If there's anything that makes a clear, sunny day all the sweeter, it's an ecstatic four-legged hiking buddy.

So if you're like us, a prerequisite for almost any outdoor adventure is dog-friendliness.

This means more than simply noting if dogs are allowed on the trail—it's important to ensure that there's plenty of shade, that it's not incredibly crowded or mostly paved, and it fits well within our particular canine's abilities.

Likewise, the ability for a wide variety of human adventurers to even enjoy the trail in the first place is contingent on every last dog owner's devotion to simply being a good owner. There's nothing worse than a sweeping ocean view tainted by green poop bags or a rowdy off-leash rambler. Before you embark, check out A Guide to Summer Adventuring with your Dog. The short of it:

  • Make sure your dog's fitness level matches the trail.
  • Know the particular strong points and limitations of your dog's training and behavior and handle her accordingly.
  • If you're headed out on a particularly busy trail, it can be a good idea to wear her out beforehand.
  • Be prepared. Think: poop bags, water, food, first aid.

As with most things, more experience leads to more efficiency; the more you take your dog out and explore with her, the better you will be at properly preparing for any situation and the easier it will get for everyone.

In short, take precautions, think about trail-specific training, and enjoy these 15 spectacular summertime hiking adventures!

Northern California

Eastern Sierra

The Bay Area

Greater L.A. Area

San Diego