Just an hour's drive from Denver, Castlewood Canyon State Park is a place that needs to be on every outdoor-loving pupper's list! A designated Colorado Natural Area, this 2,600-acre site is located in the northernmost extension of the ecologically unique Black Forest region, also known as the Palmer Divide. With its unique rock formations, abundant wildlife, puptacular vistas, and myriad recreational opportunities, this park does not disappoint. So hop into the car with Fido and get ready for an unfurgettable experience!
Featuring over 14 miles of hiking trails, Castlewood is a furrific place to get some exercise and enjoy the outdoors with your canine BFF. The trails range from easy to difficult, so there's something for doggos of all skill levels. For pawsome views of the canyon, check out the 1.2-mile Canyon View Nature Trail. Does a hike by Cherry Creek and a waterfall sound good? Then don't miss the 1.7-mile Creek Bottom Trail. Want to see the Castlewood Dam ruins? Follow the 0.35-mile Dam Trail. Download the park map to combine trails and plan your hikes in advance. Note that the East Canyon Preservation Trail is off-limits to canine travelers.
Whichever routes you take, you and Fido will be treated to Castlewood's rich flora and fauna. Plant communities include ponderosa pine savanna, wetlands, and mixed grass and shortgrass prairie, while park residents include mule deer, ground squirrels, coyotes, red foxes, and cottontail rabbits. Rattlesnakes have been spotted in the area as well. For the safety of your dog and wildlife, always keep your furry hiking buddy on a 6-foot leash. Be sure to stoop and scoop when they answer nature's call, too. Pet waste bags are provided at the major trailheads; don't forget to grab a couple before you set off.
Keep in mind that Castlewood is a day use park with no camping, so head out early to make the most of your visit. Expect to have a doggone good time with your four-legged friend at Castlewood Canyon State Park!