panting and happy dog

Dog-Friendly Activities in Salida and Chaffee County

Dog lovers agree: life is simply better with your four legged friend along for the ride. At Creekside Chalet, pets are welcome at all of our cabins and campsites. Our property’s paths and creekside location make it the perfect place to walk and hang with your furry buddies. Plus, the Colorado mountains are a puppy paradise!  Salida is an incredibly dog friendly town and there are so many ways to have fun with your pooch in Chaffee County.

Dog Friendly Hikes near Salida

Hiking often tops the list of fun things to do with furry friends, and our local mountains will not disappoint. As pet owners know, hiking near water is ideal to keep pets cool and hydrated. Creekside Chalets location off Highway 50 makes us incredibly close to a number of dog friendly hikes. 

happy dog on a rock out on a hike

A short drive toward Monarch Pass from our Creekside property, you’ll find the Waterdog Lakes trailhead. This trail heads to a variety of high alpine lakes and crosses creeks along the way. The trail gains about 1,000 feet in elevation over approximately 1.5 miles and wanders through a variety of evergreen and deciduous trees. (While this is perfect for dogs, it’s actually named after the Tiger Salamander–also called a “waterdog”–which is found in this lake.) Be sure you bring your leash for the Waterdog Lakes hike–not only are owners asked to leash their dogs, you’ll also need to cross the highway to access the trailhead. 

Fooses Creek is also very close to Creekside and has great access to water for your dog. This classic Chaffee County hike begins on County Road 225. If your vehicle has decent clearance, you can drive the first 2 miles and begin at the singletrack trailhead. The trail will eventually reach the Monarch Crest Trail but many hikers simply walk until they find a good spot to turn around. There are a handful of small bridges to cross the creek that make perfect stopping points. On a hot day, this hike provides good shade. You’ll notice a small reservoir at the beginning of the hike where some folks fish or relax on a lazy afternoon. Be aware of bikers during mid to late summer and early fall–some people use this as a route down from the popular Monarch Crest Trail. 

Green’s Creek trail begins immediately next to a creek so your pup can get a big drink right from the start. This trail is shady in many spots. It’s also aptly named and feels more lush than many spots in our high desert environment. The trail is 13 miles long and ends at the Monarch Crest Trail, but many hikers enjoy hiking in the aspens for a few miles and then turn back. One bonus of this trail is the incredibly close access to Creekside Chalets–it’s off county road 221, very near Maysville. This is also a popular trail for bikers coming off the Monarch Crest Trail so be aware of riders heading down. 

If you’re more of a stroller than a hiker, consider the easy going Sands Lake loop. Your dog might love seeing the waterfowl flying around the river. There are also trails heading up and downstream, so you can extend your stroll to include lovely views of the river. 

Naturally, our location within the “Heart of the Rockies” means that you’ll find an incredible array of hiking trails to choose from near Creekside Cabins and around Chaffee County. Be sure to check the access to water because some hikes–like the Methodist Mountain trails or the trail system behind S Mountain in Salida–are very dry. Be sure to bring water for yourself and your four legged friends. 

Monarch Pass Tramway 

If your dog is the adventurous type, try out the retro gondola ride at the top of Monarch Pass. Run by Monarch Mountain at the Crest, pups are welcome on this scenic tramway offering views from the top of the Continental Divide. Riders can walk trails at the top of the tram or even walk the road back to the bottom. It’s a great place to get stellar views without a long hike. If you’ve always wanted to ride in a gondola with your dog, now’s your chance! 

Dining out with Dogs in Salida 

Many local establishments embrace the hounds and allow dogs on their outdoor dining patios. Policies do vary, so we recommend calling ahead if you plan to bring your furry buddy, but these spots are some of our favorites for bringing the dog out to eat and drink with you. 

Moonlight Pizza, located right downtown on the corner of F and 3rd streets, has a special patio reserved just for dogs and their human companions. When you arrive, ask the staff for seating in the dog-friendly area. Moonlight also has great views of Mt. Shavano and is a dreamy sunset spot. The restaurant is famous for their T-Guns and Cosmic Hawaiian pizzas. They also brew their own beer and make their own sodas. 

puppy laying down at a restaurant

The Soggy Surfer’s covered patio has comfy chairs and a fire pit in the center. Food and drinks are served from a window and the vibe is laid back. Many afternoons you’ll find live acoustic music at the Soggy Surfer. If your dog likes people watching, this is the spot–the Soggy Surfer is right along F Street with a view into Riverside Park. This is a very walkable downtown destination and would make a convenient post-hike pit stop for those coming off S Mountain. 

Many local breweries also have pet friendly patios. Tres Litros Beer Company is right downtown in Salida. This is a great spot for hikers coming off S Mountain who want to grab a post-hike beer. Their outdoor patio setup allows dogs and is shady in the afternoon. Food is intermittent and served from a small cart inside. 

Soulcraft Brewing is located off of Highway 50 in Salida and they have two patios–one with shade and one with sun–so you’re covered no matter what the weather. It’s incredibly dog friendly (sometimes it even feels like there are more 4 legged patrons than humans!). They also have a “mashup kitchen” food truck with a rotating menu. 

Elevation Beer Co. in Poncha Springs is the closest brewery to Creekside Cabins. Your dog will love their sunny, open patio. They have a food truck for the humans and there’s always a generous sized water bowl for your thirsty pup. 

Another Poncha Springs option for food and drink is the Poncha Pub. Everything about this local’s favorite is laid back–including their outside seating and dog friendly policies. Don’t be deceived by the small menu–they might not offer a huge variety but every sandwich is delicious and served with their signature pickle. 

If your dog loves playing in the river, maybe The Drift In is the place for you. Dogs abound at this riverside food truck and bar with a tiki flare. It’s a great spot to sit with a sunny cocktail on a hot summer day. Throw a stick for your furry buddy in the river or even wade in yourself! The Drift In is open 7 days a week between early May and late August. 

Loyal Duke’s Dog Park 

If your pup enjoys the company of other dogs and an enclosed space to run, Loyal Duke’s Dog Park is the perfect place. This park has a covered space for the humans and enough space for dogs to chase the ball or stick of their choice. The park provides water bowls and waste pick up baggies. There is also a smaller enclosure for the little pups. Loyal Duke’s is the only dog park in Salida. 

Crazy River Dog Competition 

If your dog loves jumping into the river after balls and sticks, consider the Crazy River Dog competition during the FIBArk whitewater festival in June. Spectators gather on Sunday of the festival to watch brave dogs retrieve their toy of choice from the river. Even if your pet isn’t up for competing, any dog lover will enjoy watching these adorable pups jump into the Arkansas River. 

Creekside Pets 

Overall, if you love your dog, you’ll love staying with us at Creekside Chalets in either our pet friendly cabins or our creekside camping spots. We provide all pet owners with pick up baggies and two blankets to cover the leather sofas so your dog feels at home. Our campsites sit right along a shady creek, the perfect spot for your four legged friend to watch the world go by. We can’t wait to see you and your pups strolling the paths here on the Creekside property!