The Denver area is home to some of the most stunning scenery in the country, and there are plenty of places to take your furry friend on a day trip.
What are some places around Denver I can bring my dog?
The best day trips to take your dog in the Denver area are:
- Garden of the Gods
- Fort Collins
- Cañon City Royal Gorge Suspension Bridge
- Mount Princeton
- St. Mary’s Glacier
- Pike’s Peak
After extensively researching Colorado’s parks and recreational activities, I have gathered enough information to determine the best doggie day trips in the state. In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at day trips near Denver to help you pick the best spots to take your canine companion.
Day Trips From Denver With Dogs
If your pup has been itching to get out and about, the Denver area is loaded with world-class day trip spots to unleash the hound.
With stunning scenery scattered throughout the state, Colorodans are truly blessed to have some of the best sights in the entire United States.
However, downtown Denver is not always the best place to walk your four-legged friend. The Denver area has plenty of national parks, hiking trails, biking trails, and dog-friendly restaurants that are perfect for doggie day trips.
Garden of the Gods
This is one of the most beautiful places in all of Colorado, and you can count on your pup’s tail wagging non-stop when visiting this jaw-dropping location.
The Garden of the Gods is just an hour south of Denver near Colorado Springs, making it a convenient and accessible spot for a doggie day in nature.
Mountainous scenery and trees fill the landscape at Garden of the Gods, and there are plenty of trails and walking paths that you can take.
I find this is a great place to spend the day with the whole family in Denver, including your pup, but just be sure to bring a leash with you!
This Denver mountain park is filled with outdoor activities, with the Garden of the Gods being a great spot to do any of the following:
- Horseback Riding
Fort Collins is a beautiful college town that is situated about an hour outside of Denver.
This is a great place to take your pup if you want to get away from the business of the mile high city while enjoying the bustling and lively atmosphere of a college environment.
The town itself is lovely and perfect for a day out, but your pup is going to enjoy the dog-friendly activities in particular. Head over to the Spring Canyon Community Dog Park for some quality canine R&R.
This Fort Collins dog park features the following amenities and activities:
- Fenced Dog Park
- Dog Pond
- Water Fountain
Your dog will be more than happy to spend the entire day here, but if you decide that you want to change up the scenery, go to Poudre Canyon next and hike the Mount Margret Trail.
Keep in mind this is a 7-mile trail, so if you are looking for a good way to tire out your pup, not to mention yourself, this is it.
Cañon City Royal Gorge Suspension Bridge
For a full day out with your dog, drive out to the Royal Gorge Bridge in Cañon City. This is a long drive from Denver, but it will be well worth it once you see the view from the bridge.
It takes a bit over 2 hours to get to the Cañon City Royal Gorge Suspension Bridge. I suggest leaving early to skip the traffic, as the drive itself is beautiful and it’s a lot nicer to look at the scenery instead of a sea of red tail lights.
Along the way, you will get some nice views of Pike’s Peak to the west and gorgeous Colorado landscapes in every direction.
Once you arrive at the Royal Gorge Suspension Bridge, you will be amazed by the design of the bridge. This is the tallest suspension bridge in the entire United States at 956 feet, which can give you a sense of vertigo if you look down.
Walk your pup across the bridge and enjoy the stunning sights of the gorge and Arkansas River below you. The Royal Gorge Park is a great place to let your dog explore and sniff around before you drive back to Denver.
A drive out to Mount Princeton is a great day trip for you and your pup. It will take about 2.5 hours to get there and you can enjoy some of Colorado’s best nature once you arrive.
Mount Princeton has excellent trails and walking paths that are perfect for hiking and dog walking.
Every pup needs a break from their normal dog park, and taking your canine companion into the real outdoors is a great way to give them a sense of excitement and variation in their routine.
With that said, not every doggie day trip needs to just be about the dog, right? A highlight of visiting Mount Princeton is the hot springs that make the long drive out worth it. After you’ve had enough hiking and walking, unwind in some soothing hot water in the springs to seal the deal on your day.
