a dog sitting in a chair with a tray of food

Dog-Friendly Guide to Aspen Snowmass

The best spots and deals across the mountains and towns of Aspen Snowmass for your four-legged friends to enjoy everything the Rocky Mountains have to offer.
a dog sitting in a chair with a tray of food
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Dogs are welcome to ride the gondolas up Aspen Mountain and Snowmass Ski Area (look for paw prints on the dog-friendly cabins) at no charge, accessing even more trails and natural areas to explore.

By Catherine Lutz
Updated September 2023

Dogs have it made in Aspen Snowmass, whether they’re residents or guests. In addition to the area’s abundance of natural amenities, where canines can frolic and sniff to their hearts’ and noses’ content, these pooch-loving towns welcome furry friends with open arms in many places their humans go — sometimes even rolling out the red carpet. Here’s how Fidos and Fluffys can maximize their time in Aspen Snowmass.

In the Doghouse, Aspen Style

Many Aspen Snowmass hotels, condominium properties, and private lodging options allow pets, but some go the extra mile. Pooches get quite pampered at The Little Nell, Aspen’s only Five-Star, Five-Diamond property, which includes dog bowls and cozy beds in its pet-friendly rooms, plus a welcome kit that includes a Little Nell leash and house-made treats. Dog-sitting and dog-walking services are available to guests of the Little Nell and the St. Regis Aspen Resort, which also welcomes four-legged guests with a bed and a bowl—while its own in-house canine, a Bernese Mountain dog named Kitty, attends the daily Champagne sabering. (The St. Regis’s commitment to local pups also includes monthly Bark ‘n’ Brews “pawties” that benefit Lucky Day Animal Rescue.) Add a dog toy to the list of room amenities at the Hotel Jerome, and both the dog-friendly Limelight Hotel Aspen (which offers free treats at the front desk) and Mountain Chalet border Wagner Park, arguably Aspen’s most popular canine hangout. With its 40-acre nature-infused campus and ground-level rooms for dog families, the Aspen Meadows Resort on the edge of town might be Fido’s top choice of accommodation.

Snowmass also offers plenty of dog-friendly properties, including the Viewline Resort and Mountain Chalet. Like its Aspen sister property, the Limelight Snowmass provides dog beds, bowls, and treats, and its adventure concierge can suggest particularly dog-friendly hikes and outings. Pooches staying at the Viceroy also get a welcome kit containing a leash, doggie bags, and a house-made organic dog treat; the resort’s VIP Pup Package rate includes a toy and take-home keepsake. House dog Vi leads guests (with canine family members or not) on Snowmass hikes and hosts a dog-friendly Yappy Hour on the Nest dining patio.

Dog running in deep snow in Aspen
Dog with a hotel room key in his mouth
Dog in the mountains near Snowmass

Doggie Fine Dining

Well-behaved, leashed dogs are welcome in most al-fresco areas of Aspen Snowmass restaurants, and many offer water bowls to four-legged patrons. The only dog menu in town is found at The Little Nell, where Fido can indulge in high-quality healthy meals including Wagyu beef and grilled salmon. At the Viceroy Snowmass, dog treats can be ordered through room service. Walk around Aspen or Snowmass and expect your pooch to get offered biscuits at many businesses, especially banks and retail stores.

Go, Dog, Go

Hundreds of miles of trails make a walk, hike, or run with your pup the highlight of their day. Most trails near town require dogs to be leashed—some Aspen trailheads offer complimentary leashes if you forget one—but the pooch-popular Smuggler Mountain Road does not.

Surrounding Aspen Snowmass is National Forest land, where many trails (including the upper Hunter Creek Trail, which can extend the Smuggler hike) allow off-leash, voice-controlled dogs. Other off-leash options in Aspen include spacious Wagner Park (aka “Dog Park”) and Rio Grande Park, where pets and their people meet to socialize and fetch and throw balls. (On hot days a doggie dip in the Roaring Fork River or a pond near Rio Grande Park is an added treat.) Dogs are welcome to ride the gondolas up Aspen Mountain and Snowmass Ski Area (look for paw prints on the dog-friendly cabins) at no charge, accessing even more trails and natural areas to explore.

Other Paw-ssibilities

While special events in Aspen Snowmass are a draw for their humans, only a couple might appeal to pups. Snowmass’s popular free Summer Concert Series (Thursday evenings throughout the summer) offers a dog-friendly listening area separate from the main stage and crowds on Fanny Hill. And the 5K on the Mountain, in early August in Snowmass (part of the Colorado Brewery Running Series), encourages pooches to trail run alongside their people. Stock up on all of your dog’s needs at Rocky Mountain Pet Shop in Aspen (which also offers a self-service dog wash if Fido gets funky on the trail), Guapo Dog in Snowmass, or the pet boutique at the Aspen Animal Shelter, which lets people borrow a dog for a walk or a day if they’re in need of canine companionship. For those traveling down Valley, pop into RJ Paddywacks in Carbondale for your pet's needs.

For a wealth of additional dog-centric services and information, including groomers and veterinary services, pick up a free copy of the Aspen Pet Guide at a visitor center or kiosk around town, or visit AspenPetGuide.com.