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With the weather getting warmer, more and more people around the Colorado area are looking for something fun to do on the weekends! Luckily, we live in a state that is full of beautiful natural resources for us to observe and explore. 

 

But what about your four-legged friend? He or she is probably wondering when you are going to take them on their next adventure. 

Check out these 9 beautiful Colorado hikes to get some quality exercise, and have socially-distant fun in the sun with your dog! 

 

 

 

colorado dog hike

Lee Gulch Trail to the South Platte River – Littleton, CO

Length: 8.1 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Dog Rules: On Leash

Looking for a day trip without a long drive? Nestled within a Littleton neighborhood, Lee Gulch Trail would hardly be considered “wilderness”, though you and fido will likely run into other dogs and bunnies! This hike is a long one, and it can be easy to get lost. 

Make sure to bring some shoes with good traction, you’ll be walking along a dirt trail with a small incline in some spots. Some things you’ll see if you make it all 8 miles are a small waterfall, a little lake and an overlook with a beautiful view. This hike has plenty of shade to take a rest, just watch out for bikers!

 

 

Bear Creek Trail to Stone House Trail Loop – Lakewood, CO

Length: 3.2 miles 

Difficulty: Easy

Dog Rules: On Leash

Lakes, creeks and views – oh my! This easy trail is good for beginners, or anyone who doesn’t want to spend all day outside. There’s lots of shade throughout, allowing you and your companion to take frequent rest breaks. 

Bear Creek Trail is a great little slice of relaxation in the suburbs. These walking paths are wide, and great for social distancing! This quick trail is perfect for a hot day, or in the evening after work.

 

 

North Fork Shanahan Trail – Boulder, CO

Length: 2.4 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Dog Rules: Dog Friendly

North Fork Shanahan is another easy trail for beginners, or smaller dogs who aren’t rock climbers. The trail is short and the path is wide in most spots, allowing for plenty of distance. Dogs are free to wander without a leash, just make sure to bring some towels in case they get muddy!

This trail features beautiful wildflowers and has plenty of shade. There is a steady incline, but is still considered an easy hike. It’s not usually too packed with other people, and has plenty of spaces to sit and relax if you or your pup get tired.

 

 

Walker Ranch, Ethel Harrold, and Canyon Falls – Eldorado Springs, CO

Length: 3.1 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Dog Rules: On Leash

This hike is a lot of fun, and a little bit challenging – make sure to wear a good pair of hiking shoes! The beautiful drive here includes a small section of dirt road, but is out of the hustle and bustle. Parking is easy to find, as this trail is very rarely packed with people! 

Soak in the beautiful scenery and enjoy the breeze while you hike downhill to a rushing river. Wildlife and wildflowers are typical in this Instagram-able paradise. Make sure to bring lots of water, and towels if your dog is a swimmer! 

 

 

Mount Sanitas Peak Trail – Boulder, CO

Length: 2.6 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Dog Rules: On Leash

Looking for a challenge? This hike is fondly referred to as “Nature’s StairMaster” for its very high and steep incline. If your dog is very energetic, this uphill climb will be certain to calm them down.

Make sure to bring lots of water, shady spots are few and far between. Once you start making your way up this trail you’ll be greeted by amazing mountain views. The hike isn’t very long, but you’ll still need some good hiking shoes to comfortably make it up to the top. 

 

 

Sugarloaf Mountain Trail – Boulder, CO

Length: 1.3 miles 

Difficulty: Moderate

Dog Rules: On Leash

The trailhead of Sugarloaf Mountain Trail is a little tough to find, but leads to a hidden paradise right outside Boulder – with great parking! This moderately challenging hike is great for people and pups who love to climb. Make sure to bring good shoes with ankle support, the incline is steep and rocky!

Up at the top of this trail is a gorgeous, expansive view. Soak up the sun perched above the clouds, or hit this trail first thing in the morning for a nice cool breeze. This isn’t an all day trip, but the area is laden with additional trails in case you want to get even more exercise!

 

 

Devil’s Backbone Nature Trail – Fort Collins, CO

Length: 4.3m

Difficulty: Moderate

Dog Rules: On Leash

West of Loveland near Fort Collins sits Devil’s Backbone Nature Trail, a sunny and hot hike with a view. Water is available at the trailhead, but it’s advised to bring extra – there is little to no shade! This geologic landmark is full of wildflowers and tall, towering rock formations.

This trail tends to be busy on the weekends, but parking isn’t typically too challenging. Despite its popularity, Devil’s Backbone is a great spot to go for some peace and quiet, and has plenty of open space to stay distant. Make sure to stay close to your dog, this spot is a home to bears, deer, and mountain lions. 

 

 

Horsetooth Mountain Trail – Fort Collins, CO

Length: 8.9 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Dog Rules: On Leash

Horsetooth Mountain Trail is a stellar spot to spend a full day. This challenging and nearly 9 mile long hike is great for climbing, but has little to no shade – so bring water! If you get tired before finishing, Horsetooth Reservoir is nearby to brighten your day with a great breeze. 

If you’re looking to get some quality exercise, this is the place to do it. Beautiful views help motivate you to keep up with your pup! Shoes with ankle support are recommended, as this trail has a steep incline, loose dirt and is covered in rocks. 

 

 

Rawah Trail – Near Red Feather Lakes, CO

Length: 25 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Dog Rules: On Leash

Backpackers, this one’s for you! Waterfalls and a gorgeous lake await you at Rawah Trail. If you want to cross the river, bring water shoes – you are likely to get wet if you don’t have great balance! Doable but need to have good balance or you get wet. This hike is pretty challenging, and a total of 25 miles long.

Camping is available both in the valley and at around 9500 feet, in case you want to make this hike a weekend trip! Make sure to bring good shoes and a warm blanket if you plan to stay overnight. Snow is not uncommon in the early summer, so many hikers choose to bring snowshoes to make sure they can complete the full 25 miles. 

 

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