Home Pets Dogs Top 6 Foothill Hikes in Colorado that are Dog-Friendly

Top 6 Foothill Hikes in Colorado that are Dog-Friendly


Are you looking to take your dog on a hike close to the city of Denver? You can hike your dog(s) on most trails near Denver–but there are exceptions. All of the following hikes require your dog(s) to be on a leash unless otherwise stated. Dog leashes are mandatory for the safety of others, the environment, and so dogs don’t get banned from these terrific places. 

The following is a list of the top 6 best nearby hikes to take your dog(s) on:

1. Lair o’ the Bear Park 

Lair o’ the Bear is just a beautiful short drive away from Denver, CO. Down the winding roads into the canyon on Bear Creek road, you will find Lair o’ the Bear Park. The Bear Creek Trail hike is excellent for dogs since it has plenty of shade, a mostly level path, running water, and many areas for picnics. This trail follows the creek for 1.6 miles of trail, so your dog(s) can cool if they need to. For more information on this easy hike, check out the Lair o’ the Bear trail map.

2. Flatirons Vista in Boulder, Colorado

The Flatirons Vista Loop is a small hike that is located 15 minutes from downtown Boulder. This hike is 3.3 miles, with less than 500 feet of elevation gain. The Flatirons Vista Loop will wind you through the ponderosa pines and meadows of the famous Flatirons of Boulder. Away from the Boulder crowds, and suitable for both summer and winter hiking, your dog(s) will be sure to enjoy themselves. For more information on this loop, check out the Flatirons Vista trail map

3. White Ranch Park in Golden, Colorado

White Ranch Park is the biggest park in the Jeffco Open Space system, offering 20 miles of multi-use trails, which include six different dog-friendly trails for you to choose from, The White Ranch Sunset Loop is a great escape close to home. Located in Golden, CO, this hike has meadows, pines, and wildflowers with a fantastic view of downtown Denver. If you are looking for a quick walk and your dog(s) are needing some fresh air, this is a great hike to take them on. Make sure you keep your dog(s) on a leash. Bicyclists must yield to all other users, but still stay aware — you don’t want your dog getting scared or jumping on anyone. For more information on White Ranch Park, check out the White Ranch Park trail map.

4. Frazer Meadow Trail in Golden, Colorado

This 4.5-mile hike in Golden Gate Canyon State Park has conifer forest, mountain peaks, and meadows. Frazer Meadow Trail will take about 4 hours to complete and is extremely dog-friendly. This beautiful Aspen tree-lined trail has small bridges throughout. Depending on the time of year, this trail is not very crowded. Check out Golden State Park Trail Map here.

5. Apex Trail in Golden, Colorado

The Apex Trail is 2.3 miles long, gaining up to 1,500 feet in elevation. There are exposed steep trails sometimes with views of gorgeous views of Denver and Golden. Because the trails can be steep, inexperienced hikers with dogs should use caution. This trail does have heavy mountain biking traffic, so dogs should stay on a leash at all times. For more information on the Apex Park Trail map system, check out the trail map. 

6. Matthew/Winters Park in Morrison, Colorado

Matthew/Winters Park Trail is a great medium length hike to get the heart pumping. This trail is enjoyed by trail runners, bikers, hikers, and even those on horseback. Many locals like to hike to this trail after work or in the morning before heading into the office. Matthew/Winters Trail is a great hike to take your dog(s) on, but be careful in the warmer months. Both rattlesnakes and harmless bull snakes are abundant here. For more information on the Mathews/Winters trail, check out the trail map on the Jeffco website.

Already hiked these trails, and are looking for more hikes near Denver, Colorado in which you and your dog(s) can get out and stretch your legs? Some other trails you may be interested in are:

Are you ready to go?! Grab your best friend(s) and enjoy any of these hikes within 45 minutes of leaving your Denver home. Don’t forget to bring plenty of water, their leash, and a camera so you can remember some of the breathtaking views from the foothills. Please pick up after your pet and be aware of cyclists and other hikers on the trail. Enjoy!