The Top 10 Things You Need to Do With Your Dog in Denver this Winter

Image by Bradley King via Unsplash

The Top 10 Things You Need to Do With Your Dog in Denver this Winter

Denver, Colorado is a great place to be a dog. From pup-approved campgrounds to dog-friendly breweries, the people of Denver definitely know how to show Fido the good life. 

Whether your dog is a snow-lover or a let’s-stay-toasty-by-the-fire type, Denver has it all. We’ve collected a mix of indoor and outdoor activities that can be enjoyed in the “Mile High City” by humans and canines alike. 

Get ready to add some items to your bucket list.

1. Blow off some steam at Elk Meadow Park

Image by Suzie Tremmel via Flickr

If there’s snow on the ground, head over to Elk Meadow Park to take in the picturesque scenery. This stunning winter wonderland of snow-capped pines features over 3 miles of trails for your dog to explore. 

When your free-spirited pup is in the mood for a leashless romp with his buddies, check out one of these off-leash dog parks in the Denver area. 

  • Stapleton Dog Park—With shade trees aplenty and water fountains to quench your dog’s thirst, Stapleton Dog Park is one of Denver’s most popular off-leash dog parks.
  • Lowry Dog Park—Located near the Lowry Air Force Base, this park features a designated area for off-leash play.
  • Kennedy Dog Park—With separate sections for high-energy and low-energy dogs, Your pup will always feel comfortable at Kennedy Dog Park.
  • Railyard Dog Park—This fenced-in dog park is centrally located and has ample free parking. Please note: the water fountains may be out of service in the winter months, so be sure to bring enough water for yourself and your dog.
  • Glendale Farm Open Space Dog Park—If you’re looking for space to let Fido roam, Glendale Farm fits the bill. A short drive south of Dever, this off-leash dog park features 17 sprawling acres of space for your dog to run free. There’s also a 1.6-mile trail where your leashed dog can get in some cardio.

2. Try skijoring

Looking for something new to try with your dog this winter? Enter: skijoring—an exhilarating winter activity that combines dog-sledding with cross-country skiing. This exciting dog sport is gaining fans statewide, and it’s easy to see why—skijoring is a fun way to exercise and get outdoors. Plus, it’s fairly easy to pick up!

Where can you go skijoring near Denver, Colorado? Check out one of the sites below:

Devil’s Thumb Ranch—Just 75 miles west of Denver, Devil’s Thumb Ranch offers 5 miles of skijoring trails. Newbies can even request skijoring lessons or rentals at this dog-friendly resort. 

Breckenridge Nordic Center—With breathtaking views of the Rockies, this scenic trail is perfect for skijoring or snowshoeing with your favorite doggo.

Gold Run Nordic Center—Make sure you check out the Breckenridge Gondola: rides are free for both humans and leashed canines. 

3. Do some winter camping at Cherry Creek State Park

Image by Tim Umphreys via Unsplash

Just because it’s chilly (ok—freezing), it doesn’t mean camping is off the table. We have to admit—there’s something undeniably alluring about camping in the winter. It’s quiet, the snowy landscape is breathtaking, and the cold is oddly invigorating. 

For folks with a sense of adventure, Cherry Creek State Park has campgrounds open year-round. Your pup will enjoy access to a large off-leash dog area, and during the winter, you can take advantage of the cross-country ski trails.

When planning your visit, bear in mind that fees apply. Entrance to the park costs $10, with an additional $3 fee for the dog park area. If you plan on enjoying this beautiful park all year long, consider purchasing an annual pass for $83, which will grant you access to the park anytime you like. (A yearly pass for the dog park area is an additional $25.)

4. Explore the beauty of Red Rocks Amphitheatre

While he can’t attend performances at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, your pooch is welcome to explore this unique site during the off-season, as long as he’s leashed.

Red Rocks is stunning year-round, but we think it’s extra special in the winter. Without the usual throngs of concertgoers, the venue transforms into a peaceful oasis of quiet. Grab your camera and prepare to marvel at the powder-kissed rock formations.

5. Throw some axes at Denver’s Axe Whooping

Channel your inner Viking at Axe Whooping, Colorado’s largest axe throwing range. Yes, dogs are welcome. Yes, it’s a blast. Yes, you should try it.

6. Check into the Ritz Carlton for a night of luxury

When you’re in need of a winter getaway, pack your bags for a stay at the Ritz. This pup-loving resort pulls out all the stops for their four-legged guests. Upon arrival, your furry friend will have his very own Ritz Carlton-insignia dog bed as well as complimentary food bowls and waste bags. 

Enjoy the view of Beaver Creek in the resort’s impressive “Great Room” with your dog. Then head over for refreshments at the dog-friendly dining area. Or stay in bed and order room service—they offer doggy meals on the menu! And don’t worry—you’ll both be able to work off the calories on one of the nearby hiking trails. 

When your dog is ready to relax, treat him to a special “Pampered Pooch” dog massage courtesy of the hotel’s spa.

7. Toss back a beer (or two or three) at The Great Divide

Image by James Lacey via Unsplash

If you’re not deterred by the cold, Denver is home to loads of breweries with dog-friendly patios. Beer connoisseurs can enjoy an award-winning brew at the Great Divide Brewing Company, where your dog is welcome to join you at the outdoor patio. Tummy rumbling? Food trucks are usually on-site every day.

Denver has been called “The Napa Valley of Beer,” and it’s not hard to see why. Raise a glass at one of these other dog-friendly bars in the city:

  • Denver Beer Company—Your leashed dog is allowed indoors at this popular watering hole. Be sure to treat him to the brewery’s signature “Dog Beerscuit.”
  • Renegade Brewing Company—Enjoy a craft beer with your dog at this hip brewery located in Denver’s Arts District on Santa Fe.
  • Banded Oak Brewing Company—Stop by on a Saturday for some food truck grub to go with your brew. 

8. Sip Zinfandel at The Infinite Monkey Theorem

More into wine? Unwind with a glass of red at Denver’s own urban winery. The Infinite Monkey Theorem welcomes your dog to socialize on the patio while you imbibe. Cheers!

9. Grab a meal together at the Ugly Dog Sports Cafe

A lively sports bar with an attached dog park? We’re sold. 

The Ugly Dog Sports Cafe welcomes your dog with open arms. Snag a pitcher of Coors and let your pooch have a blast at the dog park right outside.

When the cold is too much to bear, head indoors for something to eat. According to the restaurant’s website, “…your furry friends, big or small, can stretch out on the bare floors inside.” Let your dog pick something off the doggy menu: fan favorites include an organic beef patty and raw or cooked eggs. 

When it comes to dog-friendly restaurants, Denver doggies certainly have their pick:

  • The Watering Bowl— Part dog park, part bar, the Watering Bowl features a heated canopy, perfect for the cold Colorado winter.
  • The Brutal Poodle—The name of this dog-centric tavern says it all. This restaurant is edgy, yet inviting, and it’s the perfect way to spend an unconventional Saturday with your furry pal.

Forest Room 5—The staff at this charming establishment will go out of their way to accommodate your dog. On chilly winter nights, you can warm up with your pup at the outdoor firepit.

10. Top it off with a doggy-approved dessert

Who’s hungry for some pupcakes? Three Dog Bakery has been dishing up healthy, dog-approved bakes for years, They pride themselves on using fresh, wholesome ingredients—free of salt, sugar, or harmful chemicals. Yum!

As you can see, there’s no shortage of dog-friendly activities in Denver, Colorado. What’s on your doggy’s winter bucket list this year?

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