San Diego Dog Parks

San Diego dog parks
San Diego dog parks: Nate's Point

San Diegans love their great weather & outdoor spaces. San Diegans love their dogs too but most public spaces require that dogs be on a leash that is no more than 8 feet in length. San Diego dog parks Dogs are not allowed on city beaches from 9 am to 6 pm. Dogs are only allowed on the beach before 9 am and after 6 pm and even then, they must be on a leash (see exceptions below).

So where can you take your dog when you want them to play, run, and let loose? That's when San Diego dog parks come to the rescue. San Diego dog parks are city-sanctioned: they include beaches, grassy parks, hillsides, sand dunes, and dirt & mulch spaces. The best San Diego dog parks:

  • are completely fenced in so dogs can run but cannot run away. A 4" feet fence cannot stop a determined dog but it works for most well-behaved dogs.
  • have sections that separate big dogs from small dogs. This is a relief for small-dog owners who don't want their little guy stomped on or thrashed about.
  • have dog bags for picking up poop. Sometimes they run out, so you should always bring a few poop bags of your own.
  • have extra amenities such as a drinking fountain for dogs, trees or a canopy for shade, picnic tables or benches, and street lamps so you can see at night.

San Diego Dog Parks: Rules and Regulations

It is difficult to enforce the rules and regulations in San Diego dog parks. But most of these rules make sense and you should make an effort to comply. It's for the benefit of your dog and for the dog-loving community:

  • make sure your dog has all its required vaccinations,
  • your dog should wear a current license tag,
  • resist bringing young puppies to San Diego dog parks - wait until they are at least 4 months old,
  • pick up your dog's poop,
  • keep your dog on a leash until you are actually in the dog park,
  • be ready to restrain your dog if brawls occur. Although it is a dog park, the dogs should still be supervised so that no one gets hurt.
  • resist bringing children into San Diego dog parks. if you do bring children be aware that not all dogs liked to be chased or petted. This is a dog park and some prefer to keep it for the dogs. You don't want dogs romping around a children's playground so why would you want children romping around a dog's playground?

San Diego dog parks
Photo: dog park at Doyle Park

List of San Diego Dog Parks

San Diego dog park hikes

North County San Diego Dog Parks:

Carlsbad - Ann D. L'Heureux Memorial Dog Park

Location: Carlsbad Village Drive, half mile East of El Camino Real. See map
Details: 0.4 acre, fenced in, drinking fountain, poop bags & benches, available, own parking lot, open 8 am to Sunset. See photo, web site.

Del Mar - Torrey Highlands Dog Park
Location: 3710 Del Mar Heights Road and Landsdale Drive. See map,
Details: one acre, fenced in, turf and mulched area, poop bags, drinking fountain, & picnic tables available. Notable for having friendly dog-owners and a strong sense of community. See photo.

Del Mar - Dog Beach (North Beach)
Location: Via de la Valle and Highway 101, north of the San Dieguito River mouth.
Details: sandy beach, off-leash only from Sept 15 to June 15 , metered parking along Via de la Vallee. Notable comment: hard to find if you don't know where it is, but once you've found it, it's a great little place for dogs to run. See More.

Del Mar - Torrey Hills Dog Park
Location: 4792 Torrey Circle, east of the Torrey Hills Shopping Center. See map.
Details: 2 acres, grass field, double gate, poop bags, some shade, benches, ada accessible. Open from dawn to dusk. Self-service dog bathing facilities; professional grooming services; and pet merchandise available at DirtyDogs. See video.

Encinitas - Orpheus Park
Location: Orpheus Ave. at Union Street. See map.
Details: not fenced-in, poop bags, drinking fountain, & benches available. Notable as a beautiful people-park which allows dogs off-leash at certain times and not really a dog park. Open MWF from 6 am to 7:30 am and 4 pm to 6 pm. See photo.

Encinitas - Viewpoint Park
Location: 505 South Vulcan Avenue. See map.
Details: not fenced in, off-leash hours are MWF from 6 am to 7:30 am and 4 pm to 6pm. Notable as a quaint neighborhood park which allows dogs to be unleashed at specific times. See photo.

