Santa Cruz County
Have dog, will travel. And you know a great place that you and your four-legged friend will love? Santa Cruz! From dog-friendly beaches and redwood hikes to restaurants and resorts, Santa Cruz County has a ton to offer for people and their pets.
Photo by @theo_thebostie at Ladato, courtesy Visit Santa Cruz
Lodato Trail, courtesy of Visit Santa Cruz
Tucked away in the redwoods of Scotts Valley, Lodato is a hidden gem of forested beauty. The entire route clocks in at 1.2-miles and a leisurely stroll will likely take less than 45 minutes (but it is a lot of uphill).
Parking is free, and your leashed pups are welcome to enjoy the redwoods by your side. Just mind the poison oak which can creep close to narrow segments of the trail. more »
Photo by @raendsley at West Glenwood Open Space Preserve
West Glenwood Open Space Preserve, story courtesy of Visit Santa Cruz.
With about four miles of trails, the West Glenwood Preserve is a great choice for hiking adventures with your pooch! Gorgeous vistas of the valley are around every corner and there are a variety of loops to choose from. In the spring, wildflower abound on the rolling hills.
A few things to be aware of: the trails are currently one-way so please mind signs and have your mask ready when other hikers (or bikers) may want to pass. Also, there is a lot of sun exposure on these trails and it can be very hot on warm days so plan accordingly. more »
Photo by @westhree at Pogonip, courtesy Visit Santa Cruz
Pogonip Open Space, courtesy of Visit Santa Cruz.
There are miles of dog-friendly trails and secret treasures to discover at Pogonip Open Space. Leashed pups are welcome on several of the trails, but for an easy stroll with a big payoff, follow the Rincon Trail from the UCSC campus as it slopes downhill to the eastbound Spring Box Trail.
A quick stroll along the Spring Box Trail soon leads to an unexpected spring-fed koi pond tucked beneath a redwood tree. Please don’t allow pups any sort of dip into the pond – let’s be sure to protect this treasure for all locals and visitors. For more Pogonip trail info, be sure to take a look at this helpful map to guide your dog-friendly hiking adventures. more »
Photo by @lua_doberman at Henry Cowell, courtesy Visit Santa Cruz
Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, courtesy of Visit Santa Cruz
Henry Cowell is a must. Locals and visitors alike love the beauty of the Santa Cruz Mountains and Henry Cowell has it all. For hikes with the pup, use the main park entrance off Highway 9 and access the Pipeline Trail.
This 6 mile out-and-back hike is on a paved road that travels through redwood trees, follows along the San Lorenzo River, and even passes under an active train trestle (wave hello to Roaring Camp Railroads)!
Theo at Its Beach, photo by: @theothebulldog
It’s no secret that California Highway 1 (aka the Pacific Coast Highway) is considered one of the most scenic routes in the country. All the better, then, that it leads to Santa Cruz, arguably one of the most scenic sun-and-surf towns in the state. You’ll love it there and so will your dog, given all the fun activities you can do together. more »