Clifton, Colorado is a census-designated place that’s often considered part of the neighboring Grand Junction, a place many retirees call home. Clifton has three animal care clinics, a couple of dog-friendly hotels, and a couple of fast food restaurants where you and your pup can enjoy a meal together.
Although Clifton itself isn’t packed with dog-friendly activities, there are a lot of surrounding areas that are pawfect for dogs and their owners – especially if you love being outside! Clifton is near several national parks and conservation areas that welcome well-behaved dogs and their owners to explore together.
Grand Mesa National Forest is a good place to plan to visit when you have a full day ahead of you, since it’ll take about an hour to get to. There are quite a few dog-friendly trails here, like Crag Crest National Recreation Trail Loop, which brings you through open meadows, around a lake, and more. Closer to Clifton is Highline Lake State Park in Loma, which is about a half-hour drive away. Enjoy some beautiful scenery and adventurous trails throughout the park during your day of fun.
Clifton is a furtastic place for outdoor-loving dogs and humans to find some nearby adventures!
A little under 6 miles from Clifton is central Palisade, Colorado. This neighborhood sits along the Colorado River, which is where you’ll find Riverbend Park. This park has a hiking and biking trail that allows leashed dogs to join their owners for some outdoor exercise, as well as a golf course, playground, and picnic shelters. And, there’s even a fenced-in area for dogs to play off their leashes! The Tillman Bishop State Wildlife Area is close by and also offers some excellent space for outdoor-loving dogs and their owners to enjoy some fresh air while fishing or exploring.
The Historic Downtown area of Grand Junction, Colorado, is about 6.7 miles from Clifton. This area has several dog-friendly hotels where you can stay if you’re just visiting, as well as some restaurants that welcome doggie diners to enjoy a meal with their owners. 626 on Rood is one of those restaurants, offering a varied menu of steak, seafood, pasta, and more. During the summer, the restaurant opens its beautiful outdoor garden seating area for dogs and their humans to dine together. Some other paw-friendly options here include Gelato Junction and Desserts and Blue Moon Bar and Grille, both of which have some outdoor tables to sit at.
Just under 6 miles from Clifton is the 12th Street Plaza area of Grand Junction. This neighborhood houses the Colorado Mesa University and some dog-friendly restaurants and hotels for you and your pooch. A local favorite is Four Winds Coffee and Tea, which is a great place to stop for a relaxing morning coffee during your walk with Spot. Traders Coffee & Tea Company makes another pawfect spot to grab a cup of coffee. Need a quick lunch meal on your work break? Take your pup for a walk to 7th Street Deli to grab a sandwich or soup and enjoy some fresh air at an outdoor table.
A little over 19 miles from Clifton is the McInnis Canyon National Conservation Area in Fruita. This massive park sits on the border of Utah and is one incredible, puptastic place you won’t want to miss. If you or your dog have a dinosaur fascination, then check out the Trail Through Time Paleontological Trail, which winds through areas where dinosaurs were thought to have once lived. You’ll find lots of historical information on the area and the dinosaurs who may have called it home! There are several other trails that wind through the conservation area, too, where you and your dog can get some exercise and enjoy the great outdoors together.
The Grand Mesa Scenic Byway area of Cedaredge will take you about an hour to drive to, but it makes for one furtastic spot for outdoor lovers. This area is part of the Grand Mesa National Forest and includes the Mesa Lakes, campgrounds, picnic areas, and more. Visit the Lost Lake Trail that wraps around the Mesa Lakes. The easy trail is a great place to soak up some sun and get some exercise with your four-legged friend. If you want a longer trek, hop on the Water Dog Reservoir to Twin Basin Reservoir Trail, which takes you through farmlands and lakes – the pawfect combination for your adventurous pooch.