OllyDog Lifestyle

5 Dog-Friendly Colorado Hiking Trails to Check Out This Spring

A smiling dog on a hiking trail wearing OllyDog's Flagstaff Collar

Spring is just around the corner, we can almost smell it (which means your dog definitely can!). We don't have to tell you that getting outside this time of year is extra special; this season brings a refreshed and renewed energy that is good for us and our furry friends after a long, cold winter.

If you didn't know, OllyDog's home state is colorful Colorado! Whether you and your dog are Colorado locals, or just visiting, we want to help you make the most of Colorado spring.

Here are five Colorado hiking trails you and your dog should check out:

Number One: Shanahan Ridge Trail

Our first choice is located just outside our hometown of Boulder. Shanahan Ridge Trail is a 4.2-mile loop with a moderate rating, where dogs are allowed to explore off-leash. Prime time to hike this trail begins in March, so it's ideal for springtime adventure! Though we can't say this trail is a hidden gem, it's certainly less crowded than the mega-popular Chautauqua, where leash laws are in effect for dogs in all areas.

If you're up for a challenge, you can use Shanahan Ridge Trail to access Bear Peak, where a hard-earned view awaits you and your adventurous pooch at the summit.

Number Two: Blue Lakes Trail

If you want to access some of Colorado's most Instagram-worthy alpine lakes, look no further than Blue Lakes Tail; we'll warn you upfront, though, you'll have to work for them. This is a challenging, 8.7-mile out-and-back trail that takes half a day to tackle. Located in southwest Colorado near Ridgway (about an hour outside Telluride), Blue Lakes Trail allows off-leash dogs and grants access to three pristine alpine lakes: Lower, Middle, and Upper Blue Lake.

This trail can be dangerous in winter, which makes for possible risk on springtime hikes. Review the recommended safety precautions, check the forecast, and carry plenty of water! Done right, however, your day on Blue Lakes Trail will end with one happy and exhausted doggo.

Number Three: Hewlett Gulch Trail

This northern Colorado trail is the perfect place to let your dog run off-leash! A half an hour from downtown Fort Collins, Hewlett Gulch Trail is an 8.2-mile "lollipop hike" (an out-and-back trial with a loop at the end). Rated intermediate, this trail includes many water crossings and around a thousand feet of elevation gain.

Some stretches between water crossings are quite exposed; it can get too hot on summer days, but makes for amazing dog-friendly hiking in the cooler, spring weather!

Number Four: Evergreen Lake Trail

Don't worry - there is an easy trail on this list! Evergreen Lake sits in the middle of the quaint mountain town, less than an hour from Denver. The 1.4-mile trail runs around the lake's perimeter, and while dogs are allowed, they are required to be leashed. Great for senior dogs, small dogs, or on the days when a stroll just feels better than a scramble.

After your leisurely, lakeside hike, we encourage you to check out Evergreen Brewery, where dogs are welcome on the patio; why not opt for an early start to patio season this spring?

Number Five: Garden of the Gods Outer Loop

Garden of the Gods Park is a must-see spot in Colorado Springs. Of all the hiking available at this scenic place, we are partial to the moderately-rated, 6.3-mile Garden of the Gods Outer Loop. Dogs can go off-leash on this trail, and it's ideal for seeing the iconic red rocks of the park. Spring hiking is a good way to avoid the crowds that flood the park in summer, and though the weather can be chilly, we know that's never stopped your four-legged friend.

In general, Garden of the Gods Park is a very dog-friendly place; your pup is even allowed in the gift shop!

Now, let's talk gear!

Don't forget these spring hiking essentials as you prep for adventure:

Backcountry Day Bag
Close up view of a woman wearing the Backcountry Day Bag by OllyDog around her waist (Fiesta color)

A hip pack with a built-in waste-bag dispenser? Yes, please! Stay hands-free on your hikes with the Backcountry Day Bag, a pack with plenty of room for all their (and your!) trail essentials.

Alpine Reflective Harness
A happy shepherd dog in a field wearing the Alpine Reflective Harness by OllyDog

Every good boy or girl deserves a good harness for adventure! Our Alpine Reflective Harness features reflective piping for visibility and two leash attachment points. It's made from breathable, recycled material and has adjustable straps to ensure the perfect fit!

A woman pouring water into the detachable dog bowl using the OllyBottle (Grass color)

All hikers (and Coloradans) know the importance of staying hydrated. The OllyBottle is made from BPA-free plastic and includes a detachable dog bowl for slobber-free sharing. Stay safe on the trail this spring, and never hike without water!

Tilden Waterproof Collar & Leash
The Tilden Waterproof Collar by OllyDog sitting outside on a rock (Pink color)

Springtime hiking comes with the risk of rain, so you need gear that can hold up! Our Tilden Waterproof Leash & Collar is equipped with OllyDog's AuquaGaurd, a safe and protective coating that guards against wet-dog smell.

Happy Trails!
The OllyDog Team

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