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Hiking Elfin Forest

Elfin Forest is a great dog-friendly place with beautiful views and an intense climb.

About 10 miles outside of Carlsbad is one of the best dog-friendly hikes. My mom recently took me to the Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve. First you drive through San Elijo Hills and after a right on Elfin Forest Road, you cruise till you see the gates of the recreation area on the right side of the street. 

Our hike started out on the botanical route which involved crossing a creek by jumping rock to rock. I was hesitant, but once my mom made a few successful steps, I went for it. I did great till the very end where I took a leap and landed in water instead of on a rock! She laughed. I shook off.

The hike up is about a mile and half, but it's pretty much straight up so get ready to pull to your parent. Some of the rock-made-steps up were about my size! The views are great and once at the top you can go an extra quarter mile and check out Lake Hodges. There are also many trails up there and dogs can be off leash. 

The way down is a breeze but you'll find your owner is probably going to go slow since it's rocky and humans tend to slip when it's steep. The whole hike took us a hour and a half.  I can't wait to go again.

-Review by Bear Goodman, a 1-year-old American Eskimo

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