Located in the northeastern corner of Colorado, Denver is both the capital and the most populated city in the state, with over 715,000 residents. The city was first settled by many indigenous groups, including Navajo, Comanche, Cheyenne, and Apache but was not incorporated as Denver City until 1861. It was named after James Denver, who was a soldier and an officer in the US Army and a politician holding several offices from 1853 to 1859.
Denver is known for its Smoky Mountains and has one of the most unique park systems in the country. There are over 200 parks with more than 20,000 acres, including the 317-acre City Park and several dozen small pocket parks. With temperatures dipping into the teens in the winter and highs in the upper 80s during the summer, people enjoy the outdoors all year for different activities, from skiing to swimming. Having so many parks, you will find numerous off-leash dog parks here as well. These are some of our favorites.
Barnum Dog Park
Just a few minutes southwest of downtown Denver, Barnum Dog Park is found in the northwestern corner of the Barnum Community Park by the playground and tennis courts. The one-acre park ground is all gravel with a smaller section for little and timid dogs that have big dog anxiety. It also has lots of seating, gazebos, and a sensational view. There are no water fountains, so bring your own water. Also, bring doggie bags just in case they run out.
All fur puppies must be spayed or neutered, have a current rabies shot, and have a dog license. The rest of Barnum Dog Park also allows fur babies, but they have to be on a leash. Some of the amenities at the park include a picnic area with shelters, a lake for fishing and splashing around, a playground for the little humans, and basketball and tennis courts. There are also a recreation center and pool, but dogs are not allowed.
Berkeley Lake Dog Park
Between Lake Rhoda and Berkeley Lake, Berkeley Lake Dog Park is right in downtown Denver. Located on the eastern side of the lake, this fun pooch play area has a separate space just for petite pups and more mellow fur babies. With almost two acres, your cuddle buddy can run amok for hours with other buds or play a game of catch or frisbee with his best friend (you). Although you cannot reach the lake from inside the dog park, it sure is a stunning view.
Of course, you can always visit the lake with your dog on a leash. Your canine companion will love running around and digging in the sand, which covers almost the whole dog park. The park also provides lots of seating, doggie bag dispensers, water stations, and a supply of tennis balls that never seem to run out but are always in good condition. Thanks to the local volunteers. There is a roller coaster nearby so that it can be noisy during the summer.
Chatfield Dog Park
If you want your pooch to have more space, the Chatfield Dog Park in Littleton lauds 70 acres of off-leash space in Chatfield State Park, about a half-hour south of Denver downtown.
You will need a yearly or daily DOLA Pass to visit. You can get them at the entrance or the park office. Being so large, this pup paradise has everything from rough rocky trails and rugged trails to peaceful ponds where your poochie can cool off.
Although they do have dog bag dispensers in many areas around the park, be sure you bring water and doggie bags for those areas where they do not have them. Bring water, too, for both of you. Do not let your fur puppy drink from the ponds. Since it is so big, you and your pupster may not even see any other dogs. But there are some places where pet parents gather if your dog wants to socialize.
Cherry Creek State Park Dog Off-Leash Area (DOLA)
If 70 acres are just not enough, Cherry Creek State Park Dog Off-Leash Area (DOLA) in Aurora has 107 acres of off-leash space for you and your fur baby to explore and enjoy! Just 15 minutes southeast of downtown Denver, this enormous park is centered around the Cherry Creek Reservoir, where you can fish, go boating, and let your pooch splash around to cool off. Of course, there is also Cherry Creek for him to play in, as well as other small ponds and streams.
Besides playing in the water, the rest of the park features all sorts of different activities like hiking, biking, fishing, volleyball, and archery. During the winter, you can enjoy cross-country skiing, ice skating (put paw warmers on your pup’s paws), snowshoeing, and you can even camp here. The state has 4,200 acres besides the 107 off-leash dog areas. Be sure to leash your canine compadre when you are not in the off-leash zone. You will need a yearly or daily DOLA Pass to visit.
