We Coloradans love our dogs, and there’s so much to do and see with our four-legged friends all across the Western Slope. This quick guide will give you an overview of dog-friendly trails, leash laws, pet friendly restaurants, and more.
With lots of open space, you’re sure to find plenty of Fido-friendly recreation on the Western Slope. Dogs are allowed on many trails, but double-check the rules before heading out. As they say, restrictions apply. For example, National Park Service rules apply at the Colorado National Monument in Grand Junction -- that’s no dogs on any trails.
Some Western Slope towns have particularly pet-friendly trails. A favorite is the Animas River Trail in Durango, a paved trail along the Animas River. For more information about dog friendly Durango, this website is a great resource.
If you want to take your dog off leash, know that the rules can vary dramatically depending on where you are. Your best bet is to check the official website of the city or town you plan to visit for park and trail rules.
For some fun time without the leash, lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management are often your best option. Leashes are always required in Colorado State Parks along the Western Slope and in some National Forests.
La Plata County in southwestern Colorado is one particularly great spot to take your pooch. Much of the San Juan National Forest and Weminuche Wilderness areas allow dogs to be off leash as long as they’re under voice and sight control.
Sometimes you just need a good dog park to let your pup run around and play with other dogs. Canyon View Dog Park in Grand Junction is perfect for residents and visitors alike. The 3.2-acre park is located right off of I-70, so getting there is easy.
Riverbend Park in Palisade is another excellent option. There’s an off-leash dog park, plus a number of other activities for the humans, like a disk golf course.
If you’re walking your dog in a public park, a leash is likely required. Make sure to carry plenty of poop bags, too! While some parks have them available, it’s better safe than sorry in this case.
There are several restaurants in Grand Junction that allow your pets to dine alongside you. The general rule of thumb is that if there’s an outdoor patio, dogs are allowed. This list of dog friendly restaurants from Yelp should help you narrow down your choices.
Need a place for you and the pup to crash? Visit Bring Fido to find dog-friendly lodging no matter where you’re going.
How do you like to enjoy Colorado with your dog? What are some of your favorite activities, trails, and restaurants? Let’s help other pet parents enjoy Colorado with their pups — share your thoughts in the comments!