Unfortunately, there is a strict ‘no-dogs-in-the-pool’ policy at Mount Princeton, but I am sure this is an equal compromise for taking your pup to the great outdoors for the day.
Georgetown was a traditional mining town but is now a hipster, dog-loving epicenter. This may actually be one of the most unique places in the United States given that the town is run by a doggie mayor.
Yes, you heard that right. Georgetown has a dog mayor, Parker the Snow Dog, commonly referred to as the ‘bestest of good boys’.
This Bernese Mountain Dog has been named the honorary mayor of Georgetown and is a beloved member of the community, spreading doggie kisses, cuddles, and joy throughout the town.
Do you really need more convincing to take your dog to this mountain town? If you do, Georgetown is home to some world-class hikes and breathtaking views that define Colorado scenery. You can get incredible views along Mount Evans Scenic Byway and Guaella Pass Byway.
In addition, Georgetown has plenty of fun things to do such as brewery tours and amazing restaurants so you can grab a bite to eat after the excitement. If you are lucky, you may even have the honor of meeting the mayor.
Boulder has stunning scenery and is a very pet-friendly town in Colorado. As the hippest place in the state, Boulder has a lot to offer its visitors, with a range of outdoor and urban activities suitable for both you and your four-legged friend.
Taking your pup to a city park in dog-friendly Denver can get a bit redundant. Boulder is a great change-up for furry friends given that this is a new environment with plenty of things to sniff and explore.
A great starting place is Chautauqua Park where you can walk your leashed dog while soaking in jaw-dropping views of the surrounding scenery such as the Flatirons.
Cycling is a big part of Boulder and you can rent a bike to cruise around the town with your pup by your side. After you’ve tired out your furry friend and need a place to fuel up on food and drinks, Boulder has an abundance of excellent dog-friendly restaurant options for casual eats and fine tastes.
St. Mary’s Glacier
St. Mary’s Glacier may be the only place in Colorado where you can have a snowball fight in peak summer. The natural beauty of this place makes it a great doggie day trip spot when you are craving the outdoors.
This is just a short one-hour drive from Denver, and the stunning views that you get to see along the way are impressive, to say the least.
The weather at St.Mary’s Glacier can be unpredictable all year round, which means that you should bring some extra layers, regardless of the season that you are visiting.
There is a very reasonable $5 admission to enter the area at the visitors center, and you can spend an hour or even an entire day basking in the scenery and looking for wildlife such as mountain goats.
St.Mary’s Glacier is a great spot for a picnic lunch and hiking, so feel free to pack some food and a blanket to lay out after a nice day walking your pup. Keep in mind that St. Mary’s does have a leashed pets policy.
The view from Pikes Peak is perhaps the most iconic in the entire State of Colorado, which is why it’s a very popular destination for tourists, hikers, and even dog lovers. You can take your pup to this National Natural Landmark for a fun day trip given that it’s located just an hour and a half away from Denver.
At over 14,000 feet, Pikes Peak offers a jaw-dropping view of the Rocky Mountains that will impress you, and maybe even your dog, if they can take a break from sniffing and tail wagging.
You can hike up to the top, which is a great way to get some exercise for both you and your furry friend, but beware the walk is absolutely brutal.
There is a scenic drive that is equally stunning, and a lot less strenuous if you want to keep things relaxed on your day off. The peak has great areas for walking and sniffing, so you can rest assured that your pup will have plenty of excitement regardless of how you make it to the top.
Keep in mind that the road going up to Pikes Peak may be subject to seasonal conditions.
The winter can potentially imply a snow-covered and closed road, whereas the summer months are normally crowded and a shuttle is the only way to make it to the peak without hiking.
- The best day trips to take your dog in the Denver area are Garden of the Gods, Fort Collins, Cañon City Royal Gorge Suspension Bridge, Mount Princeton, Georgetown, Boulder, St. Mary’s Glacier, and Pike’s Peak.
- If you take your dog to a national park or on hiking and biking trails, make sure to keep your pup on a leash if required.
- For doggie day trips within a one-hour drive of downtown Denver, consider Boulder and Garden of the Gods.