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When you’ve had enough of this dog-eat-dog world, nothing beats a road trip with your pooch. And when the heat and humidity are more than you can stand, there’s no better place to go than the Colorado Rockies, where the days are sunny and the nights are crisp and clear.
Whether you’re the outdoorsy type, a foodie hankering to try something new, or a clothes hound itching for some retail therapy, we’ve got you covered on this trip. So grab a leash and the camera! We’re taking the high road in western Colorado.
Well start this trip in Southwest Colorado in the charming town of Durango and then head north to Telluride and finish in beautiful Aspen. Have any favorite spots along this route that we may have missed? Comment below and let us know!
Combine Old West architecture with the energy and creativity of a college town and you’ve got downtown Durango. Chock-full of boutiques, galleries, award-winning restaurants, and charming hotels, you could spend several days perusing Main Street.
But you won’t find the true nature of the Rockies amongst the paved streets and brick buildings. For that, you’ve got to get outdoors and hike a section of the Colorado Trail, paddle a canoe around Vallecito Lake or picnic in one of the town’s many parks.
Route to Telluride:
118 miles, 2 hours 20 minutes
Take CO 165 west to CO 145 north, then follow signs to Telluride.
Surrounded by evergreen- and aspen-covered mountains, Telluride is the most picturesque town in Colorado. But it wasn’t the scenery that originally drew folks here. Fortune seekers hoping to strike it rich arrived just after gold was discovered near Denver in 1858. Times were good until just after World War I when silver prices crashed and the mining industry collapsed, turning Telluride into a ghost town.
Today the economy still relies on the land to provide but the focus has shifted to its stunning panoramas and quaint Victorian village scenes. Telluride embraces its past and, at the same time, is dedicated to healing the environmental scars inflicted by those that came before. Old railroad routes have been turned into wooded trails. The power plant, built in 1907 atop iconic Bridal Veil Falls, produces sustainable hydroelectric power. And tailing piles – huge heaps of rock discarded in the mining process – have been covered in topsoil so wildflowers can take root.
Route to Aspen:
205 miles, 4 hours 20 minutes.
Take CO 145 west to CO 62 north to Hwy 550 north. In Delta, take 92 east. In Hotchkiss, bear left on CO 133 to CO 82 east to Aspen.
You might expect this ski town, with its high-end shopping and famous hotels, to have a snooty air but you’d be wrong. Aspen is a celebration of outdoor living, making it the perfect place to vacation with your dog.
The only dilemma you’ll face here is whether to spend your days people-watching and chatting with the friendly locals, hitting the trails for more eye-popping scenery, or joining the window-shoppers at Burberry and Gucci.
Don’t be fooled by the thermometer. The sun packs a punch at higher elevations and your dog can easily suffer heat exhaustion. Get your buddy a Swamp Cooler Vest by Ruffwear to help keep him cool on your hikes.
Playing in the water is part of the fun in Colorado, but fast-moving, frigid rivers can be dangerous for your dog. If you know you have a water hound, keep him safe with a Surf ‘n Turf Coat from Kurgo. It’s a life vest and three-season shell all in one!
This article was written by Go Pet Friendly founders Amy and Rod Burkert.
To read more from Go Pet Friendly, visit their pet travel site.