Check out these awesome pet-friendly activities within striking distance of Downtown Denver.
There is no doubt that if you live in Denver, you probably enjoy spending time in the mountains, or at the very least, looking at the mountains. And whether you’re planning a multi-day backpacking trip or an afternoon looking at the Rockies from the comfort of your couch, you’ll probably want your pup by your side. With so many fantastic pet-friendly adventures surrounding Denver, the only hard part is deciding which glorious Colorado trail you want to take on. That’s why we’ve put together this list of the best dog-friendly hikes within striking distance of Denver. Not up for a hike? We've got some great dog parks in our list too! The only thing better than being a pet parent in Denver is being a pet parent in Denver on an awesome outdoor adventure! So grab those hiking boots, your best buddy, a generous supply of water, and head on out to answer the call of the wild!
And for when you get back into town, be sure to check out one of our favorite dog-friendly restaurants!
The Best Dog-Friendly Hikes and Parks Near Denver, CO
- Red Rocks Trail
- Barnum Dog Park
- First and Second Flatirons Loop
- Bear Creek Trail
- Cherry Creek State Park Off-Leash Dog Area
- Platte River Greenway Trail
- Horseshoe Trail to Frazer Meadow
- Argentine Pass
- Reynold’s Park
- Stapleton Off-Leash Dog Park
- Echo Lake
Red Rocks Trail — Morrison, CO
You’ll find a lot more at Red Rocks than jam bands and EDM parties. There are also some incredible hikes in the area like the Red Rocks Trail. This 6-mile hike is the perfect way to spend an afternoon getting a little extra elevation with best your best buddy. At just under a half-hour from Denver, the Red Rocks Trail is easy to get to year-round. A couple of things to note about the trail: it’s rated at moderate, and dogs must be kept on a leash.
Barnum Dog Park — 3144 W 6th Ave, Denver, CO 80204
Barnum Dog Park is a spacious, fenced-in area where dogs can run and play off-leash. It's known for its friendly community of dog owners and the beautiful view of downtown Denver. The park also has separate areas for small and large dogs, ensuring safety for all sizes. There are plenty of trees providing shade on hot days.
First and Second Flatirons Loop — Boulder, CO
No matter where you are in Boulder, you’ll always have a view of the Flatirons — unless there is a whiteout, which definitely happens. The First and Second Flatirons Trail is a moderate route open year-round to humans and well-behaved dogs on leash. This moderate trail is a 2.6-mile loop that delivers some outstanding views at the cost of just a little exercise. Boulder is an easy drive from Denver, making the hike perfect for a day trip. Pro tip: give yourself some extra time to hang out and grab a beer from one of Boulder’s awesome breweries.
Bear Creek Trail at Lair o’ the Bear Park — Idledale, CO
A more leisurely hike, just outside Denver, Bear Creek Trail is an excellent option for a little adventure. The trail is only about 1.6-miles, so you won’t have to block off a whole day to enjoy some outdoor time with your pup. There is also a creek that runs along the trail, so your good boy or girl will have plenty of opportunities to cool off and splash around. If you are looking for a more aggressive hike, Lair o’ the Bear Park has many trail options.
Cherry Creek State Park Off-Leash Dog Area — 4201 S Parker Rd, Aurora, CO 80014
This is not just a dog park, but a dog paradise! With 107 acres of open space, Cherry Creek State Park offers an off-leash area where dogs can swim, run, and play. The park requires a daily or annual pass.
Platte River Greenway Trail — Denver, CO
Just north of Denver, the Platte River Greenway Trail is an excellent urban option if you don’t have the time or desire to head out to the mountains. The trail is an easy paved path along the Platte River. The trail stretches nearly 7-miles, so you can take any length hike you and your pup want. If you do the whole out and back route, it would clock in just under 14-miles, not bad for a city adventure.
Horseshoe Trail to Frazer Meadow — Golden, CO
Located just near Golden Gate State Park’s entrance, this trail makes for a tremendous dog-friendly adventure. Rated as moderate, the 3.8-mile Horseshoe Trail to Frazer Meadow hike should take around four hours. Your pup will love this hike, especially the beautiful meadows. Depending on the time of year you visit, you might also be treated to some of Colorado’s finest wildflowers.
Railyard Dog Park — 19th St & Little Raven St, Denver, CO 80202
Railyard Dog Park is a unique urban dog park located in the heart of downtown Denver. It's fully fenced with separate areas for small and large dogs. The park features gravel ground cover, which helps keep dogs clean.
Argentine Pass – Dillon, CO
Argentine Pass in a more advanced out and back hike that covers 6.2-miles and gains about 2000 feet in elevation. The trail is rated as difficult, but the setting and views are definitely worth it for the more experienced hiker. The trail is dog-friendly, but with lots of wildlife and some narrow parts of the path, make sure only to bring pups that are well behaved.
Eagle’s View Trail in Reynold’s Park – Conifer, CO
Reynold’s Park offers a handful of excellent, pet-friendly trails. The Eagle’s View Trail Loop is rated as moderate, covering 4.2-miles and gaining about 1000 feet of elevation. There are a few steep inclines on the trail, but the payoff includes some unbeatable views and an adventure through some lush Colorado forest. You and your best buddy will definitely enjoy the fresh mountain air.
Stapleton Off-Leash Dog Park – 2002 Spruce St, Denver, CO 80238
This dog park is a favorite among Stapleton residents. It offers a large, sandy area for dogs to run and play. The park also provides water fountains and waste stations for convenience.
Echo Lake Trail – Idaho Springs, CO
Echo Lake Trail is an easy, 1.3-mile loop perfect for humans and pups alike. Enjoy a relaxing hike around Echo Lake while taking in views of the impressive Mt. Evans wilderness. The hike is dog-friendly, but pets must be kept on a leash. It’s also probably a good idea to bring a picnic with you, as this trail makes it easy to hike around with a full pack of goodies. Don’t forget the dog treats!
What are you waiting for? Go for a hike!
Living in Colorado is truly a special treat, especially for those pet parents that love outdoor adventures. The list above is just a sampling of some of the excellent hikes around the Denver area. You’ll have no trouble finding many other fabulous places to spend a day outside with your best friend. And for those times when you need to take a weeklong camping trip without your pets, no need to worry, Denver has some of the best pet sitters around. With Local Pet Care, it’s easy to find a reliable pet sitter you can trust.