Staff Picks

Dog Friendly Hikes and Activities in Colorado Springs

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a woman hugging a dog in a hike

Before we dive in, a quick word on leash laws. At one of our favorite urban greenspaces, you can unleash your pet, worry-free. Bear Creek Dog Park is a whopping 25 acres of pure canine fun, including creek access, hills, grass, and trees, and it’s completely fenced in. On the other hand, most of the trails here in Colorado Springs ask that you keep your dog on a leash when hiking. Two exceptions to that include two designated dog trails in Red Rock Canyon Open Space, marked Upper and Lower Dog Loops. So you can get your hike in and then hit these two trails to allow your pup to run fast and free. Note: dogs will still need to be within your view and under voice control. That means if you give a command, they answer the first time. If your pup isn’t obedient, read park signs to make sure they’re allowed to roam untethered. Also, make sure your pup leaves nothing but adorable pawprints behind. Pack out their poop— even in wilderness areas— and toss it in the nearest trash can. Now on to the fun part!

Pikes Peak has already seen snow so our first suggestion is to leash up and snowshoe Old Monarch Pass Loop in nearby Salida for 3.2 miles of mellow high-altitude terrain and stellar Continental Divide views. Generally considered an easy hike, it takes about an hour and a half to complete on foot. Given that it’s a popular trail for cross-country skiing, hiking, and snowshoeing you’re sure to have company, while still enjoying some solitude during quieter times of the day. While you’re in Salida, check out Loyal Luke’s Dog Park. Named after the legendary loyal companion of an 1800s rail worker, this cozy fenced-in park brings fun with tunnels and is a quick drive to the dog-friendly downtown shopping district.

Leashed pups are also allowed throughout Garden of the Gods Park and can roam freely in the off-leash section near the main entrance by Rock Ledge Ranch. Since no visit to Colorado Springs would be complete without a visit to the Garden of the Gods, it only makes sense pets are welcome, too. Even for returning visitors, this geological wonder’s giant red rock formations boggle the mind and dazzle the senses. The park and visitor’s center are open daily and free to the public. Take a self-guided tour around the park and simply stare in awe at nature’s glorious creations. Don’t forget to pack up after your pup; leave no poop behind!

Fox Run Dog Park near the Black Forest gets two paws up for its shady fenced-in area. The park is composed of five fenced-in acres and features two areas dedicated to small dogs and large dogs as well as bag dispensers, trash cans, benches, plenty of tree cover, and more. Fox Run Dog Park is located just inside the Fox Run Regional Park, in the southeast corner, and is accessible from the main park entrance off Stella Drive. Dog owners should take the first right and continue straight, south of the active use fields to get to the pet area. Be sure to keep your dog leashed unless you’re in a designated off-leash area.

We’ll round out our shortlist by suggesting a visit to the Manitou Cliff Dwellings. A rare historical treasure, this awe-inspiring archeological site is preserved under a red sandstone overhang that protects cliff dwellings more than 800 years old. You and your pup are encouraged to explore the dwellings room by room using a self-guided tour. Expect to see fascinating architectural remnants from an American Indian culture that roamed the Four Corners area of the Southwest from 1200 B.C. to 1300 A.D. The Manitou Cliff Dwellings overlook Manitou Springs, Colorado at the foot of Pikes Peak. Feel free to wander leisurely through the preserve and explore the fascinating architecture of the Ancient Puebloan people.

After your outdoor adventure, refuel at any one of Colorado Springs’ dog-friendly pubs and restaurants. Pub Dog was the first restaurant in Colorado to allow guests to eat indoors with their dogs. Order something tasty from their dog-themed menu like the Bow Wow BLTA. Dog snacks are served, too, just don’t mix them up! Phantom Canyon Brewery will serve you and your dog. Try their mouthwatering bison patty melt and refreshing amber beer. Other favorite restaurants with pet-friendly patios include Pizzeria Rustica, TAPAteria, Salsa Brava, and Edelweiss.

Try one or try them all! It’s easy when your home base is Cheyenne Mountain Resort– our suggested hikes and eateries are all close by so you can max out on time exploring, rather than spending all of your time on the road. Though what dog doesn’t like a little road trip? We can’t wait to see you and hear all about your pup-tastic adventures.