National Park Service offers a guide as how to make your dog’s trip to the great outdoors a fun and safe experience for everyone.

Per their website, dogs require to be on 6 ft leash and are required to stay on trails, roads and developed areas (campgrounds and parking lots). Dogs are not allowed in buildings (except aid dogs) and where posted.”

Parks your dog can be off leash:

Parks and trails your dog must be on leash is listed here.

Each trip is an adventure for a hiking enthusiast and following basic hiking safety rules will assure the trip can be enjoyed without injury or harm. Safety is more than just following through with the basic rules, it also involves wearing and bringing along necessary equipment. California Department of Parks and Recreation along with numerous hiking organizations offer safety tips for hikers, here are some of the basics:

  • Always carry a map and compass and know how to use them.
  • Stay on designated trails.
  • Bring a pocket knife, a whistle, first aid kit and a flash light.
  • Check the weather- bring sun protection, rain gear and extra layers.
  • Pack extra food and water.
  • Hiking with kids are a great way to introduce them to outdoors. Start with an easy short trail. Make it about the adventure and not the hike.
  • Make sure you have the right shoes for the right occasion.
  • Check the trails/parks websites for pet friendly rules and pack proper supplies for your canine friend. Does your pet have a proper ID tag?
  • Let a family member know of your hiking plans and area.

Trail safety and stewardship begins by fostering love of nature and motivating our kids at a very young age to care for and respect Mother Earth. Best way to inspire your children is to roll up your sleeves and arrange a trail safety and clean up hike for your kiddos and their classmates. Santa Monica Mountains are crisscrossed with over 500 miles of trails and important watersheds. The Malibu Creek, Topanga, and other rural Santa Monica Mountains Watersheds are bounded on the north, west, and east by the Santa Monica Mountains, and on the south by the Pacific Ocean. These watersheds consist primarily of natural open space and significant areas of parkland and open trails. When your trash ends up in your local mountains and trails, it often travels to the ocean even if you’re not near the shore. Therefore, it’s so important for us all to do our part and take ownership in preserving our magnificent Santa Monica Mountains Trails and Park-lands. What an amazing place to live!