By Christine Benedetti

1. Welcome to Aspen Snowmass

Four-legged family members are frequent greeters at the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport. It’s common to see exuberant (leashed, well-behaved) dogs in the baggage claim area, where they are allowed to welcome family and friends. Having a bad day? Hang out there long enough to see a few pups welcome their owner home and it’s hard to stay in a funky mood for long.

2. Ride Up The Gondola

Both Aspen Mountain’s Silver Queen Gondola and Snowmass Ski Area’s Elk Camp Gondola permit pooches. Paw-print-marked cabins means Fido can ride inside. Once up top, dogs can join their owners on mountain-top hikes and also dine al fresco on the Sundeck or Elk Camp patios. For dogs looking to earn their ride, owners and their dogs who hike up Aspen or Snowmass can also hitch a gondola down, for no charge.
Aspen is dog-friendly. Travel info
Aspen is dog-friendly. Travel info

3. Not Your Average Doghouse

Aspen’s only five-star property is also pet-friendly. When guests check into The Little Nell with their dog, both can expect equally luxurious treatment. From pet-walking and pet-sitting services to an epicurean menu—grilled salmon for Rex?—dogs might just opt for this new home.

4. More Dog-Friendly Digs

Pups at the Limelight Hotel are also treated like family. Here, they get the creature comforts of home like dog beds, bowls and placemats. And the property is conveniently located across from Wagner Park, one of the hottest canine meetups in town.
Aspen is dog-friendly. Travel info
Aspen is dog-friendly. Travel info

5. Off-Leash Fun

There are several off-leash areas for dogs around town, including the popular Smuggler Mountain Road, a maintained dirt road that can be hiked 1.4 miles to an observation deck overlooking the town. From there, either extend the jaunt into the Hunter Creek Valley (where leashes are required), or cruise back down.

6. Doggie Dining On-the-Go

Over-the-counter snacks make running errands a real treat for dogs. Whether it’s the liquor store, pharmacy or retail outlet, people behind the sales desk usually have a biscuit to hand out to properly behaved pups.

7. Make Friends for the Day

In Aspen and find yourself without a dog? The Aspen Animal Shelter “rents” out dogs for short strolls or longer hikes. It’s a win-win, as the animals get exercise, the people get some enjoyment, and sometimes, lucky shelter dogs even end up with a home.

For services, try Rocky Mountain Pet Shop (107 S. Monarch St.), C.B. Paws (420 E. Hyman Ave.) and Only Natural Pet (416 E. Cooper Ave.). For emergencies, the Aspen Animal Hospital is located at 301 Aspen Business Center.

Published July 2018

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