If you’re looking for a pleasant hike with your pup that’s not far from the city, check out the Sullivan Canyon Trail! Just a couple miles off of Sunset Boulevard, this 9.6-mile trail will take you and Fido on a peaceful walk through its namesake canyon in the Santa Monica Mountains just east of the Will Rodgers State Park.
The trailhead for this popular dog walking area is on Queensferry Road – pay attention to the signs, as it’s not legal to park right next to the trailhead in this residential area. You’ll have to park a short ways away and walk to the gate where the trail begins.
From there, you and your furry pal will meander down a gravel and dirt path that is lined in most areas with sycamore trees. This there-and-back trail has a relatively gradual elevation gain, except towards the end where there is a short but very steep climb.
There are many reasons to plan your trip for the early morning. Although there is quite a bit of shade along the trail, there are also some long stretches that have full sun exposure that can make the trail a little too warm for some dogs. Also in the morning, the trail is frequented by dog walkers as there are fewer mountain bikes zipping down the multiuse path. Plus, in the early morning the scenery is extra serene as the morning light filters through the sycamores and you’ll hear the songs of a multitude of birds greeting the new day.
It’s recommended that dogs stay on-leash for this hike as ticks and poison oak are abundant off-trail. When you get home, you’ll still want to check your pooch and yourself for the little pests. Rattle snakes occasionally sun themselves in the trail, so watch your step! Be sure to clean up after your pup, too.
For a pleasant hike in a continuous sycamore grove, check out the Sullivan Canyon Trail with your dog!