Planning a vacation with your furry friend is easy when the destination is Durango, Colorado. Offering a number of dog-friendly places to eat, stay, and play, there’s little reason to exclude your loved one from all the activity.

Trail romping with your pup is an awesome way to burn energy and experience the area together. But with the current snowpack as tall as their floppy ears, it’s important to make sure they stay as warm, dry, and comfortable as we do. As you plan your stay, consider the best ways to accommodate your favorite family member.

Preparing for a Winter Romp:

Photo - Instagrammer @morgangalvinphoto

Durango has seen some fantastic snowfall this winter, bringing with it cold temperatures and icy terrain. Your dog will love plowing through the fresh powder just as much as you, so if you’re bundled with gloves and thick socks, chances are your pup needs support too.

Along with the necessary collar, leash, and poop bags, consider purchasing dog booties, a jacket, or even doggles (yes, dog goggles) to protect your pup from the cold. You’ll find a number of dog-accessory and outdoor shops in town, like Gardenswartz, Pet Haus, Creature Comforts, and the Durango Outdoor Exchange offering gear from brands like Ruffwear and Durango-founded Zuke’s. 

Choosing the Perfect Trail:

Photo - Cole Davis

Happiness is a warm, tuckered out puppy. Whether you’re cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, or sledding, it’s important to assess the physical capabilities of your pup before choosing a trail

  • The Animas River Trail that snakes along the riverwalk is a great place to exercise old and small dogs. This concrete trail is relatively flat, low-impact, and close to the amenities of town. Still, you’ll be able to enjoy the quiet of nature along the river without problems. You can even follow the trail straight to the always-clean and well-managed off-leash Dog Park.
  • The Falls Creek Loop provides stunning views of the valley and a wide open meadow to play in. After a good snowfall, this is a great destination to try snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. You can follow the entire 4.8 mile loop up and along the ridge, or use it as an out-and-back.
  • Haviland Lake Trail is a favorite among snowshoers and cross-country skiers. In winter, you’ll find deep, fresh snow at this elevation, making it even more important to prepare your pets. Especially for your long-haired pups, don’t forget water bottles, poop bags, and the necessary apparel to combat against snowballs in the fur. For moderately lengthed trails like this 5 mile route, it becomes even more important to keep our pets comfortable.
  • The Vallecito Nordic Center is a true testament to Durango’s dog-friendly status. These community-maintained and groomed trails are open to dog owners with a $5 season contribution. With 9 miles of winding trails, it’s easy to spend all day exploring.

Best Pupsitters and Groomers:

A doggy spa day at the local groomer or pet resort can provide the opportunity to explore other activities in Durango, like spending the day at Purgatory Resort, aboard the Durango Train, or at your new favorite local restaurant.

  • Durango Pet Resort offers boarding and daycare for cats and dogs, as well as a complete grooming service. With a combined 45 years of experience between the three groomers, the team knows how to keep your pet looking and feeling glam.
  • Healthy Hounds and Fat Cats provides full service doggy and kitty daycare, grooming, and a boutique store where you can find pet food, vitamins, cleaning products, treats, toys and more. It’s an ideal space for dogs to socialize and play while you do your own thing.
  • Durango Pet Sitting offers professional service to locals going out of town, covering the areas of La Plata and Montezuma County. The expert sitters will come to your own house, meaning your pets can stay home, be socialized, exercise, and dine in a familiar space and without any fuss.   

Photo - Instagrammer @jwdenier85

This little snowball was the inspiration for this blog! This photo had a record number of likes on our Instagram account!