Colorado has a pup-load of amazing and accessible trails, so we picked the most woof-derful options for you and your pooch to explore and paired each of ’em with a dog-loving taproom patio. After all, there’s nothing like a good post-hike brewery date with your #1.
If your woofer needs a little trail manners refresher before heading out, be sure to check out our Good Dog’s Guide to Hiking Etiquette. Then make sure you have all the essential hiking supplies for a safe ‘n happy mountain adventure. Okay, on to the good stuff:
Hike #1: Green Mountain Trail
Head out to Boulder fur this hiker’s heaven. Although the trail is slightly challenging (healthy, strong pooches only, please!), the summit’s panoramic view of the flatirons is worth the journey. Pro tip: time this hike with the blooming wildflowers in April.
After taking in the view, head to Oskar Blue’s Brewery and Taproom on Pearl Street to crush a brew or two. The outdoor patio provides prime people-watching opportunities, and tons of sniff and tail wags from other pups, and the brewery hosts live music every Friday and Saturday night.
Hike #2: Bear Creek Trail
With the variety of trails offered in Lair O’ the Bear Park near Morrison (just 30 minutes from Denver!), you and your furry friend will stay entertained for hours. Our favorite is Bear Creek Trail, emphasis on creek. Let your pooch wade in the crystal-clear (and puppin’ cold) waters of Bear Creek to cool off on a hot summer day. Just remember to leash up before you go since it’s not an off-leash trail.
After a little creek-dippin’, drive a bit further west to Evergreen to visit the dog-loving brewers over at Lariat Lodge Brewing. The majestic mountain views continue here, and the brewery’s dog-friendly bark garden and live music every Friday and Saturday will give you and your hound a heckin’ great time.
Hike #3: Mary Carter Greenway Trail
Short on time? Don’t wanna go too vertical? Head to the Mary Carter Greenway Trail (AKA the Arapahoe Greenway) near Littleton for an 8-mile stretch along the South Platte River. The nicely crushed stone path is mostly flat (great for the furry friends with short legs!) and won’t be rough your pooch’s sensitive paws. Though you won’t reach the peak of any mountain on this trail, you will see majestic skyline views of downtown Denver the entire time.
Bonus of sticking around Littleton for a hike? A stop over at the iconic Breckenridge Brewery. If your dog didn’t get enough energy out on the trail, the 12-acre sprawling campus of this place’ll kick his fetch game into high gear! Head to the Farm House for a cozy, back-porch beer garden you could only dream of: food trucks, an extensive beer selection, and unreal views of the Rocky Mountains.
Hike #4: Apex Trail
Golden offers unlimited opportunities for outdoor adventure, but we picked Apex Trail (sometimes known as Apex Park Enchanted Forest Trail) as our top contender. This 4.7-mile hike generally takes about four hours to complete with Fido in tow (or maybe she’s pulling you!) and is meant for only fit and experienced hikers no matter how many legs you have. The steep and narrow gravel trail can be ruff! Don’t forget your leash, as this trail doesn’t allow for off-leash puppers.
If you’re into German-inspired brews (Dunkelweizen, anyone?), then stop at Mountain Toad Brewing on your way home. The beer garden’s picnic tables will easily fit your whole crew of humans and furry friends plus whatever tasty eats you pick up from the rotation of food trucks just outside. Just make sure your dog stays leashed and on his best behavior while in the beer garden!
Have a favorite Colorado hike we missed? Woof at us in the comments.