Leashed doggos are welcome on this trail, but be sure to keep a tight grip on Fido's leash if you spy wildlife. Deer, moose, birds, including raptors, as well as mountain lions and bears inhabit the area.
After leaving the trailhead, the hike ascends on a long, sustained climb to just above the tree line, before descending past the Grand Lake Lodge and Grand Lake itself. The climb overlooks Bowen Lake, and furtastic views include Grand Lake, the Shadow Mountain Reservoir and the western side of Rocky Mountain National Park. A climb up the Blue Ridge will take you to a trailhead for the Cascade Mountain Trail, if you're up for the extra distance and climb.
As you begin to descend toward Grand Lake, you're treated to walks through high mountain meadows featuring beautiful, abundant wildflowers in spring and summer. The trail is well-marked, and mostly packed dirt, although there are a few paved sections. Mountain bicyclists use this trail, and when they approach hikers should move to the side and maintain a tight grip on the fur-pup's tether. As always on any trail, be sure to carry dog waste bags, water, and any other supplies you may need.
This out-of-the-way and infrequently hiked trail will provide enough challenge to be interesting without going to extreme. You and your furry bestie will love it!