Bring Your Dog Tips

How To Aspen Guides

Bring Your Dog Tips

Aspen is a dog-lover’s paradise and we’ve got Insta-celebrity pooches like Jack the Pup and Rocky the Berner to prove it. We’ve also got hotels that cater to dogs with plush dog beds, squeaky toys and afternoon dog-walkers, along with tons of dog-friendly trails to explore and cool watering holes in which to play. Most businesses are dog friendly, too. Be sure to get a biscuit at Alpine Bank or the Aspen Chamber Resort Association information booth for your pooch as you pass!

Leash Laws:

  • Dogs must be leashed downtown and on all trails in Aspen and Pitkin Co. Open Space, including the pedestrian malls and the Rio Grande Trail, unless there is a noted exception.
  • At many Aspen-area trailheads, there are leashes available to borrow – so no excuses!
  • Within the national forest, dogs must be leashed within wilderness areas.


Off-Leash Play:

  • Dogs are allowed off-leash at Rio Grande and Wagner Parks, Marolt Open Space (and its pond which is open to dog swimming), as well as Smuggler Mountain Road. 
  • When off-leash, dogs must be in your sight and should be able to respond to voice commands. 
  • You and your dog could come upon a host of wildlife such as bear, elk, deer, moose, and coyote – all of which will attack a dog if it feels threatened. 


Hiking with Your Dog:

  • Pack plenty of water and extra poop bags which are provided for free throughout Aspen, attached to green receptacles where you can also throw the poop away. 
  • Pack out your dog poop. While we love dogs in Aspen, we’re not so enamored by owners who neglect their dog’s waste. 
  • In summer, dogs can ride in Aspen Mountain’s Silver Queen gondolas marked with a paw print. This means you can hike Aspen Mountain and catch a lift back to town, or vice versa. 
  • Dogs are allowed to ride the RFTA shuttle from Aspen Highlands to the Maroon Bells for free when accompanying a ticketed passenger.
  • When in doubt, listen to your better nature, check out WildLives, a joint initiative from Pitkin County and Colorado Department Of Wildlife. 



  • Don’t have a dog? You can try one on for size at the Aspen Animal Shelter. 
  • Recognized by the American Humane Association as one of the top 100 animal shelter programs in the United States, the Aspen Shelter’s dog walking program ensures shelter dogs waiting for adoption get plenty of exercise and human interaction. 
  • Just drop by the shelter and ask to take a dog for a walk or a hike, it’s that easy. 


Dog Safety:

  • The asphalt during the Saturday Market and other events around town can become very hot on your dog’s feet. Please be aware and leave your dogs at home if necessary.
  • Once in a while, Aspen goes off with a bang! The Fourth of July canon (6 a.m. y’all), fireworks at various times of year, and avalanche bombs when the snowfall warrants them. Even the daily noontime bell from the firehouse can scare local pooches. 
  • If your dog takes off at the sound of loud noises, please keep them home when you are out and about or in a fenced yard.
  • Events like firework shows and avalanche bombs are announced by the Pitkin Co. Alert system. All you need to do to get the news is sign up at
Local's Tips from Kodah the Dog
Vacation with your Dog

We use cookies on our website to support technical features that enhance your user experience.

We also use analytics & advertising services. To opt-out click for more information.