Dog-Friendly Camping in Colorado

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When you think of famous folks from Colorado, you may consider Amy Adams, John Elway, or Tim Allen. However, you would be remiss not to chew over some very famous four-legged friends like Loki the camping wolf-dog or the current mayor of Georgetown, Parker the snow dog.

Colorado is known for its mountainous peaks, rugged forests, and a plethora of outdoor activities like snowboarding, rock climbing, and camping. Many campgrounds in the state welcome pets and offer amazing amenities for both you and your furry pals.

Camping with dogs is a great activity for both you and your pup, and what better place to enjoy the outdoors than the 4th highest state for National Parks, Colorado! With over 40 state parks and four national parks, you can be sure to find dog-friendly camping in Colorado, no matter where you are in the state.

Camping with Dogs in Colorado

There are many places to camp with your dog in Colorado. The state is so dog-friendly that it would be easier to list the places that you cannot camp with your dog in the Centennial State. Dogs are welcome at every state and national park in Colorado, and many private campgrounds also allow your pup to come along on the adventure. However, if you’re looking for the most dog-friendly campground in Colorado, then look no further than the Saddlehorn Campground inside the Colorado National Monument.

Best Place to Camp with a Dog in Colorado

Saddlehorn Campground has many sites available for RVs, tents, campervans, and popup trailers. While it has fewer amenities than other parks in the area, it makes up for this by providing you and Fido over 20,000 acres of BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land access that your pup can freely roam on.

National Park Camping in Colorado

Colorado is home to 4 national parks with many dog-friendly campsites throughout each one. The Pinon Flats Campground located in Great Sand Dunes National Park offers 91 dog-friendly campsites. Rocky Mountain National Park boasts 400 square miles and four separate campsites of lush green grass and towering mountaintops that have become iconic to the state of Colorado. Dogs are welcome at each campsite in Rocky Mountain National Park, provided they are on a leash no longer than 6 feet and are not a noise nuisance. The other national parks , Mesa Verde and Black Canyon, also have campgrounds that are dog-friendly. The rules that govern pets in the other national parks in Colorado apply to these park campgrounds as well.

Colorado State Parks Allow Dogs Too!

The State Park system in Colorado is one of the largest in the nation. 44 state parks make up the system, and 40 of those have dog-friendly campgrounds. To say that the Colorado Park System loves dogs might be an understatement!

Best State Park for Camping with Dogs

The Colorado state park system is massive, but the best and most dog-friendly state park is the Cherry Creek Reservoir . Located just minutes outside of Denver, the Cherry Creek Reservoir was made with dogs in mind. The park features a 107-acre off-leash dog area that incorporates a portion of Cherry Creek access for dogs only to swim and enjoy the water. For only $41 per night, you can choose from over 150 campsites, most with full hook-ups, to soak up the serenity of the outdoors.

Rules for Camping with Dogs in Colorado

Like with humans, your furry friend has a distinct set of rules they must follow at all state and national parks within Colorado. Most of these rules are standard considerations, such as picking up after your dog, never leaving food out overnight, and ensuring your dog isn’t a nuisance to others. At the Colorado state parks that provide off-leash areas, there are a few more rules to follow as well. Dogs are limited to no more than three per human at off-leash campgrounds. This is to ensure the safety and security of other guests at the park. At off-leash campgrounds, you must also have your dog on a leash in any area other than the marked and fenced off-leash locations.

When to Camp with Your Dog in Colorado

Colorado has a semi-arid climate which means that both winters and summers can be quite mild. While there is a lot of snow in some places during the winter, there are plenty of campgrounds that offer you and your pup great winter and summer camping retreats. Most state and national park campgrounds are only open from Spring through Fall, but a lot of private RV and glamping campgrounds offer year-round spots to create a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of life. The Ridge Top Cabins in Pagosa Springs offers a dog-friendly tent camping alternative that provides year-round sites for your and your furry friend. With plenty of RV sites and fully furnished cabins, you can find any type of retreat without breaking the bank.

Are Dog-Friendly Campgrounds in Colorado More Expensive?

No! Because Colorado is such a dog-friendly state, most campgrounds do not charge extra for bringing your dog along for the adventure. The state park system, however, does have a special dog off-leash area (DOLA) pass that you must purchase before allowing any dog to enter into an off-leash park area. These passes can be purchased on a per-visit basis or as an annual pass. The purpose of these paid passes is to ensure there is adequate funding to continue to offer these areas to your pets. Most state, national, and private campgrounds charge a nominal fee that ranges on average from $5 to $50 for a nightly campsite. RV and campervan sites charge a bit more for the use of electricity and dump stations, but most places do not have a pet fee.
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