One of the most popular questions I get asked is what is there to do and see around Estes Park, Colorado. So I thought I would share how to spend a dog-friendly day in Estes Park! We brought Luna along for our adventure and it’s one of our favorite day trips from Denver (1.5 hour drive)! There is so much to do and see in Estes Park beyond Rocky Mountain National Park. Estes Park is most known for RMNP, but I want to share with you things to do beyond RMNP! Don’t get me wrong, I love RMNP but Estes Park has so much more to offer and I’m going to share it all with you!
Get your picture at the Estes Park Sign
As you come into the valley off to the right you will see a great Estes Park sign that has beautiful mountain views behind it. Safely pull off and grab your picture in front of the sign! Everyone is taking pictures for each other and it is a great first stop to remember your day! We got Luna to hop onto the rock and pose!
Let your pup run around at the Estes Valley Dog Park
As you come down the mountain from the Estes Park sign, there is a great dog park and walking path along the lake to stretch your furry friends legs. We swung into the Estes Valley Dog Park to let Luna run off some energy after our car ride. There are three different sections for different sized dogs and some training ladders and tunnels! Luna had so much fun running around with the other dogs and playing fetch.
Walk along the Big Thompson River
We made our way into Estes Park to do a little shopping and came across a great walking path behind the shops and restaurants. Most of the shops had back doors so we could walk along the river with Luna and pop into shops as we wanted to. Most of the shops we went into were dog friendly and had water bowls outside for all the pups that passed!
Get a sweet treat at the Sugar Shack
The Sugar Shack is the perfect destination for all of my sweet tooth and puppy loving friends! They are completely dog friendly and Luna loved walking the aisles smelling all the delicious treats. The owner has a dog, Buddy, that Luna loved playing with and Buddy greeted everyone that walked in the door! They have free fudge samples that were amazing, next time I am definitely buying some fudge! We got a scoop of cookies and cream ice cream (half-priced during the winter months) and took it outside to enjoy on the patio.
Shop in Estes Park Village
After our sweet treat, we hit the Village for some more shopping. Phillip and I have a tradition that we get a Christmas ornament from every new place that we travel together so we had to find an Estes Park ornament! Below are a few of my favorite shops.
The Christmas Shoppe
Every time I go to Estes Park, I have to go into the Christmas Shoppe. If you love the holidays as much as I do, definitely add this to your must see list! We found our Estes Park ornament and Luna’s first ornament too, I am going to hand letter her name on it and paint one eye blue!
They have every color and kind of ornament your heart could desire, handmade holiday wreaths and so much more! Phillip stayed outside with Luna while I went in here since the ornaments are breakable and I didn’t want her to accidentally bump into anything.
100% dog friendly and full of camping and hiking gear, this store is my happy place. There are so many options for camping, hiking, fishing and even dog accessories. We have been looking for a dog cot for Luna for when we go camping and we found one, there were a ton of options.
Grab a beer at Rock Cut Brewing Co.
Grab yourself a beer and head to the patio at Rock Cut Brewing Co. While the inside isn’t dog friendly, the patio sure is! They have a ton of different beers to try it was so hard to pick just a couple, but ultimately we decided on Poppy’s Pika Pale and the German Style Amber. So good and a lot of variety in the options of beer they brew.
We learned just how dog friendly Estes Park is and there is so much to do and see with you pup! When we first rescued Luna everyone asked how we would continue to travel with such a big dog! I want to share that travel with a dog is possible and I can’t wait to share all the places she goes with us. To checkout all of her mountain adventures make sure to follow Luna on Instagram @lunasmountainadventures !
Bonus: Rocky Mountain National Park
If you are staying the weekend in Estes Park, or camping which is our favorite, Rocky Mountain National Park is a great place to hike. There are a ton of beautiful hikes that any level hiker can take on! Checkout Dream Lake, my favorite!