The Best Places to Sit, Stay + Play with Your Pooch

Day trip to dog-friendly Vail, Colorado

10 Dog-Friendly Day Trips from Denver, Colorado

We’ve sniffed out some of the best dog-friendly day trips from Denver for you and your pup. From scenic hikes in national parks to paw-friendly patios to dog friendly restaurants, we’ve got you covered. Each place was specifically picked to offer dog lovers a blend of adventure, relaxation, and a touch of local flavor that both you and your furry friend can enjoy.

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If you’re seeing signs of the canine version of “been there, done that,” perhaps it’s time for some new sceneries. Venture beyond city limits and add some spring in your dog’s step by embarking on a day trip.

1. Fort Collins, Colorado

Only an hour drive away from Denver (traffic permitting), Fort Collins is a lively college town that serves as an ideal destination for a day trip. This town loves dogs so much that they host an annual Tour de Corgi event. In fact, this year’s festivities are Saturday, October 7, with a costume contest and parade.

For more information about Tour de Corgi, check out our calendar of events in the CityDog Directory.

Start your journey at the Spring Canyon Community Dog Park, a 100-acre park offering a fenced area for dogs, obstacle courses, dog pond, water fountain, and trails. Next, explore the breathtaking Poudre Canyon, either by hiking the 7-mile Mount Margaret Trail or driving along the scenic Byway 14.

When you’re ready for urban exploration, head over to the dog-friendly patio at Ginger & Baker for a bite to eat. End your day at Maxline Brewing to enjoy craft beer while your dog savors some beef jerky.

Fort Collins Dog-Friendly Day Trip

  1. Start your day early with a stop at the visitors center, then head to the Spring Canyon Community Dog Park. Let your dog run and play in the large, fenced-in area.
  2. After a morning of play, grab a picnic lunch head to Mount Margaret Trail for a midday hike in the scenic Poudre Canyon.
  3. Next, take a scenic drive through the canyon on Colorado Historic and Scenic Byway 14.
  4. In the afternoon, explore the city. Visit Ginger & Baker, a unique venue that is not only dog-friendly, but also serves pie (yum!). Leashed pets are allowed on the patio.
  5. End your day with a relaxing evening at Maxline Brewing, where you can enjoy a local craft beer and your dog can enjoy some tasty treats.

Fort Collins Dog-Friendly Hotels

Even though this article is about dog-friendly day trips, it’s always good to have a back up plan, so we’ve included dog-friendly hotels in each location. Remember, it’s always a good idea to call ahead to confirm a hotel’s pet policy before booking your stay.

The Armstrong Hotel: This boutique hotel in downtown Fort Collins warmly welcomes pets and even offers amenities like pet beds, bowls, and treats.

Hilton Fort Collins: The Hilton offers pet-friendly rooms. There’s a small pet fee, but the comfort and convenience make it well worth it.

“I take my Golden Retriever, Buddy, to Fort Collins every fall for the Tour de Corgi. He may not be a Corgi, but he loves the festivities! Plus, the Spring Canyon Community Dog Park is his favorite spot to stretch his legs!” ~ Laura & Buddy, Denver

Driving distance from Denver: Approximately 65 miles | Visitor Information

2. Georgetown, Colorado

Georgetown, a charming mountain community located about 45 minutes west of Denver, is known for its dog-loving locals — in fact, their honorary mayor, Parker, is a Bernese Mountain Dog! This former mining town offers breweries, restaurants, scenic hikes, and beautiful drives.

Start by driving up Guanella Pass Byway for a panoramic view of Mount Evans and Bierstadt. Once in town, explore the historic main street on foot before heading to The Alpine Restaurant and Bar for mouthwatering dishes. End your day at Cabin Creek Brewing with their craft beers and cocktails.

