12 Dog Friendly Trails Near Denver (+ Off Leash Areas!) (2023)

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If you’re in Colorado, chances are you want to get out and explore the beautiful outdoors! But what fun is exploring if you can’t bring your best four-legged companion along? Check out this list of the best dog friendly trails near Denver.

These hikes and off-leash zones are the perfect way to guarantee both you and your furry friends have a wonderful visit. 

As always, be sure to use your best etiquette when out on the trails. Pick up after your pup and follow instructions regarding leash requirements. If you follow the rules, you and your neighbors can have the best experience possible! 

Keep reading to learn about the best dog friendly trails near Denver.

Please remember to do your own due diligence and double-check that these are dog-friendly areas.

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While public transportation is alright in Denver, it’s truly easiest to get around by car. (Trust us, we didn’t have a car our first year living there… not fun!)

Best Dog Friendly Trails Near Denver

Cherry Creek State Park Dog Off-Leash Area

Aerial view of a large lake in the middle of a park.

Cherry Creek State Park is a conveniently located off-leash area for dog owners with a dog off-leash pass. This zone features fantastic walking for both the owner and pup, as well as Cherry Creek itself if your dog is a water lover!

Located just outside of Denver, Cherry Creek is a perfect spot for an afternoon stroll. The area offers flat land and beautiful views of the mountains, so for beginner hikers or those just adjusting to the elevation, this is a great spot for you!

Do note that this area is really popular, so you may have to wait a bit before you’re allowed entry to the area, especially if you’re visiting at peak times. But this great park is worth the wait!

While not exactly an off-leash dog hiking trail, Cherry Creek’s off-leash area is sure to fit the bill. 

Chatfield State Park Dog Off-Leash Area

A wide walking path through a park.

Another great off-leash area offering, Chatfield State Park is located in Littleton, Colorado, making it a convenient spot for Denver-ites. Less than half an hour away from Denver proper, Chatfield offers fantastic walking and swimming for pups with a dogs off-leash pass.

With a wide space for your four-legged friend to run around, you can guarantee a great day of exercise for them. The area’s hours are 5 am to 10 pm, so you can stop by whenever is most convenient for you.

If you’re looking for off leash dog hikes near Denver, consider this off-leash area a strong option. 

Upper Dog Loop, Red Rock Canyon Open Space

If you’re looking for a quick and easy jaunt for you and your pup, check out the Upper Dog Loop in Red Rock Canyon Open Space. This 0.9-mile, easy-difficulty loop takes you on a beautiful stroll around the Red Rock area.

This walk will feature wonderful views without too much struggle, making it one of the most accessible dog-friendly trails near Denver. The entire trail is off-leash, guaranteeing your pup a nice time.

An hour and twenty minutes from Denver, this loop is located in Colorado Springs. Make a whole day trip out of your visit south! 

Lower Dog Loop, Red Rock Canyon Open Space

Another great option for those looking for easy off leash dog hiking trails is the Lower Dog Loop. Neighboring the previous loop, this walk is located in Colorado Springs, making it about an hour and twenty minutes from Denver.

Even shorter than the Upper Dog Loop, this stroll is about a half mile of fully off-leash trail. If you just want a quick jaunt through a beautiful area without too much fuss, the Lower Dog Loop could be the right trail for you. 

A woman walking through a field with a small child and a dog.

Platte River Greenway Trail

Located directly in Denver, the Platte River Greenway Trail is the perfect Denver hike. With dogs, sometimes you just need an easy option with no car ride. This trailhead is located right by the Denver Aquarium, and the trail is a 14.7-mile out-and-back.

With mostly flat terrain, the Platte River Greenway Trail is a great option for folks looking to get some mileage in without too much strain. Though your pup needs to stay on leash, this is still one of the best dog friendly hikes near Denver. 

Plymouth Mountain Trail

Located about half an hour from the city, the Plymouth Mountain Trail is one of the most fantastic dog friendly trails near Denver. If you’re looking for a good workout for both you and your pup, this trail is a great fit.

