Shell Ridge Open Space Off-Leash Dog Area is an area in the 1420-acre Open Space Park where dogs can join their owners without a leash on 31 miles of trails that run through it. The Open Space area is the largest in the city and features multiple trailheads with parking lots making it a convenient location to get to by car.
The park's terrain consists of ridges, grassy hills, and valleys. It is truly a beautiful location where both dogs and owners can get some exercise. Please keep in mind that since there is lots of wildlife at the park which includes cattle, coyotes, and rattlesnakes dogs need to remain in their owner's sight at all times and be under strict voice command or leashed to keep everyone safe and avoid any incidents that may take place.
If you are hiking with a smaller dog, be alert and watch out for mountain bikers that ride through the trails. Most of the trails are cleared out and marked. However, there are some ungroomed, grassy areas too that are great for canines who love to sniff and explore.
Although it is a great hiking and biking location, keep in mind that there are no restrooms or water stations along the trails. There are only a few at the trail heads so make sure to use them before starting your hike or taking advantage of the facilities if you pass them.
Plan accordingly and make sure to pack plenty of water for yourself and your canine companion, as well as a water bowl. There isn't much shade on the trails which is another reason to plan around the weather. Packing a hat and sunscreen is recommended too. Lastly, since rattlesnakes come out when it is hot and dry, owners need to be prepared to encounter them.