Georgetown Dog-Friendly Day Trip

  1. Start your day with a drive up the Guanella Pass Byway, offering panoramic views of Mount Evans and Bierstadt.
  2. Spend your morning exploring the historic main street on foot.
  3. For lunch, head to The Alpine Restaurant and Bar for delicious dishes on their pet-friendly patio.
  4. Spend the afternoon at Cabin Creek Brewing, enjoying craft beers and cocktails while your dog lounges by your side.

Georgetown Dog-Friendly Hotels

Hotel Chateau Chamonix: This mountain inn welcomes dogs in specific rooms and offers a cozy, Alpine experience.

Georgetown Mountain Inn: Pets are welcome at this quaint inn which also offers a heated indoor pool and hot tub.

“I absolutely love Georgetown! I think my Bernese Bella has a crush on Mayor Parker! Plus, the view from the Guanella Pass Byway is just breathtaking!” ~ Joyce & Bella, Denver

Driving distance from Denver: Approximately 45 miles | Visitor Information

3. Cañon City, Colorado

If your dog loves car rides, the two-hour drive from Denver to Cañon City will be worth it. Kick off your day at the Royal Gorge Suspension Bridge and Park where dogs can walk across North America’s highest suspension bridge.

Afterward, visit World’s End Brewing Company for a classic pub experience. Before heading back to Denver, let your dog stretch its legs at the Arkansas Riverwalk Dog Park.

Cañon City Dog-Friendly Day Trip

  1. Start your adventure at the Royal Gorge Suspension Bridge and Park, where your dog can walk across North America’s highest suspension bridge.
  2. After a fun morning, head to World’s End Brewing Company for lunch on their dog-friendly patio.
  3. Spend your afternoon at the Arkansas Riverwalk Dog Park. Let your dog run around and stretch his legs before heading back to Denver.

Cañon City Dog-Friendly Hotels

Quality Inn & Suites: This hotel welcomes up to two pets per room for an additional fee.

American Inn Motel: This budget-friendly option allows pets in certain rooms for a small extra charge.

Driving distance from Denver: Approximately 117 miles | Visitor Information

Chautauqua Park in Boulder, CO

4. Boulder, Colorado

A 45-minute drive northwest of Denver will bring you to Boulder, a city frequently rated as one of the country’s most livable. Begin your adventure at Chautauqua Park, offering diverse hiking and biking trails and stunning views of rocky mountains and natural beauty of the Flatirons.

For bike lovers, visit University Bicycles for gear and an in-store museum featuring vintage bikes. Round off your day with a meal at The Laughing Goat or Avery Brewing Company, both of which welcome dogs.

Boulder Dog-Friendly Day Trip

  1. Begin your day at Chautauqua Park. Choose a hiking and/or biking trail that suits your fitness level and enjoy the picturesque views of the Flatirons.
  2. Visit University Bicycles midday for some gear shopping and a look at their vintage bike collection.
  3. Grab lunch at The Laughing Goat, a dog-friendly cafe with a relaxed atmosphere.
  4. End your day at Avery Brewing Company. Enjoy their craft brews while your dog hydrates from the provided water bowls.

Boulder Dog-Friendly Hotels

Basecamp Boulder: This outdoor-themed hotel is pet-friendly and has lots of great amenities for humans too, like a climbing wall and yoga classes.

“My adventurous husky, Luna, and I are big fans of Boulder. Chautauqua Park is our go-to for an epic climb with a rewarding view. We love grabbing a cold one on the patio at Avery Brewing afterward.” ~ Jenny & Luna, Denver

Driving distance from Denver: Approximately 29 miles | Visitor Information

5. Colorado Springs, Colorado

Although Colorado Springs merits a whole weekend trip, with lots of fun things to do, a day trip can suffice if you’re pressed for time. One of the highlights is the Garden of the Gods, where you and the whole family (two- and four-legged alike) can marvel at red rock formations and enjoy a variety of hiking and biking trails. Of course we always recommend a visit to one of the most beautiful parks in the entire United States, Red Rocks Park.

