Visit Estes Park staffers contributed their (dog’s) favorite winter dog-friendly hikes in the Estes Park area.
Gus - Crosier Mountain, Glen Haven Trail
This particular approach to Crosier Mountain takes you through beautiful mountain meadows before reaching the final 1/2-mile ascent to the summit. The top of Crosier gives you a bird’s-eye-view into Estes Valley and the surrounding Rocky Mountains.
Find detailed information on the Glen Haven trail to Crosier Mountain.
JackRabbit - Lily Mountain Trail
The summit of Lily Mountain looks directly into Rocky Mountain National Park – offering views into Wild Basin, Glacier Gorge and the Mummy Range – and they’re up close and personal. The Park’s peaks feel so close you could reach out and touch them.
Find detailed information on the Lily Mountain Trail.
Deborah - 119 Loop Pierson Park
This trail is a popular hiking and mountain biking trail – in every season – and our dogs love it too. This secluded loop wanders through mountain meadows made even more peaceful when covered in snow. Forest Service Road 119 is gated in the winter so park on the hill right before it. Parking is extremely limited – only two or three cars can fit outside the gate so we recommend an alpine start. You’ll practically have the place to yourself.
To reach the 119 Loop take Fish Creek Road to Little Valley Road and climb the switchbacks until you reach Forest Service Road 119. The gate is located in a neighborhood and the roads are narrow. Please do not block any private residences or the road when parking.
Find more detailed information on the 119 Pierson Park Loop.
Zuko & Lindsay - Kruger Rock Trail, Hermit Park
Hermit Park Open Space is closed for the season December through March but is still considered a fantastic winter hiking destination – March is generally one of Estes Park’s snowiest months. The trail ends at a rock outcropping that overlooks the Estes Valley and into Rocky Mountain National Park.
Find detailed information on Kruger Rock Trail.
Olive - Lake Estes Trail
The Lake Estes Trail is your paved, close-to-town option and affords 360-degree mountain views, with the stunning Rocky Mountains anchoring them to the west. While less remote and forested than the other trails listed here, it is no less beautiful. Pair the Lake Estes trail with the Riverwalk through downtown and stop at shops and restaurants along the way.
Find detailed information on the Lake Estes Trail.
Come Prepared for Winter Trails
Bring your micro spikes and dog booties – you never know what the trail will look like until you get there and even then the conditions will change as you put miles behind you. A trail that starts out mostly dirt with snow only in places will likely be snowy the higher you climb and icy and windswept in the shade. The temperature will warm and cool depending on cloud cover and how hard you’re working so layers, for both of you, are very important as well. As always, bring plenty of water – you’ll find yourself thirsty even though it’s wintertime. Take a look at our recommended packing list for more.
A winter hike in Estes Park doesn’t mean a day trip – check out these dog-friendly hotels so you can hit all the trails.