Springs dog-friendly spots for you and your best friend 

The dog days of summer

click to enlarge MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
Summer isn’t just awesome for humans, your pup loves the season, too. After all, warmer days mean more time outdoors and less time spent with you hurrying them to do their business as you shiver in the cold. Winter sucks for everyone, even those with permanent fur coats. Now that it’s gone for a while, you’re probably ready to have a few adventures. Summer doesn’t have to equal an eternity of lonely backyard banishment for your pup while you are out and about, nor does it mean being stuck with the same old boring walk around the block each night. Fortunately for you both, Colorado Springs has been evolving into a veritable oasis of pet-friendly fun that means you can spend more time together than apart in the months ahead. With a plethora of dog-friendly places available in the region and around the state, you and your pup can be the dynamic, inseparable duo you were destined to be all season long.

Leash-free fun zones

Sometimes that leash can be a real drag for both of you. While there are multiple fenced dog parks where your pup can zoom untethered (Bear Creek Dog Park and Yucca Flats at Palmer Park come to mind), you can also release the hounds in some less-restrictive locales. Palmer Park also allows for off-leash path walking on its mesa, and over at Red Rock Canyon Open Space, the Upper and Lower Dog Loops are trails where dogs can explore the surrounding terrain freely. Along 30th Street in Garden of the Gods, you’ll find a huge open field where dogs under voice command can get leash-free exercise, with lots of leashed trails around for extra mileage. If you’re willing to take a bit of a drive (and what dog doesn’t enjoy a car trip), Devon’s Dog Park in Greenland has 17 acres of leash-less open space, surrounded by some of the region’s most beautiful trails. (For more dog-friendly spaces locally, see tinyurl.com/Indy-pooch-play; for spots across the state, tinyurl.com/Indy-pooch-CO.)

Pups and brews

Colorado Springs has become pretty dog-friendly in several uncommon locations, too. You’ve probably heard about Pub Dog, the city’s only fully dog-accessible restaurant, but did you know that a number of breweries around town welcome dogs inside? Many of them don’t prepare and serve food, so they have some leeway to allow your pup indoors that other locations do not. Smiling Toad Brewery, Fossil Craft Beer Co. and BierWerks Brewery are just a sample of the pro-dog beer establishments that won’t relegate you to the patio, but there are many more. Of course, it’s imperative that you call first to be sure dogs are allowed, since it’s at the business owner’s discretion. You also want to make sure your dog is a polite guest, so no one spills their beer breaking up a disagreement.

More dog adventures

Even some of the local tourist attractions are happy to have your leashed dog come along for the fun. Manitou Cliff Dwellings allows your dog to join you as you explore the structures and learn about the indigenous peoples of southwestern Colorado. You can also bring well-behaved, leashed pups to the Royal Gorge Bridge, the Pikes Peak Highway (although not on the new shuttles unless your pup is a service dog) and Seven Falls. One of the most original dog-friendly outings you’ll find is in Cripple Creek, where your pup is welcomed on the Cripple Creek & Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad. That means that not only will there be a car trip through the mountains, there will be a train trip, too! (Can you just picture that wide, tongue-out pup-smile now...)


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