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

Dog-friendly Colorado Mountain Escapes

The Best Dog-Friendly Colorado Mountain Escapes: A Guide for Pet Lovers

Unleash the adventure with these outdoor activities for you and your canine companion. From hiking trails to whitewater rafting, to a leisurely pontoon ride with your pooch, we’ve dug up the best dog-friendly Colorado mountain escapes.


From hiking picturesque trails to whitewater rafting down thrilling rapids, there’s something for every adventure hound. So, leash up your pup, pack your gear, and get ready to experience the freedom of Colorado’s dog-friendly mountain escapes.

woman hiking with dog

Dog-friendly Hiking Trails

Whether you’re staying in a pet-friendly cabin near a national park or planning a day trip from Denver, these trails offer diverse landscapes for you and your doggo.

1. Cherry Creek Trail

Cherry Creek Trail in Colorado is a scenic gem, winding 45 miles from bustling downtown Denver through serene suburban and rural landscapes. This trail is a paradise for dog-lovers, offering an exceptional off-leash area in Cherry Creek State Park.

Imagine your four-legged friend frolicking freely in a 107-acre haven, making it an ideal spot for both pets and their owners to enjoy nature’s splendor. Whether you’re a hiker, cyclist, or just out for a leisurely walk, this trail caters to all, with its diverse landscapes and dog-friendly ethos.

Location: 4201 S Parker Road, Aurora | More Info

2. Three Mile Creek Trailhead

Three Mile Creek Trailhead, found in the southern part of the Mt. Evans Wilderness, is a paradise for pooch lovers. This trail meanders along the west bank of Geneva Creek, offering breathtaking high mountain vistas. The gentle terrain and natural water sources provide a refreshing adventure for you and you four-legged hiking partner.

Location: Grant, Colorado | More Info

3. Kendrick Main Reservoir

Kendrick Main Reservoir is a gem for nature enthusiasts and dog lovers alike. This trail, encircling a serene reservoir, offers a picturesque escape with its tranquil water views and abundant greenery. Its gentle terrain and open space make it ideal for a leisurely hike with your furry friend.

The reservoir’s environment is not only visually appealing but also dog-friendly, providing a safe and enjoyable outdoor experience for both pets and their owners. This makes it a perfect spot for those seeking a peaceful stroll or an energetic walk with their canine companions.

Location: Lakewood, Colorado | More Info

Whitewater Rafting with Rover

The thrill of whitewater rafting offers a unique bonding experience for you and Rover. Before heading downriver, be sure to don your dog with his own life vest so the day is fun and safe for all!

1. Colorado River Runs

Go on a thrilling journey at Kendrick Main Reservoir, where the serene waters blend with exciting light rapids. This dog-friendly rafting adventure invites you and your furry friend to explore its sunny beaches and deep swimming holes, creating unforgettable moments in one of Colorado’s natural playgrounds.

Location: 43 Grand County Road 111, Bond | View Website

Pontoon Ride with Your Pooch

A pontoon ride on one of Colorado’s mountain lakes offers a peaceful retreat for you and Rover. Be sure to keep your pooch securely leashed, and outfitted with a quality water vest and enjoy the ride!

1. Lake Dillon

Lake Dillon, located in the heart of Colorado, is a pristine gem that offers an unforgettable experience for nature lovers and their furry friends. This picturesque reservoir, surrounded by majestic mountains, is not just a sight to behold but a haven for adventure hounds, two- and four-legged alike. 

Operated by Dillon Marina, dogs of all sizes are allowed on the rental pontoons, ensuring that your canine companion can join in on the fun!

Location: 275 Lake Dillon Drive, Dillon | More Info

2. Blue Mesa Reservoir

Blue Mesa Reservoir, situated in Gunnison, Colorado, is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and their furry friends. This picturesque destination, managed by Elk Creek Marina, offers a variety of rentals including pontoon boats, kayaks, canoes, and paddle boards — all pet friendly!

Each pontoon can accommodate up to two pets, so gather up the family — two- and four-leged alike — and get ready to have some fun on the water.

Location: Gunnison County, Colorado | More Info

Cross Country Skiing And Skijoring

Transform your mountain getaway into an exciting adventure with cross-country skiing and skijoring. Perfect for pet owners looking for an active winter escape, cross-country skiing offers a serene way to explore the snowy landscapes, while skijoring brings an exhilarating twist.

To enjoy skijoring with your pooch, you’ll need special equipment such as a harness, waist belt and towline. Make your dog is well-trained and comfortable with pulling before giving skijoring a try.

dog skiing with owner

1. Devil’s Thumb Ranch & Spa

Devil’s Thumb Ranch & Spa is a winter wonderland in Colorado, perfect for skiing enthusiasts and their canine friends. It’s renowned for skijoring, an exhilarating mix of cross-country skiing and dog sledding. Here, both you and your dog can glide through snowy trails, connected by a rope in a harmonious push-and-pull dance. 

The resort provides specialized skijoring clinics and equipment, ensuring a fun, safe experience. Plus, with dog-friendly cabins, it’s an ideal retreat for those seeking adventure with their furry companions.

Location: 3530 County Road 83, Tabernash | View Website

2. Aspen/Snowmass Nordic Trail System

The Aspen/Snowmass Nordic Trail System, beautifully situated in Aspen and Snowmass, offers an idyllic backdrop for cross-country skiing enthusiasts. This trail system stands out for its dog-friendly policy, allowing dogs on designated trails.

