Forget the dog sitter and bring the whole family!
YMCA of the Rockies is an ideal destination for those traveling with furry travel companions. Not only is lodging dog-friendly, but both properties include several trails where you can hike with your pup on a leash instead of leaving them cooped up inside. Here are a few of our favorites:
Estes Park Center
Glacier Creek Loop
The trailhead is behind the Boone Family Mountain Center. Hop on the trail and follow Glacier Creek before looping back to the Mountain Center. The first half of this 2-mile loop hugs Glacier Creek which serves as the boundary between YMCA grounds and Rocky Mountain National Park, so you’re getting the beauty of the park while still hanging with your pup on trail!
Lace up your boots and take in the sights and sounds of YMCA of the Rockies while hiking the five-mile loop around the perimeter of Estes Park Center. You can access this trail from almost anywhere on property marked with wooden trail signs, but the trailhead is to the left of the YMCA entrance at Dorsey Lake.
Looking for more of a challenge leading to center balcony views? Clip on the leash and take your dog on this 2.5-mile loop that gains 600 feet in elevation to a craggy summit with panoramic views of the majestic Rocky Mountain range. You can start this hike from the trailhead near the Livery. Be prepared for a steady, steep climb to the rocky summit! Tip: take a pen and paper to leave a prayer in the mailbox at the top.
Snow Mountain Ranch
Enjoy an enchanting adventure on this 2.2-mile loop through Aspen groves to a hidden waterfall. After enjoying a playful splash, you and your pup, on a leash of course, can meander back through the forest and enjoy scenes of the Continental Divide before concluding your adventure. Stop into the Programs Building (across from where you checked in) and grab a map to the trailhead.
Nine Mile Mountain Trail
While it’s not actually nine miles, this 2.8-mile out-and-back trail boasts more of a challenge for you and your hiking pup. You’ll find the trailhead at the end of Nine Mile Road, past the family cabins on Cabin Hill, with a clearly marked trail map and parking sign. There the trail switchbacks with 660 feet of elevation gain to the summit of Nine Mile Mountain. At the top, you can enjoy panoramic views of Snow Mountain Ranch and Granby sprawled out below while taking in the stunning sights of the Continental Divide.
Fraser River Trail
Hop on this trail from the main entrance at Snow Mountain Ranch into Fraser and enjoy up to 13-miles out-and-back winding along wide, well-groomed trails with your adventure pup. Some of the trail runs parallel to the main highway, but you can still enjoy solitude during quieter times of day while taking in expansive views of Grand County’s wide-open spaces. Tip: this is also a fun bike ride if not traveling with your dog.
Doggo bonus: It’s not a hike, but you can let your pup run off-leash while you take in some mountain views at the dog parks we offer at either location.
Leave No Trace and Trail Courtesy Reminders: When hiking with your pet remember to pack extra water and treats for them, always use a leash, and dispose of waste properly (yes, that means packing out those poo bags). Happy tails, happy trails!