Normally, I try to only go on hikes that are pet-friendly so that I can bring along my perfect companions: those of the four-legged variety. But every once in a while, I’ll make an exception when I hear about a special place like the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden. Really not a hike at all, it’s more of a nature walk through the largest botanic garden dedicated exclusively to California native plants. It’s located right off the I-10 in Claremont, a pretty little town at the base of the San Gabriel mountains just 35 miles from Los Angeles. The garden has many trails that meander through it’s 86 acres, and offers one of my favorite southern California views: palm trees swaying in the wind with snowy mountain peaks in the background. The trails farthest in the back are the quietest, and are paved. There are free guided walks, native plant clinics, a garden shop and a library. It’s a great way to get inspired for your spring gardening. I tried to use as many native plants in our garden as possible this year, and wish I had known about their native plant nursery. The garden is open every day from 8 until 5, except for holidays.