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Where to Snowshoe with Your Dog Near Denver Colorado

Where to Snowshoe with Your Dog Near Denver Colorado

Posted by Crescent Moon on Nov 6th 2022

We're dog-lovers here at Crescent Moon and love enjoying the outdoors with our favorite pets. Hiking with your dog in the spring, summer and fall is a great way to give you dog exercise in peaceful settings in nature. Luckily, thanks to snowshoes you don’t have to stop when the snow starts to fly! 

Day-trips are a great way to get out and enjoy some beautiful scenery with your furry friend. Not all places that allow snowshoeing allow you to bring your best (four-legged!) friend along which is why we’ve compiled a list of some of the best places to take your dog snowshoeing around our neck of the woods in Denver.

Before we start, there are some common guidelines to consider when taking your dog snowshoeing. Check out our blog post,  Snowshoeing With Your Dog, on tips and tricks in case you haven’t brought your fur baby out before.

Raccoon Trail Loop in Golden Gate State Park (dogs must be leashed at all times)

  • Distance from Denver: 45 Minutes
  • Fees: Annual State Park pass ($80) or $10 for a day-pass
  • Length: 2.5 miles
  • Difficulty: Moderate with 500 feet of elevation gain
  • Duration: Approx 1:45

One of the more dependable snowshoeing trails in the park due to it being entirely on the North face of Tremont Mountain with plenty of shade to protect the snow. Did you know that North-facing slopes hold snow longest? They receive significantly less direct sunlight exposure than South, East, or Western facing slopes. This trail has several views of snow-capped mountain peaks. We recommend starting at the Panoramic View parking lot to avoid afternoon sun blinding your view of the surrounding mountains.

Horseshoe Trail in Golden Gate State Park (dogs must be leashed at all times)

  • Distance from Denver: 45 Minutes
  • Fees: Annual State Park pass ($80) or $10 for a day-pass
  • Length: 3.6 miles
  • Difficulty: Moderate with 900 feet of elevation gain
  • Duration: Approx 2:15

This popular trail follows small streambeds through aspen groves and features stunning meadows leading to never-ending changes in scenery. There are several small bridge crossings throughout this out-and-back trail.

Snowy Aspens

Be sure to take in the beauty of the winter aspens along Horseshoe Trail

Lost Lake Trail (dogs must be leashed at all times)

  • Distance from Denver: 1 Hour
  • Fees: None
  • Length: 4 miles
  • Difficulty: Moderate/Challenging with 1,150+ feet of elevation gain
  • Duration: Approx 3-3.5 hours

A trail this beautiful and close to metro Denver is sure to be popular even in the winter months. If you are heading here on a weekend, be sure to get to the trailhead early as parking can fill up quickly. Lucky hikers encounter wildlife such as the elusive moose that frequent this area. Depending on where you secure parking, you’ll take a snow-covered dirt road about a half mile until you reach a creek where signs for Lost Lake begin to help guide you along. The majority of the elevation gain is the final half mile before reaching the lake, where your trail snack will be earned! Here you can enjoy the stunning views of Lost Lake and the surrounding mountain views.

The Nederland area is full of Moose. If you're lucky, you may catch a glimpse of this elusive creature on your way to Lost Lake

Denver area off-leash dog parks

If you time it right you don’t have to drive far from home to snowshoe with your dog. To make these options even better, you can unleash your dog for maximum energy expenditure!  Although these parks aren’t as picturesque or adventurous as the trails above, they still provide a great way to get some exercise for yourself and your pup. You'll need to time it right, however, as warmer temperatures will melt snow quickly. Time your trip a day or two after a snow of at least 5 or 6 inches unless temperatures have remained plenty cold after a big snow. 

  • State Park Fees: $10 park entry fee, plus a $2 entrance to the off-leash area or $20 for an annual off-leash pass that covers both Cherry Creek and Chatfield dog parks.
  • Trail Length: Choose your own length: a quick stroll to 1-2 miles

Cherry Creek State Park Off-Leash Area

Over 100 acres of off-leash dog park await here with views of the front range in the distance make for a great local area to get out and use your snowshoes. As the name implies, Cherry creek runs through the park and typically doesn’t freeze over.

Chatfield State Park Off-Leash Dog Area

69 acres await here with multiple ponds throughout the park. The ponds can skim over in the middle of winter (late-December through February) so be sure to keep your dog off of them in case they aren’t thick enough to hold their weight.

Westminster Hills Off-Leash Dog Park

The largest of these options, the Westiminster park is virtually all open-terrain but the proximity to the mountains does offer some great views of the snow-capped front range mountains. This park is always free as it isn’t part of the state park system. 

Be sure to bring a throwable toy if you visit an off-leash park to maximize your dogs fun!

If you're mainly wanting to stay local in the Denver-area, a pair of Crescent Moon's foam snowshoes are the perfect fit. Supremely easy on-and-off, comfortable, and indestructible, they also are much safer for your pup in the off-chance your snowshoe contacts your dog. Aluminum snowshoes are much harder and sharper.

Check out all of our foam snowshoes, aluminum snowshoes and snowshoe accessories.

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