Best Spots To Run With Your Dog

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San Francisco is known for its rollercoaster-esque hills and scenic surrounds, where humans and dogs alike can escape the city into the wild. Whether you’re training for a marathon or trying to become a better runner, the perfect trail is out there. Our friends at DogVacay have picked six of our favorite trails in the Bay Area—use the flowchart to find the one that’s best suited to you and your dog, and read more about each spot below.



Crissy Field

Difficulty level: Easy

Type of terrain: Flat, paved roads

Length of trail: 4 miles roundtrip

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Not only will you get to enjoy breathtaking views of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island, but there’s nothing more San Franciscan than running along the Bay with your favorite pooch. With lawns and sandy strips along the way, this Presidio waterfront is a sensory overload for any pup. If you’ve still got energy after four miles, this run ends at the beginning of the Golden Gate Bridge, which you can run across with your dog too. Here’s a great tip from DogVacay Host Kirsty T.: “I recommend parking at the St. Francis Yacht Club and running to and from Hoppers Hands under the Golden Gate Bridge for a 5K workout with spectacular views. There’s also water at the facilities close to the bridge if you or your dog need hydration.”


Ocean Beach

Difficulty level: Easy

Type of terrain: Sandy shore

Length of trail: 3.5-mile stretch

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Nothing makes an Outer Richmond resident happier than being able to enjoy this popular spot without the overflow of tourists. Ocean Beach is known as a peaceful getaway where dogs and joggers run freely, kites float aimlessly in the wind, and the waves lap gently against the shore. Fun fact: when the tides are low, you may spot the wreckage of the ship King Phillip sticking out of the sand.


Golden Gate Park

Difficulty level: Medium

Type of terrain: Mostly paved with some hills

Length of trail: 5 miles roundtrip

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The Central Park of San Francisco, Golden Gate Park covers eight city blocks, containing attractions like a waterfall, bison paddock (with real bison!), flower conservatory, and much more.



Twin Peaks

Difficulty level: Medium

Type of terrain: Paved roads, dirt paths, and stairs

Length of trail: 1.4 miles roundtrip

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Originally called “Los Pechos de la Choca” (Breasts of the Maiden) by early Spanish settlers, these two peaks represent what San Fran originally looked like in its natural glory. Twin Peaks will provide you with an amazing panoramic views of the city, and the steep trek to the top is well worth it. It’s less than a mile long, but you and your pup will feel the burn. Try to make it for the incredible sunrise or stick around and people-watch. Some visitors choose to Uber back down to give their knees a break, so there’s a tiny cheat for you—we won’t judge.



Difficulty level: Easy to Medium

Type of terrain: Paved roads, dirt paths, and stairs

Length of trail: 24 miles of trails

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If you and your pup need some variety during your run, the Presidio is the answer, with everything from flat roads along the water to tree-lined paths to several overlooks and vistas along the way. Stroll down Lover’s Lane, take photos in front of the Golden Gate Bridge, or have a picnic along the Juan Bautista de Anza trail. We’d suggest making this an all-day adventure.


Land’s End Trail

Difficulty level: Medium

Type of terrain: Dirt paths and stairs

Length of trail: 3 miles roundtrip

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You’ll feel like you’re running in the middle of a forest on this trail, located in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The lush greenery with the familiar fog overhead is comforting, and running here is great way to connect with nature. You and your dog will face a combination of wide dirt paths and rocky terrain, and you’re welcome to stray from the main path to visit the Sutro Baths or stop by the Mile Rock Beach to ponder life while lounging on giant boulders.

Find a loving pet sitter in your neighborhood for dog boarding and daycare.

Flowchart! Find the Perfect Running Spot for You and Your Dog in San Francisco originally appeared on


Written by Caroline Park

Photos by Chris Wang

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