and a few activities to keep you and your pet busy.

Dog Friendly Restaurants in Santa Barbara

  • The Brewhouse: Located at 229 West Monecito Street, The Brewhouse is an American bistro that welcomes pets and humans of all ages. Not only are dogs welcome inside the restaurant, but there is also a canine-specific menu, with options such as burgers, hot dogs, and steak bites for your furry friend.
  • Arigato Sushi: A dining and takeout restaurant serving Japanese cuisine, including sushi, soups, salads, and more.
  • Figueroa Mountain: A brewery serving beer, soft drinks, and food, with all dogs welcome.
  • Loquita: A dog friendly dining spot in the Funk Zone. It has an extensive drinks menu and also serves a range of Spanish-inspired dishes.
  • Kunin Wines: A visit to Santa Barbara wouldn’t be complete without dropping by one of the local wineries. Several of these are dog friendly, including Kunin, where you can enjoy some wine tasting while your dog waits nearby.

Dog Friendly Activities in Santa Barbara

Dogs are welcome at Arroyo Burro Beach, Thousand Steps, and Shoreline State Park, and all of these locations allow dogs off-leash. You can also take your pooch to Butterfly Beach but will need to keep them on the leash.

If you’re looking for some off-leash freedom, pay a visit to Douglas Family Preserve or Elings Park.

Are Dogs Allowed at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden?

Yes, you can take your dog to Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, but you’ll need to keep it on a leash. There are dog friendly trails taking you through a redwood grove, Japanese tea garden, and more.

Summary: Dog Friendly Hiking in Santa Barbara

Like most major California cities, Santa Barbara is a haven for man’s best friend and nature lovers.

Visit an off-leash area at a local dog park, drop by a dog friendly restaurant in downtown Santa Barbara, or check out some of the sweeping views at Inspiration Point.