Colorado, with its spectacular mountain scenery, endless views, and miles of hiking trails, is the perfect place to spend a day out in nature. And what better way to enjoy a day out in the great outdoors than by sharing it with a furry friend?
Many of Colorado’s hiking trails allow dogs and are perfectly safe, so you can bring your companions with you as you explore this beautiful part of the world. Let’s discover where some of the best dog-friendly hikes are in Colorado.
Royal Arch Trail
Located near Boulder, Colorado, the 4-mile Royal Arch Trail is a tough but rewarding hike through rugged scenery, offering gorgeous views of the Flat Irons and the open valley of Boulder. Dogs are allowed on the hike where you can enjoy wildflowers, rock formations, and steep inclines.
This hike can be challenging, so make sure you (and your dog) bring the right equipment and have a reasonable level of experience and fitness. In winter, poles and spikes are a good choice.
Crag Crest National Recreation Trail
The Crag Crest National Recreation Trail offers over 10 miles of hiking through varied nature, with the opportunity to see big game such as elk and deer and a wide range of smaller animals like porcupines, chipmunks, red foxes, and pine squirrels. The hike is located between two lakes, Island Lake and Eggleston Lake, and is a great way to spend a day out with your canine.
Mount Sneffels via Blue Lakes Trail
Blue Lakes Trail, situated near Ridgway, Colorado, is a 13-mile-long trail that offers a challenging day of hiking for experienced nature walkers. It’s dog-friendly, but you’ll have to keep them on a leash. From June to November, the trail is a fantastic opportunity to experience meadows filled with wildflowers and breathtaking views of the three surrounding lakes.
There are also many camping opportunities, allowing you to stretch this lengthy hike over two days and enjoy a night in the thickly forested country.
Booth Falls is a 4-mile heavily trafficked out and back trail near Vail, Colorado. It’s moderate in difficulty but does feature some steep and challenging sections, although the views of rivers, valleys, and waterfalls make the strain worth it. If you’re here in the fall, you’ll be rewarded with stunning leaf colors, too.
The hike is also possible in winter, although it can be challenging and it’s highly recommended to bring the right equipment like snowshoes or spikes.
Crater Lake Trail
The Crater Lake Trail is almost 4 miles long and close to Aspen, Colorado. This trail is moderate difficulty and features a lake and impressive views of the mountainous scenery that has made Aspen and the surrounding area such a popular spot for hikers and skiers.
Although the trail can be difficult and rocky in certain parts, it should be achievable for most hikers and their dogs.
Big Dominguez Canyon
Big Dominguez Canyon offers a 6-mile trek and is found near Whitewater, Colorado. It’s a good choice for anyone regardless of their hiking ability and features rock formations and a waterfall. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on a leash.
Devils Canyon Loop Trail
The Devils Canyon Loop Trail, located near Fruita, Colorado, is a moderately difficult hike in McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area, which is managed by the Bureau of Land Management. This trail is open for dogs as long as they’re kept on a leash. Hikers here can experience a rich natural landscape and pleasant views of the rocky scenery.
Plan Your Colorado Hike with Your Dog
Hiking with your dog is always a fun, adventurous, and rewarding experience. Combine that with the staggering scenery, good weather, and varied terrain of Colorado, and you have the recipe for a perfect summer’s day out.
Always make sure to check the latest regulations when you start a new hike with your dog to make sure you’re complying with leash laws and other local guidelines. Grand Junction, Colorado in particular is an accommodating and dog-friendly area from lodging, to dining, to adventures.
Learn more about where to dine and stay with your dog in Grand Junction today!