A mile south of Golden Gate Bridge, Baker Beach has claim to one of the best views in San Francisco. Dogs are allowed off leash north of Lobos Creek, where there is over a mile stretch of sand to stroll. Be wary of the north end — it’s a nude beach, and sunbathers take advantage.
Off of Skyline Boulevard in southwest San Francisco, Fort Funston National Park is a dog’s paradise. There are miles of oceanfront trails where off-leash walking is permitted and sand dunes for extra play space. While strolling, keep your eyes out for hang-gliders — this is a favorite spot for those into the sport.
Golden Gate Park
With food trucks, lush gardens, and museums, Golden Gate Park is as exciting for you as it is your fluffy friend. Most of the park is leash-enforced, though there are four small off-leash runs for dogs to peruse. Grab a cone at Twirl and Dip and take Rover for a cross-park adventure.
Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA, USA +1 415 831 2700
San Francisco’s longest stretch of accessible beach, Ocean Beach offers miles of sniff spots for your dog and gorgeous ocean views for you. If you’re looking for off-leash walking, head north of Beach Chalet. This beach is notoriously gloomy, so pick up a cup o’ joe at Trouble Coffee Company before starting off.
A little inland from Fort Funston, Stern Grove‘s walking trails are nicely sheltered from the elements. In addition to the paths, the Grove also contains Pine Lake Park, a large glade perfect for tossing a ball. Off-leash walking is permitted on the north side of the park.
If you and your dog are looking to escape the bustle of the city for a few hours, head to Mount Davidson. Davidson’s peak stands at 928 ft — the highest natural point in San Francisco. Several trails and a fire-road, all sheltered by Eucalyptus groves, will lead you to the top. Aim to go on a clear day, as the city views are stunning.
At 1,491 acres with an abundance of trails, The Presidio holds endless possibilities for you and your dog. Whether you’re looking for an untouched woodland hike or busier ocean trails, The Presidio has it all. This is a great spot for trail running with your dog, though most of the areas do require leashes.
Alta Plaza Park
At the top of Pacific Heights, Alta Plaza is a blessing for dog owners in the city. The terraced, grassy area is all off-leash and contains open spaces that are perfect for doggy play. Home to the first ‘Pug Sunday,’ this park is teeming with the little canines the first Sunday of every month.
Alta Plaza Park, San Francisco, CA, USA +1 415 831 5500
Upper Douglass Dog Park
Between Noe Valley and Glen Park, Upper Douglass Dog Park is fenced in, meaning your dog can play freely with little worry on your end. It’s a quaint meadow surrounded by large pines and is frequented by local dog owners who are always ready for a chat. Bring a ball or frisbee — this spot is the perfect area for your furry friend to run wild.
John McLaren Park
At over 300 acres, John McLaren Park hosts two large areas where dogs can roam free. For wooded trails, take to the Shelley Loop, which will eventually lead you to a lake for water play and relaxation. On occasion there’s a free performance at the Jerry Garcia bandstand — a great excuse to relax after a brisk stroll.
John McLaren Park, 100 John F Shelley Dr, San Francisco, CA, USA +1 415 831 2700