Encinitas - Cricket's Corner
Location: 389 Requeza St, on the Rancho Coastal Humane Society property. See map
Details: first and only privately owned dog park, one acre, fenced-in, grassy area with trees, sectioned for small/big dog, dogs must be neutered or spayed, benches available. See photo, web site. Open to the public
    Tue   11:30am to 4:45 pm
    Thurs, Sat, & Sun   11 am to 4:45 pm
    Mon, Wed, & Fri   closed

Escondido - Mayflower Dog Park
Location: 3420 Valley Center Road. See map.
Details: 1.5 acres, grassy area, fenced in, sections for small/big dogs, picnic tables, drinking fountain available, no shade. Notable for being a so-so dog park: owners do not pick up after their dogs and locale (along busy street) is not optimal. Open from dawn to 9 pm, closed for maintenance MWF from 11 am to 1 pm. See photo.

Oceanside - Oceanside Dog Park
Location: 2905 San Luis Rey Rd. See map
Details: 1.5 acres, grassy hillside, fenced in, sectioned into small/big dog areas, poop bags, water fountain & benches available, off-leash hours are 7 am to 7 pm, closed on Wednesdays for maintenance. Closed in April for major upgrades. See photo, web site.

Poway - Poway Dog Park
Location: 13094 Bowron Road, Poway. See map
Details: 1.75 acre, fenced-in, poop bags & water fountain available, sectioned for small/big dogs, lighted so you can go until 9:30 pm. See photo, web site.

Rancho Bernardo - Rancho Bernardo Park.
Location: 18448 West Bernardo Drive. See map
Details: 2.6 acres, fenced in, sectioned into 3 areas, poop bags & drinking fountain available, some trees, benches, open daily from dusk to dawn, closed on some days for maintenance. See photo.

Vista - Buena Vista Park
Location: 1851 South Melrose Drive. See map
Details: unfenced, leash-free hours are 7 am to 9 am and 4 pm to dusk. Noteable as a "great park for kids and sometimes it becomes some sort of dog park". See photo.

Central Coastal County San Diego Dog Parks:

Balboa Park - Grape Street. See map
Location: corner of Grape and 28th Streets
Details: 5 acres, grassy area with trees, unfenced, poop bags, drinking fountain, & picnic benches available, see web site; open on
    Mon to Fri: 7:30am to 9:00 pm,
    Sat, Sun, & Holidays: 9:00 am to 9:00 pm.

Balboa Park - Morley Field
Location: corner of Alabama St & Morley Field Dr, northwest of the tennis courts. See map
Details: small lot with plenty of grass and trees for shade, not fenced in, water fountain available. Notable comment: not good for big dogs who like to run a lot. See web site.

Balboa Park - Nate's Point
Location: corner of Balboa Dr & El Prado, south of Cabrillo Bridge. See map
Details: 2.3 acres, grassy lawn with trees, fenced in, picnic table & water fountain available. See photo, web site.

Clairemont - Cadman Community Park
Location: 4280 Avati Drive, See map
Details: unfenced, must know and observe boundaries, restricted hours of usage (details here), see photo
    no leash-free hours on 4th July
    no leash-free hours on Saturdays from March 1st through June 15th
    otherwise open for leash-free hours from:
    Sept to June: daily from 7:30 am to 10 am and 4:30 pm to 7 pm
    July to August: daily 7:00 am to 9:30 am and 5:00 pm to 7:30 pm

Pacific Beach/La Jolla - Capehart Park
Location: corner of Felspar and Soledad Mountain Rd. See map
Details: one acre, grassy and dirt area, fenced-in, section for small/big dogs, drinking fountain, poop bags, picnic tables & benches available, open 24 hr. Notable for being a great park for small dogs, can get a little busy in the evenings. See photo

UCSD Area - Doyle Community Park
Location: 8175 Regents Road, behind the Doyle Community park. See map
Details: fenced-in, sectioned for small/big dogs, drinking fountain, picnic table & canopy available, cul-de-sac parking beside entrance, open 24 hrs but not lighted, closed on Tue & Thurs from noon to 2 pm for maintenance. See photo.

