It’s no secret that Coloradans love their dogs. In fact, it’s common for Fido to tag along to parks, breweries, work—and even Home Depot. But the best place to take your pup is to open space dedicated just for him and his four-legged brethren to run, play, bark, and fetch: the dog park.

Luckily, there are plenty of such spots for your pup to wag his tail at. Here are seven suggestions across the metro area that have our paw print of approval (just don’t forget your pet-friendly waste bags).

Tony Grampsas Dog Park, Golden

A large black dog pants heavily at Tony Grampsas Dog Park in Golden, Colorado.
Photo by Josette Deschambeault

Tucked in the shadow of North Table Mountain in Golden, Tony Grampsas Dog Park could (almost) pass as an open space. The 2.5-acre park is shrouded in greenery and complete with a few short trails and a small wooded area where your pups can roam. Owners can sit back and relax at one of the picnic tables while their dogs prance around the fenced area. To get to this tucked-away spot, follow the sidewalk past the baseball fields at Tony Grampsas Memorial Sports Complex. Beware that the park may be muddy after rain or snow, and it’s advised to bring water to refill the bowls on-site, especially if you have a thirsty pup on your hands. Open sunrise to sunset; free

Forsberg Park, Lakewood

Clocking in at a little over 2.5 acres, this Lakewood park offers two distinct fenced areas, as well as beautiful views of the nearby Green Mountain and Red Rocks Amphitheatre. It’s located on a moderate slope and features a small obstacle course in one of the fenced areas, so this is a good place to give your pup a workout. While there is a doggie drinking fountain outside the fenced area, bring water with you during the winter months, when the park’s water supply is shut off. Open 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.; free

Cherry Creek Dog Off-Leash Area, Aurora

A little white westie wades in shallow water at the Cherry Creek dog park.
Photo by Cris Dornbusch/@anniethewestie

The 107-acre off-leash dog park is located in the southeast corner of  Cherry Creek State Park and is a great spot for your water-loving fur baby. The fenced area offers access to a portion of Cherry Creek, as well as varying terrain and trails for your dog to explore. The only downsides to this beautiful park are the cost and the possibility of a wait time during peak hours. However, once you’re in the park, you can put your dog back on the leash (six feet or shorter) and walk along the surrounding trails and wildlife area. Open 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.; $9 park entry fee, plus a $2 entrance to the off-leash area or $20 for an annual off-leash pass; limit three dogs per handler

Glendale Farms Dog Park, Castle Pines

With 17 acres dedicated to off-leash play area, plus a nice 1.6-mile loop where dogs do have to be on a leash, Glendale Farms in Castle Pines is a laid-back park with options for every pup. The park is located in the Glendale Farms Open Space, just off I-25, near Sky Ridge Medical Center. For training your (vaccinated) puppy, check out the obstacle course, complete with a staircase ramp and barrel. As with some of the other parks, it is mainly dirt, so it can get muddy during wet weather. Open one hour before sunrise and an hour after sunset; free

Chatfield State Park Off-Leash Dog Area, Littleton

In terms of exploration, Fido can’t beat the open spaces and ponds at Chatfield’s dog park. With both gravel and paved walking trails, your pup can romp through the 69 acres with ease. Additional features include two sport-dog training areas (for training bird dogs) that require a Special Activity Permit but have 16 acres of upland terrain and eight acres of flatwater. Though there is a fee for entry, you can expect a well-maintained state park experience. Open 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.; $8 park entry fee, plus a $2 entrance to the off-leash area or $20 for an annual off-leash pass; limit three dogs per handler

Westminster Hills Off-Leash Dog Park, Westminster

A big black dog sits in the dirt at the dog park at Chatfield State Park, Colorado, on a blue-sky day.
Photo by Jessica LaRusso

Located at the corner of 105th Avenue and Simms Street, this 420-acre park offers plenty of room for off-leash play. Beyond the benches, a shade shelter (there are few trees), a doggie drinking fountain, and a small pond for your fur baby to take a dip, you’ll find this slice of the 15,000-acre Colorado Hills Open Space relaxing and peaceful (it does draw crowds, though, especially around 5 p.m.). Play fetch in the open field or take a stroll on one of the paths, but be warned that the park only has partial fencing, so it is important that your dogs be voice trained. Open sunrise to sunset; free

Valmont Dog Park, Boulder

No green tag, no problem. Boulderites itching to let their pooches roam should check out the three-acre dog area at Valmont City Park. A fenced-in area keeps pups away from the street (and pump track), and there’s a pen offset for small dogs. Rolling hills and shaded areas add some variation, and long-range views west to the Flatirons make for awesome sunsets, if you hit it after work. Because it’s Boulder, expect a bunch of canine playmates any time of day, all year. Open sunrise to sunset; free.

Dos and Don’ts for Visiting Any Local Dog Park:

  • DO make sure your furry friend is up to date on vaccinations.
  • DO bring ample waste bags.
  • DO leave your dog’s collar on, and leash him when entering and exiting.
  • DO know the licensing laws for dogs in your county.
  • DON’T bring aggressive dogs.
  • DON’T leave your dog unattended.