Dog Days in Aspen

5 Off-Leash Areas Around Aspen

Fido can romp to his heart’s content at these parks that allow supervised, untethered play.

By Cindy Hirschfeld July 5, 2021 Published in the Summer/Fall 2021 issue of Aspen Sojourner

Image: Dan Bayer

Wagner Park

Lots of action takes place at this large community green in the heart of Aspen, from kids climbing on playground structures while their parents people-watch on the adjacent pedestrian mall to pickup soccer games and sunbathing. Some dogs come here to meet their friends for a round of spirited butt-sniffing. Bring a ball or a Frisbee, and let the socializing begin.

Rio Grande Park

Aspen’s largest park lies a couple of blocks north of Main Street, near the paved Rio Grande Trail (where dogs must be leashed) and the John Denver Sanctuary (see “Best Swimming Spots”), perfect for a post-sesh cool-down. Fun fact: until 1969, this site was a busy train depot.

Marolt Open Space

This 74.5-acre property on Aspen’s western outskirts hosts community garden plots, paved paths, a mining and ranching museum, and grassy meadows where dogs can run around. Early morning or early evening, you may even see a paraglider or two alight nearby (they launch off Aspen Mountain).

Jaffee Park

Go all the way to end of the parking area at this riverside park and boat launch in Woody Creek, and you’ll find the start of a voice- and sight-control area for dogs. A short trail parallels the Roaring Fork River, then heads uphill to intersect the Rio Grande Trail (where leashes are required).

Crown Mountain Park dog park, El Jebel

Dogs can be under voice control throughout the whole park, but Crown Mountain also has a dedicated dog park, newly relocated for better accessibility. The space includes separate areas for big and small pooches plus water spigots, some agility features, and picnic tables.

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