8 Tips for How to Hike with a Dog in County Parks

You grab your leash, and your dog automatically starts heading for the door.  He knows it’s time for a walk.    Now its time to learn how to properly how to hike with a dog.

But this time it’s no ordinary walk around the neighborhood. This time you’ve decided to go for a hike in a San Diego County park and you’re bringing your canine companion along for the journey.  But now yhow to hike with a dogou need to learn how to hike with a dog in San Diego County.

The good news is dogs are allowed at virtually all County parks.  The only exceptions are Wilderness Gardens Preserve and the trails at Agua Caliente.  Assistance or guide dogs are always welcome at all parks as long as they are in compliance with all regulations and check in with park staff.

Before you head out, there are some preparations to follow and guidelines and tips you’ll want to keep in mind to make the hike enjoyable for both you and your dog. (How to hike with a dog in San Diego County.)

  1. First, plan out your hike. How long is the trail you’re hiking and what’s the terrain like?  You should know your dog’s fitness level so you can match that with the type of trail you choose.  You can check out all the County parks trails online.
  2. Your dog should be up-to-date on vaccines and have a collar or been treated to prevent ticks and fleas. Also make sure your four-legged friend has current ID tags and a well-fitted collar in case you get separated.  If your dog does become lost, contact the County of San Diego Department of Animal Services.
  3. Make sure the time of day you choose to hike with your dog is appropriate temperature-wise. Unless you hike with your dog often and they are used to that type of rigorous exercise, they could succumb to heat exhaustion.  Dogs are much more susceptible to heat stroke than humans.  Dogs’ only sweat glands are on their feet.  If the ground is too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws.
  4. Always have plenty of water for both you and your dog. It’s better to bring along a little extra than not enough.  You might also want to pack a few doggie treats and search for a shaded area to take your breaks.
  5. Stay on the marked trail. In all County parks, dogs are required to be kept on a leash no longer than 6 feet in length at all times.  A leash prevents dogs from becoming lost and protects them from having an unexpected encounter with a rattlesnake, mountain lion or a sick or injured animal.
  6. Make sure to maintain control of your dog at all times. Dogs that are out of control or that pose a demonstrated risk to others may be asked to leave by a park ranger.
  7. Always clean up after your dog. Practice the Leave No Trace principles that allow everyone to enjoy our parks.
  8. If you decide to make it a weekend or an overnight in a County park with camping, the fee for dogs in camping parks is just $1 per dog per night. You must be able to furnish current license and vaccination information as well.

Know how to how to hike with a dog.

Hiking with your dog in a County park is a great way to get some exercise and enjoy a change of pace from your usual walks around your neighborhood.  If you observe the above tips and guidelines, you’ll be sure to enjoy your hike and some quality bonding time with your pup.  NOw you can see you really know how to hike with a dog in San Diego County


Night under the stars

Come to the Star Party at Sycamore Canyon!

It’s a Star Party!    Join SDAA (San Diego Astronomy Association) volunteer astronomers and County staff for a night under the stars. View our galaxy using the same technology used by the professionals to witness out-of-this-world phenomenon. The SDAA holds a monthly Star Party on the third Friday of every other month at sunset at the Sycamore Canyon/Goodan Ranch Open Space Preserve at the Hwy 67 Staging area. Located at the east end of Poway, this venue offers a pretty dark sky for being only 19 miles, as the crow flies, from downtown San Diego. There are no homes or business directly around the viewing area and the panoramic view of the city below is amazing.  It’s a great place for a fabulous Star Party!

To access this venue, do not use the street address of the park headquarters. Instead use the park entrance on Hwy 67, ½ mile south of Scripps Poway Parkway. Continue through the gate and up the dirt road about 1½ miles where the Rangers will direct you where to park.

Event Coordinator: Kin Searcy

Goodan Ranch/Sycamore Canyon Preserve
16281 Sycamore Canyon Road – Poway

Date(s) – 3/17
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
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Goodan Ranch/Sycamore Canyon Preserve – 16281 Sycamore Canyon Road – Poway