If you prefer indoor dog friendly activities or if it’s too cold, check out Pub Dog, featuring a large off-leash area and a dog-friendly menu. It’s a dog park. It’s a bar. It’s a restaurant. All-in-one location! Complete your trip by grabbing a beer at Phantom Canyon Brewery, and if you’re up for some shopping, head over to The Shops at Briargate.

Colorado Springs Dog-Friendly Day Trip

  1. Start your day at the Garden of the Gods. Hike on the trails and marvel at the beautiful rock formations.
  2. If the weather isn’t ideal, head to Pub Dog, which features a large off-leash area and a dog-friendly menu.
  3. In the afternoon, visit one of Colorado Springs’ dog friendly restaurants, Phantom Canyon Brewery for a refreshing craft brew and burger.
  4. Before heading back to Denver, make a quick stop at The Shops at Briargate for some retail therapy.

Colorado Springs Dog-Friendly Hotels

The Academy Hotel: This luxury resort welcomes dogs and is close to the city park many visitor attractions.

Cheyenne Mountain Resort, A Wyndham Hotel: Dogs are allowed in designated pet-friendly rooms for a small fee.

“Colorado Springs is our favorite day trip destination. Garden of the Gods is a great spot for a hike, and the off-leash area at Pub Dog is where my German Shepherd, Max, loves to socialize. They even have a dog menu, how cool is that!” ~ Steve & Max, Denver

Driving distance from Denver: Approximately 71 miles | Visitor Information

6. Estes Park, Colorado

Begin your day with a scenic drive to Estes Park, a small mountain town at the entrance of the Rocky Mountain National Park. Visit the Estes Valley Dog Park, a spacious fenced area where your dog can run off-leash. After that, explore the scenic hiking trails over at Lily Mountain, a dog-friendly hike with panoramic views. Grab a bite at The Rock Inn Mountain Tavern, known for its dog-friendly patio.

Estes Park Dog-Friendly Day Trip

  1. Start your day early with a trip to Estes Valley Dog Park to meet some new furry friends and have some off-leash fun.
  2. Spend your morning hiking on the beautiful Lily Mountain trail, taking in the views and letting your dog enjoy the outdoors.
  3. For lunch, visit The Rock Inn Mountain Tavern. Their pet-friendly patio is a perfect place to relax after your hike.

Estes Park Dog-Friendly Hotels

Murphy’s River Lodge: This dog-friendly lodge is just a 5-minute walk from the town center, with Rocky Mountain National Park 3.1 miles away.

The Ridgeline Hotel: This hotel welcomes pets and even offers a ‘Puppy Paws’ package, with pet beds and bowls available upon request.

Driving distance from Denver: Approximately 65 miles | Visitor Information

7. Golden, Colorado

Just 30 minutes from Denver, Golden is home to the expansive Tony Grampsas Dog Park, a great place for dogs to run and play. Afterwards, visit Golden City Brewery‘s beer garden where your furry four legged friend can relax while you enjoy a cold brew. If you’re a history buff, take a leashed walk with your dog through the Clear Creek History Park.

Golden Dog-Friendly Day Trip

  1. Begin your day at the Tony Grampsas Dog Park for some playtime.
  2. Take a leisurely walk through Clear Creek History Park to enjoy a bit of local history.
  3. In the afternoon, enjoy a local brew at Golden City Brewery’s beer garden, where your furry friend can join you.

Golden Dog-Friendly Hotels

The Golden Hotel: Offers pet-friendly rooms and has a beautiful location near Clear Creek.

Table Mountain Inn: This southwestern-style boutique hotel in the heart of downtown Golden welcomes pets in select rooms.

“My Bulldog, Otis, and I love the laid-back vibe of Golden. The Tony Grampsas Dog Park is huge, and the Clear Creek History Park is a nice change of scenery. We usually wrap up our trip with a beer at the Golden City Brewery’s garden. Perfect day out!” ~ Rebecca & Otis, Denver

Driving distance from Denver: Approximately 16 miles | Visitor Information

8. Breckenridge, Colorado

Less than two hours from Denver, Breckenridge is a well-known mountain town offering plenty of outdoor activities and year round snowfield. Enjoy a day of hiking on the dog-friendly Burro Trail. After a day of outdoor fun, unwind at Broken Compass Brewery, which welcomes dogs inside their tasting room.