East Boulder Dog Park
Grab some water, doggie bags, and a leash, and take your cuddle buddy to East Boulder Dog Park, just 26 miles northwest of Denver in Boulder. This is a unique off-leash dog park with three fenced sections. One is for petite pups, one for huge hounds, and another features a sandy beach and fenced lake. The fence stops your poochie from going out too far, so you do not have to worry about him swimming across the lake, and it is a perfect spot for summer days. It is closed during the winter.
In all, the dog park is about two acres, with a large section at 1.5 acres, a small section at less than half an acre, and the beach takes up the rest of it. The ground cover is mostly dirt and gravel but has some grassy areas, and there are pavilions and one or two trees for shade. Your leashed pup is welcome to join you in the rest of the park, where there is tennis, basketball, squash, handball, soccer, and volleyball.
Englewood Canine Corral
In southern Denver, you can find Englewood Canine Corral, a fun poochie playground with 1.5 acres at Englewood Farm in Littleton. It may seem small after reading about the 70 and 107-acre dog parks, but it is the perfect size for you to have a seat and watch your cuddle buddy play with other fur babies. Even if the park is empty, there are agility stations like the giant tire run-throughs, ramps to climb, and hoops to jump through.
The ground is covered in wood chips to prevent muddy paws after it rains, and there are benches and picnic tables all over the place. There is no fresh water, so bring your own and go ahead and pack extra doggie bags too. You never know when they may run out. This is a popular park. They do not have a separate section for small dogs, though, so be aware of that.
Fuller Dog Park
In northeastern Denver, about five minutes from downtown, Fuller Dog Park can be found in Fuller Community Park. Actually, this large pup paradise takes up almost half of the park, located on the western side next to the basketball courts. If you are looking for a huge open area where your dog can run those zoomies away, this is it. Both small and large fur babies have a wide expanse of fenced fun space to explore here within two separate areas.
However, the areas are not separated by the size of your pooch. They are for different energy dogs. Low energy laid-back dogs on one side and the rambunctious Fidos on the other. Both sides have sand ground cover, benches for pet parents, and cleanup stations with doggie bags. But it is a good idea to bring your own. And you will need your own water too because there are no fountains.
Green Valley Ranch East Dog Park
Your cuddly canine is invited to play off-leash with the other Denver dogs at Green Valley Ranch East Park Dog Park in northeast Denver. It features a sandy terrain with plenty of benches and a pavilion for shade to keep you comfy while your pooch plays. The fenced play space is situated in the northwestern corner of Green Valley Ranch East Park and features a small dog park separate from the larger fur babies.
There is not much shade here, though, so the sand can get hot on sunny days. Try to keep your pooch on the dirt instead of the sand, or get him some paw covers or booties. There are a few shaded areas, so you may be able to get him to stick to that area. All dogs who come here must be spayed or neutered, have all their shots, and have a current dog license and rabies tag.
Greenway Dog Park
Also known as Stapleton Dog Park, Greenway Dog Park is one of the most pup popular dog off-leash play spaces in the city as well as one of the nicest. It is one huge sandy space for all sizes and breeds, so if you have a small pupster with big-dog anxiety, you may not want to come here on busy days. The best time to visit for the fewest people and dogs is lunchtime on weekdays.
The place is so large you can throw a ball as far as you can and still not send it over the fence. You can even use a Chuck-it! There are no agility stations, but your dog will not have any trouble staying busy because there are almost always other canine companions to play with. The park also has plenty of shade, benches, and water fountains, as well as doggie bag dispensers. But bring your own anyway, just in case.
Kennedy Dog Park
Just north of Cherry Creek Dog Park, the Kennedy Dog Park in southeastern Denver allows your fur puppy to run around in about three acres of fenced space. This is another pup playground that separates dog sections for low and high-energy types. But most people use them for small and large dog areas. The high-energy dog section is huge, with over two acres, while the other is about half an acre.
Besides having a wide open area for running, playing fetch, or tossing around a frisbee, the park also has a few agility areas, like a tunnel to race through and rocks to climb. The ground can get muddy after it rains, and there is no water hose, so check the weather before visiting. Just bring some wipes and a towel, and your pooch will love it. There is one pavilion for shade but not many other seating arrangements for pup parents to relax on.
