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Bring the Dog Along!
Bring the Dog Along!
A hiker poses against a forest backdrop with a dog

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​6 State Park activities perfect for quality time with your canine

There’s always something new for you and your dog to see! Explore more trails and watch them delight in all the fresh smells. ​​

Tips for safe dog adventuring

​Remember to bring plenty of water for your dog and be aware of the heat. Before you head out to a park, be sure to check out its park page for specific information regarding trails and regulations. Keep in mind that dogs are not allowed in wildlife reserve areas or preservation trails. Please keep dogs on a 6-foot or shorter leash at all times, and always clean up after them. 

Learn more on our Dog Etiquette page. ​​

More Outdoor Recreation Information

Mountain Biking, Road Biking, and Family Biking suggestions.​​​Buy A parks pass..Find/Visit a State Park.
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1. Bring your four-legged friends camping​​​​

Two men and three dogs at campground

Most campgrounds in our state parks allow dogs as long as they aren’t left alone and are cleaned up after. The next time you set out to reset in nature, bring the pup along so they can enjoy the great outdoors with you. A change of scene is just as beneficial for your dog as it is for you, and a chance for them to explore is incredibly valuable! Don’t leave the dogs behind; offer them the outdoor adventure of a lifetime!

​2. Go for a swim​​​

Dog running through water

Colorado summers can be scorching even for us humans - imagine how intense the heat is for our furry friends. Bring your dog to Highline Lake State Park’s east boat ramp for a nice, cool swim. They’ll cool off in no time while getting some healthy exercise!

3. Take​ a hike

a family of hikers with two golden retriever dogs

There are countless hiking trails throughout Colorado’s state parks that allow dogs. An easy favorite is the Pearl Lake Connection Trail at Pearl Lake State Park, which is perfect for older dogs, small dogs or puppies who haven’t quite figured the leash out yet. If you’re looking to tire out a strong, energetic pup, we recommend the Eldorado Canyon Trail in Eldorado Canyon State Park, which totals seven miles round-trip.

​4. Let ‘em lo​​ose​​​

Dogs playing at Chatfield State Park's off-leash area.

Two of our State Parks include off-leash areas for dogs (DOLAs)! Cherry Creek and Chatfield State Parks both offer fenced-in areas where dogs are allowed without leashes. They include miles of trails and even water for dogs to play in! Take a day to let your pup explore, meet some fellow canines, and run free safely. Please keep dogs under voice control and pick up after them within the area.

​​5. Bring th​​em aboard

A small dog in a kayak with the owner.

Let your pup assist you with one of many paddle sports! Kayaking, rafting or stand up paddle​ boarding on calm waters all lend an opportunity for you to give your dog a whole new perspective! Be sure you follow appropriate safety measures and check with parks and vendors before bringing a pet on the water.

6. Train your hunt​ing dog!

A hunting dog practices pointing. ​ ​

​Is your four-legged friend your best hunting asset? In addition to the DOLAs (which are open to everyone), both Cherry Creek State Park and Chatfield State Park have sport dog training areas designated for training bird dogs! Trials and hunt tests are not allowed.​ ​Chatfield’s Sport Dog Training Area includes eight acres of flatwater and 16 acres of upland terrain, and ​​Cherry Cre​ek has 30 acres of unimproved prairie for upland work but does not provide water access. Get out and perfect your strategy with your ultimate hunting companion!

Permits Required

Dog trainers may access the Sport Dog Training Areas by applying for a special activity permit (no fee) and purchasing a DOLA annual pass from either Cherry Creek State Park or Chatfield State Park. Special activity permits are valid from Jan. 1 through Dec. 31. A valid state parks pass​ is required to enter both parks.​