This 6-mile loop features about 1,500 feet of elevation gain and is a great opportunity to see some gorgeous views. The lookout on top is unbeatable!

Dogs need to remain on-leash for the duration of the loop, and this is a popular trail, so expect some neighbors on your walk. The trail is beside a stream, as well, so if your dog is looking to cool off, there are plenty of opportunities! 

A person with hiking poles hiking with a fluffy dog.

West Ridge Loop, O’Fallon Park

For a moderate hike with great views, check out West Ridge Loop in O’Fallon Park. This on-leash trail is 3.6 miles with about 700 feet of elevation gain, providing a great opportunity for exercise without too much distance. West Ridge Loop is located in Kerr Gulch, which is just under forty minutes from Denver city-center.

There’s a creek at the start of the loop, perfect for a quick dip after a walk in the park. Note that this loop can get busy, so make it to the trailhead early for the best shot at a parking spot!

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    Mary Carter Greenway Trail

    Nestled just outside of Littleton, Mary Carter Greenway Trail is an easy and lengthy stroll through some beautiful terrain. This 11-mile out-and-back paved trail is perfect for walkers, runners, and bikers alike.

    Mary Carter Greenway is about twenty minutes from Denver, making it a great option for folks looking to get on a trail without too much car time.

    With minimal elevation gain, Mary Carter Greenway Trail is accessible to folks looking for a nice on-leash walk without significant strain. This trail wanders through a few water bodies, so the views are fantastic. 

    A dog running through a field with a woman running behind them.

    Mount Sanitas 

    If you’re looking for a bit of a hustle, the difficult Mount Sanitas trail could be a perfect spot for you and your pup. This on-leash trail is a 3.2 mile loop located just outside of Boulder, making it about 45 minutes from Denver proper.

    With 1,300 feet of elevation gained packed into this hike, this trail is not for the faint of heart. If you and your pup are ready to grind, Mount Sanitas trail is a beautiful excursion worth exploring. The peak at the top of the loop is totally worth the struggle! 

    Hessie Trailhead

    Located just outside of Eldora, this trailhead leads to a plethora of fantastic trails. Four popular, dog-friendly hikes are available from this stop: King Lake, Lost Lake, Woodland Lake, and Devil’s Thumb.

    All trails, with the exception of Lost Lake, are located within the Indian Peak Wilderness area, so restrictions apply (meaning dogs must remain on leash). These trails offer a variety of different lengths and difficulties, but all guarantee a beautiful excursion for you and your furry friend.

    The lakes and views combined make this one of my favorite spots for dog friendly trails near Denver.

    Close up view of a small dog walking next to a person.

    Eagle’s View Trail Loop 

    Just 45 minutes from Denver, this moderate hike is sure to provide a satisfying adventure for both you and your pup. Eagle’s View Trail Loop is a 4.2-mile trek with about 1,000 feet of elevation, making it not too hard, but not too easy, either!

    This trail offers opportunities for runners, hikers, and birders, so expect to run into some other folks enjoying the views. Do note, however, that your pup is required to stay on leash for the duration of this excursion. 

    Lair O’ The Bear Park’s Bear Creek Trail

    Located only 30 minutes from Denver, Lair O’ The Bear’s Bear Creek Trail is one of the absolute best dog-friendly trails near Denver. This 1.6-mile out-and-back walk features mostly flat terrain and amazing views of water and meadow.

    There are lots of flora and fauna to observe, so if your dog is a bit mellower, you and he could see birds, beavers, and bugs! This easy stroll is a great spot for a morning excursion, but the trail can get busy, so make sure to stay aware of runners and bikers, and keep your pup on the leash!

    Final Thoughts: Dog Friendly Hikes Near Denver

    There are lots and lots of dog friendly trails near Denver. With a range of difficulties and lengths, there’s certainly a perfect hike for you and your pup. 

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