Lowry Dog Park
Bring your canine compadre to play leash-free at Lowry Dog Park in southeast Denver behind the city arena. It has separate spaces for low and high-energy pups as well as an agility course in its own space. Find out how agile your fur puppy really is by teaching him to climb up and down ramps, scoot through tunnels, and jump through hoops, literally. There are also some climbing pedestals and other fun stuff to do.
The high-energy section has the most room with plenty of space to run, chase, and play ball. The terrain is sand, gravel, and grass in each section, so your pup gets all the options for digging, rolling around, or taking a nap. It is a big place, but you can also take your fur baby on the trails if you put his leash back on. Remember to pack extra doggie bags and water just in case they run out.
Rail Yard Dog Park
Rail Yard Dog Park in northern Denver between the South Platte River and Coors Field. Separated for large and small poochies, your cuddle pup is sure to have a blast whether you have a tiny Terrier or a huge Hound. The wide expanse of space in each section gives you and Fido plenty of room for playing a game of frisbee or fetch. Or have a seat on one of the shaded benches and watch him chase the other pups.
Although they have a water fountain, it is off during the winter and sometimes just does not work, so bring water for you and your dogster. Similarly, there are doggie bag dispensers, too, but it cannot hurt to pack some. You should always have an extra supply wherever you go with your cuddly canine companion. Your dog will also need to have a license and be spayed or neutered. The only problem here is that it can get very muddy after rain or snow.
Tony Grampsas Dog Park
About 15 miles west of downtown Denver, Tony Grampsas Dog Park is the perfect place to let your dog run amok without a leash to hold him back. With Mutt Mitt dispensers that are always full and water fountains, for your poochie to get a drink, this play space is great. It has 2.5 acres of fenced area behind the baseball fields filled with different terrain, including mulch, grass, and of course, a little dirt.
Some dog parents complain about the little ponds that crop up during the summer because the dogs get wet and dirty. But the dogs love it! Bring a towel and let him splash around. There is also a stream with a cool bridge going over it. You can even see a little waterfall after it rains. There is no small dog section though, so if your little cuddle buddy needs his own space, you may want to pick a different park.
West Arvada Dog Park
In northwestern Denver, surrounded by Blunn Reservoir, Bird’s Nest Disc Golf Course, and Long Lake Regional Park, West Arvada Dog Park has more than 10 acres of play space for your off-leash pup. There is a separate area for smaller dogs who get anxious or overwhelmed around large pups so they can play with dogs their own size. It is one of the largest dog parks in Denver and has lots of room for your pooch to roam and explore.
During the warm months between May and October, the city places agility equipment here for the dogs to play with, such as tunnels to go through, hoops to jump through, and ramps to climb. Although there are a few shade structures with seating for pup parents, it can be hot for your dog during the afternoon because of the lack of trees. Also, the water fountains are off during winter, so bring extra water.
Willow Bark Park
The popular Willow Bark Park is a fenced off-leash dog park in northeast Denver just a few miles southwest of the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. Because of this, you should be aware of coyotes after dark, especially if you have a small dog. Speaking of small dogs, Willow Bark Park has a special section for the littles so they can play without getting stepped on. It is a nice modern park with sand and dirt for the pooches to play and dig in.
You will enjoy the many shaded benches and picnic tables at the park for you to sit on while your cuddle buddy plays. There is almost always at least one other dog in the park, and during the busy times, it can get crowded. The park provides doggie waste stations with doggie bags for easy cleanup and water fountains that are on most of the year except winter.
The Final Woof
Denver is the perfect place for beer lovers with canine companions because they have more dog-friendly breweries than dog-friendly parks! You can find more than 50 of them, from the Call To Arms Brewing Company which serves free dog treats, to the Zuni Street Brewing Company, with live music and outdoor games. If you would rather see a movie, take your fur buddy to 88 Drive-In Theatre in Commerce City. Just remember to bring a leash and doggie bags. If you like puzzles, you and your cuddle buddy are welcome to check out the Liberty Puzzles Factory. They have thousands of great puzzles to choose from!