Best Off-Leash Dog Hikes Near Boulder | The Happy Beast

Best Off-Leash Dog Hikes Around Boulder

We love hiking with Loki around Lafayette and Boulder, but we have even more fun on trails where he can off leash. Visit Boulder’s Open Space and Mountain Parks website for dog regulations by area and to get information on the best off-leash dog hikes where you and your pup can both run free. You can also check out a full list of Boulder OSMP hiking trails or get other hiking/walking ideas on, which is a great resource for all kinds of pet-friendly travel and accommodations.

Finally, just a friendly remember that to be off-leash in Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks you need to have your current dog tags for the voice and sight control program. The program changed in 2015, and now requires a new tag each year. Check out their website for the latest info.

A few of our favorite off-leash dog hiking trails:

  • Gregory Canyon /Saddle Rock (City of Boulder link)
    Great trail with tons of water that starts at the creek and winds through mostly shady trees until the first steep climb. You can take the Amphitheater Trail for an even more uphill workout.
  • Mount Sanitas (City of Boulder link)
    A Boulder classic known by all. Take the Valley Trail or Dakota Ridge on the North side for a nice warm-up before the main hike or just charge the South side for a rockier, but shadier climb to the top. Just beware the crowds.
  • Enchanted Mesa (City of Boulder link)
    A nice, wide service road trail that can accommodate kid strollers as well as energy-filled dogs. A deceiving and consistent climb makes this trail a great choice for a good workout. And because the trail is wide enough for ranger trucks, Enchanted Mesa is also a perfect hiking trail for strollers, even a double-wide one like ours.
  • South Boulder Shanahan Ridge Loop (City of Boulder Info)
    We used to live in South Boulder so we may be biased, but this awesome loop trail is seldom crowded and always a dog-pleaser, including a couple of muddy ponds along the way. You can even use the North side of the loop for access to the trails up to Bear Peak.
  • Bobolink Trail (City of Boulder info)
    Right off Baseline Rd. on your way into Boulder, Bobolink is a flat trail that runs right along South Boulder Creek and has plenty of dog-friendly swimming spots. Dogs aren’t allowed south of the gate past South Boulder Road so we typically just turnaround when we get to that point and head back to the Baseline parking lot. Bobolink is a great choice when you’re looking for an easier hike, or don’t want to head all the way to the Flatirons.
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Do you have any favorites that we missed? Let us know in the comments!