In certain areas around the Nordic centers and in Snowmass, it’s required to keep dogs on leashes. However, in Bernese Boulevard and Marolt Open Space dogs can roam more freely, provided they are under voice command and always in view. 

Location: 39551 Highway 82, Aspen | View Website

Dog-friendly Gondola Rides

As you ascend into the clear blue skies, you’re treated to panoramic views of rugged mountains, lush forests, and meandering rivers. Each gondola cabin glides smoothly, offering a serene escape above the natural grandeur. These rides, available in various locations like the picturesque Telluride, are more than a simple mode of transportation; they are an opportunity to witness the majestic beauty of Colorado from an extraordinary vantage point — and your pooch can be along for the ride! 

Safety Tip: Make sure your dog is securely leashed and comfortable with the ride.

1. Telluride

Telluride, Colorado, seamlessly marries opulence with outdoor charm. Evolving from a historic silver mining camp to a trendy ski destination, this town is a haven for pet lovers. It’s renowned for its complimentary gondola rides that are not just pet-friendly, but enthusiastically welcome dogs. Telluride is a perfect getaway for those wishing to experience scenic beauty alongside their four-legged friends.

Location: 565 Mountain Vlg Blvd, Mountain Village | View Website

Fun Activities Beyond the Ski Slopes

Don’t miss out on your dog’s playful adventures in the snow; bundle up and let them join you for fun activities beyond the ski slopes. Colorado offers a variety of dog-friendly snow activities that will keep your furry friend entertained all winter long.

Canine-Friendly Cabin Rentals

In the heart of Colorado, the picturesque towns of Colorado Springs and Estes Park are perfect for pet lovers seeking a getaway with their furry friends. These destinations offer a range of pet-friendly cabins, where each furry family member is welcomed warmly.

Imagine staying in a cozy cabin with modern amenities, including a fully stocked kitchen and an outdoor hot tub, ensuring a comfortable stay for the entire family.

In Estes Park, just a stone’s throw from the majestic Rocky Mountain National Park, pet-friendly lodging options provide breathtaking mountain views, allowing you and your pet to soak in nature’s splendor. The pet fee policies are straightforward and affordable, ensuring a hassle-free experience for pet owners.

In Crested Butte, you can find accommodations with spacious gardens and easy access to outdoor activities, making it the perfect place for a pet-inclusive vacation.

Aspen’s pet-friendly cabin rentals not only offer comfort but also place you and your pet close to vibrant main streets, filled with dog-friendly shops and restaurants. 

Canine Adventures and Shopping in Mountain Towns

Colorado’s mountain towns are not just about scenic beauty; they also offer a plethora of pooch-friendly activities and shopping experiences. From Canon City to the bustling streets of Denver, these towns are a haven for dog lovers.

Enjoy day trips to places like Manitou Cliff Dwellings, where pets are allowed with prior approval. The main street is lined with dog-friendly shops, offering everything from pet essentials to unique souvenirs for you and your four-legged shopping buddy.

After a day of hiking, kick back at a dog-friendly restaurant, where your pooch can rest by your side, while you enjoy a cold brew with the local cuisine.

In a Nutshell

As you and your furry companion explore the dog-friendly mountain escapes of Colorado, you’ll create memories that will last a lifetime. From hiking scenic trails to the thrill of whitewater rafting with Rover, there’s no shortage of excitement for you and your adventure hound!

Frequently Asked Questions:

A: Colorado offers a variety of dog-friendly activities, including hiking on trails suitable for all skill levels, whitewater rafting, pontoon rides on beautiful lakes, cross-country skiing, and skijoring. These activities cater to dogs of all sizes and energy levels, ensuring a fun-filled adventure for your pet.

A: Yes, many mountain towns in Colorado feature dog-friendly shops where you can browse and shop with your furry companion by your side. These shops offer everything from pet supplies to souvenirs, making them a great stop during your visit.

A: While most activities are dog-centric, some locations and activities may accommodate other pets. It’s best to check with individual activity providers regarding their pet policies to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all types of pets.

A: It is generally not advisable to leave dogs unattended in public areas, as it can be stressful for the pet and may violate local regulations. Always ensure your pet is supervised, especially in unfamiliar surroundings.

A: Colorado offers a range of pet-friendly accommodations, including cabins, hotels, and campgrounds. These places often have amenities to ensure a comfortable stay for both you and your pet.

A: Some restaurants and lodging places in Colorado may offer special food options for dogs. It’s best to inquire directly at the establishment for availability and options.

A: Yes, you can rent equipment for various pet-friendly activities like fishing or skijoring. Many places that offer these activities will have the necessary gear available for rent.

A: For activities like skijoring, it is recommended that both the dog and owner have some basic training to ensure safety and enjoyment. Some activity providers may offer introductory courses or can suggest where to get the necessary training.

about the author

Meet Clarisse Quindo, Content Manager at CityDog Magazine. Clarisse combines her professional prowess with her passion for all things canine! Her days are filled with the joy of blending engaging stories, the latest trends, and valuable insights for fellow dog enthusiasts. Whether she's exploring new dog parks or interviewing top dog behaviorists, Clarisse's dedication to our four-legged friends is truly paw-inspiring!

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