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Dog-Friendly Hikes

Dog-Friendly Hikes

Below is a list of trails you and your pup can enjoy together. 

Remember to always carry a dog dish and water, in addition to poop bags. Local laws require all pet waste to be picked up, carried out, and put in a trash bin.

Trail Around Lake Estes

This paved trail is a 4-mile loop around the lake. There are several places you can park to access the trail. 

One option is to park at the dog park at the corner of Community Drive and US Hwy 36 and take the path under the highway. Then you can go either direction around the lake.

Another option is to park at the parking garage. The path heads east and then around the lake. Beware of elk as they love to hang around the golf course.

The YMCA/Estes Park Center

The Y has three wonderful dog-friendly trails that offer incredible views of the area and of Rocky Mtn Natl Park.

Stop by the front desk for a map. If you are not staying at the Y, there is a day-pass fee of $29/person which includes the trail use and all activities.

Hermit Park

Located about 2.5 miles southeast of Estes Park just off US Hwy 36, the 1,362-acre Hermit Park Open Space is a great option for a dog hike.

Kruger Rock Trail, with its 360-degree views of Rocky Mtn Natl Park, is a local favorite, four-mile round trip moderate hike that gains 878 feet. The views are worth the effort! You can also hike on the mountain biking trails, just watch out for bikers.

Open March through mid-December. $10/day per vehicle. Pay at the visitor center or entrance self-serve stations via credit card.

Lily Mountain

Not to be confused with Lily Lake (which is in Rocky Mtn Natl Park), Lily Mountain is in the Roosevelt Natl. Forest. This hike is short and steep with a reward of an amazing view of Longs Peak. You’ll gain about 1,400ft in two miles with a bit of a scramble to the summit.

Located off CO Hwy 7 just past the mile marker 5 on the right with limited parking. If you reach Lily Lake, you have gone too far.

Lion Gulch Trail

This trail in Roosevelt Natl Forest is a nice option for a possibly longer outing. The trail is 6.3 miles, out-and-back with good shade most of the way. The trail also runs along a river most of the way.

The trail has a steady and gradual incline with bits of steeper inclines before reaching meadows at the end with historic homesteads.

Located off US Hwy 36, 8.3 miles from the Estes Park Visitor Center. The trailhead is on the west side of the road and has a pit toilet. This trail will connect to Hermit Gulch if you have two cars and want to do a point-to-point hike.

Pole Hill Road

This 4x4 trail is a nice option. There are several roads and private land branching off the main 4x4 road, so make sure to stay on the main road. 

This is a good out-and-back hike with a distance of up to seven miles, one way with a steady incline.

Located on the east side of US Hwy 36, about 4 miles from Estes Park, across from Hermit Park. You can park along the road.


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