Ok, friends, by now I hope you know that I love Colorado and all the amazingness this state has to offer in the great outdoors! Hiking, backpacking, camping, skiing, biking, and of course just lying in the sun are some of my favorite things to do on the weekend. So, knowing that May brings beautiful weather perfect for getting outside, I wanted to share with you my favorite hiking trails in Colorado – that are dog friendly of course!

If you are looking for trails in Colorado, I absolutely recommend and I use it myself almost every trip we go on. This website has so much information as far as difficulty, mile-markers, maps, notes about the trail, recent comments from hikers, and, most importantly, if doggies are allowed (I never forget Hazel!). If you are backpacking anywhere in Colorado, I always recommend calling the local ranger station to see if there are any fire bans in the area (I don’t know about you, but it’s not backpacking to me without a fire!).

Here are my favorite trails to hike in the Boulder area and beyond:


Mt. Sanitas (moderate, dog friendly, loop)

Mt Sanitas Hiking Trail

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I love Mt. Sanitas because it is a LOOP! So many times I get tired of a trail when I have to go up and down the same way, so I am always on the hunt for a good loop. Mt. Sanitas can definitely get busy, but if you start early you can avoid most of the heavy traffic. I recommend hiking up Mt. Sanitas from the back-side via the Mount Sanitas trail and then coming down on the Sanitas Valley trail (there’s a lot more shade on the upside and then the downside is easier).

Get more information about the Mt. Sanitas Loop trail here.

Golden Gate Canyon State Park (easy-moderate, dog friendly, family friendly)

Golden Gate Canyon State Park Hiking Trail

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This is my favorite spot to go near Denver/Boulder during the fall because there are groves of aspen that turn a brilliant yellow. But, it is also a great option year around. There are many trails in Golden Gate Canyon State Park, but the one I love the most is Burro Trail because it is relatively easy and has great views of meadows, the valley and mountains. You don’t have to go the whole way either to get some beautiful scenery.

Get more information about Burro Trail here.

South Mesa Trail Head (easy-moderate, dog friendly, family friendly)

South Mesa Hiking Trail

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I definitely would recommend doing this trail on a cooler/cloudy day as most of it is not shaded and can get hot. But, I love this trail head because of the awesome southern views of the flatirons, multitude of trails and loops from the South Mesa Trail Head. There is also a creek at the beginning that is fun for both dogs and kids.

Get more information about the South Mesa Trail Head trails here.


Chicago Lakes (moderate-hard, dog friendly, backpacker friendly)

Chicago Lakes Hiking Trail

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This is by far my favorite backpacking/hiking trail in Colorado! It is beautiful and adventurous, and a good mixture of up and flat. It is a moderate-hard hike, but if you are not backpacking, it is certainly easier. For those adventurous enough to backpack, I recommend hiking all the way past the first Chicago Lake (there are two: the Upper Chicago Lake and Lower Chicago Lake) and just as you begin to climb up to the second lake, there is small trail that cuts off to the left and leads to not only some great backpacking areas to set up your tent, but some gorgeous views. If you can make it up to the Upper Chicago Lake it is so worth it for the amazing view of the valley.

Get more information about the Chicago Lakes trail here.

Mayflower Lake + Mohawk Lakes (moderate, dog friendly, backpacker friendly)

Mohawk Lakes Hiking Trail

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This is a fun trail for both hiking and backpacking. For backpackers, I would recommend camping at Mayflower lake (it has good water access and it is away from the main trail) and then doing a day hike up to Mohawk Lakes. For hikers, if you can only make it to Mayflower it is a gorgeous little lake perfect for relaxing next to. But, if you can make it up to the Mohawk Lakes they are beautiful and have great views of the bowl.

Get more information about Mayflower Lake trail and Mohawk Lakes trail here (note, Mayflower Lake comes first along the trail and you can continue onward to Mohawk Lakes).

Wheeler Lakes + Lost Lake (moderate-hard, dog friendly, backpacker friendly)

Wheeler Lakes Hiking Trail

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If you do this hike there is no way you cannot agree that Lost Lake is the most pure, blue, stunning, high-elevation mountain lake in Colorado. For hikers, you can follow the trail directly to Lost Lake and enjoy some much needed downtime by the lake (and let your pup swim around if you have one). But, if you’re backpacking, it works really well to camp at Wheeler Lakes and then do a day trip to Lost Lake. This trail is unique because you start directly across from the base of Copper Mountain Ski Resort and for the first 45 minutes of hiking you can see the ski runs of Copper. I love the expansiveness of the area next to wheeler lakes (we saw a few elk and a moose on our trip) and Lost Lake is just plain amazing.

Get more information about Wheeler Lakes + Lost Lake here.

Are you an adventurous couple in need of wedding, engagement our couples photos in Colorado?

Meet Larissa. Larissa is an adventure couples and wedding photographer based out of Colorado. She’d take an adventure in the mountains over shopping + a date night snuggling on the couch over dinner and a movie any day. Larissa’s obsessed with: morning snuggles with her rescue pup, Hazel, hot chocolate, a good book and yoga pants. She believes in making you forget a camera’s even there, that your story is the actual thing she wants to capture on camera and that real, raw moments are more important that perfectly curated poses. Book your Colorado couples photographer.





My Favorite Colorado Dog-Friendly Hiking + Backpacking Trails In Boulder + Beyond

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