Dogs and hiking seem to go hand in hand, but there at least three reasons why dogs get banned from Colorado hiking trails.

People who have dogs generally like to take them on walks. Dogs who have humans usually love to go hiking with them. But, since walking and hiking often involve people with pets and without pets, there can be problems.

One of the issues is that many hiking trails, like those in the Colorado National Monument, prohibit dogs. I just saw a story in the Denver Post where dogs have been banned from Mueller State Park in Teller County.  They actually had a trial period where dogs were allowed, but apparently, it didn't go very well.

Why Dogs Get Banned From Colorado Hiking Trails


1) Confrontations with other pets and animals
If your dog doesn't get along well with other dogs, there is definitely going to be a problem on the trail. If your dog likes to chase wildlife, that is also a problem that is disruptive on a hiking trail.

2)Unfriendly encounters with other visitors
Some dogs don't know a stranger, but there are some dogs that are very skiddish and uncomfortable around humans. This, in turn, makes the humans uncomfortable and can diminish their enjoyment of the trail.

3) Pet Waste
This shouldn't even be a problem, but it is. People who take dogs out in public should always be prepared to clean up after their pet. Whether that is a city park, the dog park, the neighborhood, or a hiking trail, dogs can't clean up after themselves, so someone has to do it and it's the dog owners responsibility.

What You Can Do

If you are on a trail with your dog, there are a couple of easy things you can do tomake it an enjoyable experience for everyone and to help ensure that even more hiking trails aren't closed to pets.

1) Keep your dog on a leash if there are other people around
2) Clean up after your dog
3) If the trailhead sign says no dogs, leave the dog at home or take it somewhere else


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