Breckenridge Dog-Friendly Day Trip

  1. Start your day with an invigorating hike on the Burro Trail. It’s a great way for you and your dog to explore the local scenery.
  2. After the hike, treat yourself to a tasting at Broken Compass Brewery. Dogs are welcome in the tasting room, so your pet can relax by your side.

Breckenridge Dog-Friendly Hotels

The Lodge at Breckenridge: Offers pet-friendly rooms with beautiful mountain views. Perfect for the whole family.

Gravity Haus: This unique hotel is not only pet-friendly but also focuses on the outdoor lifestyle with a range of wellness and outdoor activity amenities.

Driving distance from Denver: Approximately 80 miles | Visitor Information

9. Loveland, Colorado

The town of Loveland is home to the Fairgrounds Park Dog Park, a spacious area with separate sections for large and small dogs. Take a stroll around Benson Sculpture Garden, a beautiful outdoor space with over 160 sculptures that welcomes dogs on leashes. Round off your day with a visit to Grimm Brothers Brewhouse for some local craft beer.

Loveland Dog-Friendly Day Trip

  1. Begin the day with a visit to Fairgrounds Park Dog Park, featuring a fenced dog park, for some off-leash exercise and perhaps meet some new furry friends.
  2. Next, take a walk through the Benson Sculpture Garden. Remember to keep your pet on a leash.
  3. Wrap up the day with a refreshing beer at the Grimm Brothers Brewhouse. They have a dog-friendly patio where you can relax with your pet.

Loveland Dog-Friendly Hotels

La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham: This hotel allows up to two pets per room at no extra charge.

Residence Inn by Marriott: Welcomes pets for an additional fee and offers fully-equipped suites that make for a comfortable stay.

Driving distance from Denver: Approximately 51 miles | Visitor Information

10. Vail, Colorado

A two-hour drive from Denver, Vail is not just a winter sports destination, it’s also great for summer activities. Start your day with a hike along the dog-friendly Booth Falls Trail. Later, visit the Bighorn Park, which offers a beautiful off-leash dog park then cool off with a cold one at Vail Brewing Company. When it’s time for lunch, dine on the pet-friendly patio at The Westside Café and Market.

Vail Dog-Friendly Day Trip

  1. Start with an early hike on the Booth Falls Trail, a beautiful and dog-friendly path.
  2. Visit the Bighorn Park for some off-leash fun in the dog park, followed by a cold on the dog-frienldy patio at Vail Brewing Company.
  3. Grab lunch on the dog-friendly patio at The Westside Café and Market to refuel for the rest of your trip.

Vail Dog-Friendly Hotels

The Arrabelle at Vail Square: This luxury resort welcomes dogs and even offers pet amenities like beds, bowls, and a pet menu.

Grand Hyatt Vail: Welcomes dogs in their pet-friendly rooms and has beautifully landscaped grounds for your furry friend to explore. Perfect for the whole family.

Driving distance from Denver: Approximately 97 miles | Visitor Information

Conclusion

So there you have it, fellow pet parents! Ten dog-friendly day trips, all within a few hours of the Mile High City. Denver may be your pup’s home base, but these trips will give them a taste of the wider world—from mountain trails to city streets, riverside parks to cozy breweries. Remember, the journey is all the more rewarding when you share it with your furry best friend. So, leash up, pack the treats, and set out for a day of tail-wagging fun. Adventure awaits just beyond the city limits of Denver!

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about the author

Brandie Ahlgren is founder and editor of CityDog Magazine. She, and her team of dog-loving editors, dig up the best places for you to sit, stay and play with your four-legged friends. Brandie, 12-year-old boxer Thya and Mexican foster failure Pancho, reside in West Seattle and can often be found hanging out at Westcrest Dog Park.

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