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    Southwest Trails

    Southwest Trails

    The only thing better than reaching the summit is reaching it with your favorite adventure companion. So we have listed the 5 top trails with that are most breathtaking that you and your dog can enjoy in the Southwest. Grab the leash and a handful of treats, and catch the most scenic ascents and sweeping views with your furry friend.

    bisti badland wilderness colorado dog hikes

    Bisti Badlands Wilderness

    The Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness area covers 45,000 acres of badlands just south of Farmington, New Mexico. This high desert wilderness features a vast landscape containing some of the most unique rock formation on this planet that you and your pup can explore. The Bisti (pronounced bis-tie) was once a coastal swamp of an inland sea; and was home to many large trees, reptiles, dinosaurs and primitive mammals. What you see today is the preserved record of this pre-historic swamp that is now a true desert wilderness. 

    Location: County Road 7297, Bloomfield, NM 87413 

    Length: Their no mark trails on this terrain, it's open land that is best explored with navigation. We used the REI trail app that helped us navigate this beautiful terrain. Here is the link to the app; https://www.rei.com/h/adventure-projects

    Difficulty Rating: Easy 

    Best For: Pups (and people) looking for a flat, easy outing

    Dogs: Leashed; Off-leash under voice and sight control.

    engineer trail dog hike colorado

    Engineer Mountain Trail Head

    Engineer Mountain is one of the most iconic peaks in this area. This mountain might not be a 14er – it maxes out at 12,968 ft. – but it’s a beautiful climb that you and your furry friend will enjoy! This hike showcases the beautiful mountain ecosystem, from lush conifer forests to alpine tundra to bare rock and scree. And once you’re at the top, you will enjoy some of the best views in Colorado.

    Location: Durango, CO 81301. Drive North on US 550 past the Purgatory Resort until you reach the top of Coal Bank Pass, roughly 34-miles from downtown. Shortly after the Coal Bank carpark and toilet, you will see a small dirt road on your left, just after mile marker 56. Turn in here and park in the cul-de-sac.

    Length: 9.9 miles

    Difficulty Rating: Moderate/Difficult

    Best For: Pups (and people) 

    Dogs: Leashed; Off-leash under voice and sight control.

      Mount Falcon West Loop

      The loop overlooks the plains to the east and the Rocky Mountains to the west, and with just over 600 feet of elevation gain and a summit of 7,841-foot Mount Falcon, it’s a great place to wear out energetic dogs. There's some slightly rocky footing you'll want to take into consideration, but moderately fit pups should be able to handle the elevation and terrain. 

      Location: Mount Falcon Park, 10 miles southwest of Morrison, CO 

      Length: 3.6-mile loop

      Difficulty Rating: Easy/intermediate

      Best For: An easily accessible Front Range outing

      Dogs: Leashed

      Hiking with your dog colorado

      Big Horn Creek

      If you are looking for a less-crowded trail, this hike up Bighorn Creek, near vail will be perfect. Heading into Eagles Nest Wilderness, the trail is not as busy as some of the resort town’s other well-known destinations. You and your pup can enjoy a scenic climb through a wide valley with aspen groves and fields of seasonal wildflowers. The views of the Gore Range from the base of Bighorn Pass are mesmerizing, and keep an eye out for mountain goats on the rocky slopes above. Though you can climb to the top of the pass, it requires some climbing, a rope may be carried but not used, and hands are used in climbing. A shortfall could be possible and should only be attempted by more experienced hikers and fit, sure-footed dogs. 

      Location: Eagles Nest Wilderness, 5 miles east of Vail, CO

      Length: 10.3-mile out-and-back

      Difficulty Rating: Intermediate/difficult

      Best For: A less-traveled trail through a stunning mountain valley

      Dogs: Leashed

      hewlett Gulch trail dog hike

      Hewlett Gulch Trail

      With plenty of open space to explore, your pup can enjoy an off-leash romp while you get in a good hike on this 8-plus-mile lollipop loop. It is an easy trail that can be 3 miles or lengthened to 8 miles. It is open all year long with little elevation gain, so it is great in the snow. It follows Gordon Creek, and the majority of the trail runs along the water. It is always fun to watch the dog run around in the fields off-leash! Just make sure they are always within eyesight.

      Location: Poudre Park, 21 miles northwest of Fort Collins, CO

      Length: 8.4-mile loop

      Difficulty Rating: Easy/intermediate

      Best For: An off-leash frolic through open terrain

      Dogs: Off-leash

      Happy hiking!