Ocean Beach - Dusty Rhodes Neighborhood Park
Location: on Sunset Cliffs Boulevard between Nimitz and West Point Loma. See map
Details: 1.5 acre, fenced-in, grassy and dirt area, park is separated into 2 sections but sections are not fenced off, water spigot & poop-bags available, a few chairs and trees, closed on Mondays for maintenance. Notable comments: owners often don't pick up their dog poop, some potholes due to digging dogs. See photo

Ocean Beach - Ocean Beach Dog Beach
Location: at west end of Voltaire Street, north end of Ocean Beach. See map.
Details: first and only city-beach for dogs, drinking fountain available, open from dawn to dusk, lots of parking. Notable for its popularity: can have 100 dogs here on the weekends; dogs often play ball, frisbee, and frolics in the water. See photo

Mission Bay - Fiesta Island
Location: at Mission Bay. See map
Details: 5.2 mile path around the island, island has sandy dune hills, shoreline has bay water, some restrictions based on bird nesting season, parking plentiful along entire perimeter of island. Open daily from 6 am to 10 pm. See photo, web site.

Mesa College Area - Kearny Mesa Community Park
Location: 3170 Armstrong Street
Details: 1 acre, fenced-in, grassy area, poop-bags & drinking fountain available, trees for shade, lighted, hard to find parking when college is in session. Notable comment: great local dog park. Open daily from 6:30 am to 10 pm. See photo

Mira Mesa - Maddox Neighborhood Park
Location: 7815 Flanders Street. See map
Details: 0.65 acre, fenced-in, turf area & walkway, poop bags, drinking fountain, & picnic bench available, street parking only. Notable comments: great local dog park, dogs & dog-owners are friendly, fairly clean & poop-free. See photo

Nobel Park
Location: 8820 Judicial Drive, east of the public library. See map
Details: fenced-in, separate section for small/big dogs, poop bags & drinking fountain available, small trees with limited (no) shade protection, not many dogs, parking spots nearby. Notable comment: can get really hot, is a new dog park with very few visitors, remote location. See photo.

East County San Diego Dog Parks:

El Cajon - Wells Park
Location: 1153 E. Madison Ave., southwest end of Wells Park. See map.
Details: 1.4 acre, fenced-in, sectioned for small/big dogs, gravel & grassy areas, has some small hills, drinking fountain & poop bags available, large trees with shade & picnic tables with canopy, lighted, open daily from 7 am to 9 pm. Notable comments: generally a good dog park, not in the best area of town, some homeless and otherwise sketchy people but no real trouble. See photo.

La Mesa - Harry Griffen Park
Location: 9550 Milden Street. See map
Details: one acre, fenced-in, sand & dirt areas, sectioned for small/big dogs, large trees with shade, poop-bags, drinking fountain & benches available, open daily from 7 am to dusk. Notable comments: drinking fountains are almost always clogged, dogs get very dirty, sand gets in your shoe, owners not very mindful of their own dogs. See photo

South County San Diego Dog Parks:

Coronado - Coronado Dog Beach
Location: north end of Ocean Blvd. near Sunset Park, adjacent to the Naval Air Station. See map.
Details: clean, wide stretch of sandy beach, along Pacific Ocean, foot wash & poop bags available, view of Hotel del Coronado and Point Loma, street parking along Ocean Blvd. Notable comment: very clean, long walk from parking to dog beach: be sure to keep dog on a leash until you are at dog beach, otherwise $500 fine. See photos or web site.

Coronado - Coronado Cays Dog Park
Location: Coronado Cays Blvd, beside I-75 (Silver Strand). See map.
Details: unfenced, grassy area, borders I-75 with 4-foot brick wall, poop bags available, no water. See photo

Chula Vista - East Palomar Dog Park
Location: 785 East Palomar, Veterans Park. See map
Details: small, fenced, grassy area, suited for small dogs. Notable comment: is small. See photo.

Chula Vista - Montevalle Dog Park
Location: 840 Duncan Ranch Road. See map.
Details: fenced-in, grassy & sandy areas with a hillside, sections for small/large dogs, poop bags & drinking fountain available, parking spots beside dog park. Notable comments: because of hill, there are drainage problems & dogs get dirty from the mud; during dry season, dogs have a great time. See photo.

Chula Vista - Otay Ranch Town Center
Location: 2015 Birch Rd, Otay Ranch Town Center shopping mall, near Macy and REI. See map,
Details: 10,000 square feet in size, shopping mall is dog-friendly and storefronts offer water for dogs, dog park is added as an attraction to the shopping mall. Open 6 am to 11 pm. See photo