Adventure in Colorado has been an absolute blast!
Did you know that Colorado is considered one of the fittest states in the country? With all of the activities available at your fingertips, it makes sense that it is a very dog friendly state. Matthew, Ellie Pickles and I decided to hit the road in a sprinter van to experience an amazing doggo friendly adventure, read all about it below!
Buena Vista, CO: Our first adventure in Colorado! Turtle Rock Campground, Riverpark Dog Park, and historic downtown.
The first stop on our doggo friendly adventure was Buena Vista, CO. If you didn’t have Buena Vista on your doggo’s bucket list before, it’s a MUST ADD now. Our day began at Turtle Rock campground on the outskirts of town, it was truly a picturesque mountain landscape with a ton of fun trails. Miss Ellie Pickles and I hiked up a small trail called “Vitamin B” to get a better view of Turtle Rock itself, which, as you guessed, looks like a giant turtle shell.
From there, we packed up the van and headed into town for a run at Riverpark Dog Park. If you have a dog that likes to explore and run, this is the park for you! From tunnels, to platforms, and hurtles, your dog will have a blast. Although, Ellie wasn’t too keen on the amenities available. She was more interested in looking at the rocky landscape and sniffing the endless variety of plants.
Next, we went to historic downtown Buena vista for a beer at Edy’s! We enjoyed our time here on the outdoor patio so Ellie could join in on the fun. They had amazing food! My new go-to is the smoked chicken – which was also Ellie approved, along side her on the go treats. With full bellies and full hearts, we continued our journey onto the beautiful Riverwalk close by. The trail is made of dirt, so doggo paws seem to enjoy it even more! It felt very rustic and cozy to walk on such a well-groomed trail. Minimal effort for maximum payoff. The three of us were happy to take a reset before our next driving day tooooo…Telluride, Colorado!
Telluride, CO: The perfect mountain town, river trails, & off leash fun for doggos.
Compared to Buena Vista, the temperature here in Telluride was COLD. Matthew and I bundled Ellie up in her puffy doggo jacket and checked out the downtown. We quickly discovered that this mountain town is perfect for a dog friendly retreat during the autumn and winter season. We started at the San Miguel River Trail, which has an excellent overview of Telluride. You’ll see views overlooking the San Juan Mountain Range on your left as well as the Telluride Ski Resort on your right. Being in Telluride was like being in a snow globe, and it was absolutely magical.
The second Telluride highlight was Town Park. This area is fully equipped with an amazing off-leash zone for dogs, which was perfect for Ellie as she made new doggo friends and chased her ball. Additionally, it is home to Firecracker Hill, the town sponsored sledding hill. We picked up our own sled from Ace Hardware, but you can also rent a sled for a small fee. From the moment Matthew and I wooshed down the hillside, dogs were surrounding us trying to keep up with our high speed racers. It was a beautiful community environment and any dog lover’s dream.
Be sure to check out Telluride Brewing Company while you’re there! They have tons of outdoor seating for you and your furry friend. Onto our next adventure in Colorado!
Durango, CO: The largest dog park of all time, Smelter Mountain & Animas River.
Initially, we didn’t have High Hopes for Durango, CO. It was just a quick overnight stop on our adventure. However, it is home to the LARGEST dog park we’ve ever seen. The park is named Durango Off Leash Dog Park and it’s nestled just below Smelter Mountain. The entire dog park is gated and SO large that we couldn’t even cover it in our hour visit. The views are a mix of desert and mountain, and the was landscape a bit pokey, so make sure to look out for those doggie paws! Additionally, the Animas River flowed just outside of this vast park which made it a true doggie dreamland. We highly recommend a pit stop here…Ellie does too!
Great Sand Dunes National Park: Our final adventure in Colorado. Is this a star wars set, or real life?
For the cherry on top of a doggo friendly adventure in Colorado, we visited the Great Sand Dunes National Park. It is truly a must see! From the moment you drive up to this park, if feels like you’re walking onto a Star Wars set…perhaps you might see an Alien Ship in the skies above. The Great Sand Dunes is a geographical phenomenon nestled right at the foot of the Sangre De Cristo mountain range, and is one of the only pet-friendly National Parks! From the moment Ellie placed her paws in the fine sand, she was hooked. She ran around to her hearts content while Matthew and I enjoyed amazing mountain views. They also have a fabulous picnic area for you and your pup to take in the views without sand if you would prefer.
Next, we hiked up the dunes themselves. Be sure to bring plenty of water for you and your doggo and be prepared for varying temperatures. Luckily for us, the temperature was a perfect 55 Degrees! Remember the sled we used in Telluride at Firecracker Hill!? We recycled it here at the sand dunes, using it as our transportation device back down the sand dune after our hike up it! Definitely give sand sledding a whirl- it may not be the fastest sledding in your life, but it is definitely the funniest.
We hope our experiences help you craft your own colorful adventure in Colorado with your pup. It is a wonderful state to sniff out, especially in the fall and winter season. The famous aspen tree’s turn a crisp yellow, and your doggo will live in bliss feeling the joy of the changing season. Until next time, BORK BORK!