We spent a lovely weekend at YMCA of the Rockies recently. We were in a cozy cabin with a fireplace and our puppy. I was excited to be a place that was dog-friendly. After all, YMCA of the Rockies welcomes dogs of all sizes to their property.
In fact, they have a brand new dog park, Murphy’s Mountain Dog Park, and it was within an easy walk of our cabin, Dale View.
The added bonus of our stay was taking Fritzi, our German Shepherd pup to downtown Estes Park, about a nine-minute drive from YMCA of the Rockies.
The Big Thompson River and Fall River wind through downtown Estes Park. The Riverwalk runs through downtown Estes Park too, and with water on one side and shops and restaurants on the other, it’s a wonderful walkway, it’s especially good for socializing a dog.
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We were in town on a gorgeous fall weekend. The sun was out but there was still ice on the river and snow on the ground. It was the perfect Colorado fall day. And everyone was taking full advantage of the beautiful weather by heading to the Riverwalk.
The crowds are why this is such a good place to socialize a dog and familiarize your puppy with obedient trail walking. We parked and walked Fritzi down the path to the underpass at St. Vrain Avenue and back. We stopped to take photos because the Riverwalk offers a lot of scenery and we stopped to meet the occasional interested person and a sweet dog.
Fritzi did not get an A on this walk but she got a decent passing grade. After all, she is still learning her manners, but this was an ideal place to walk a puppy. I like the tiny parks along the way.
It’s not easy to do a lot of shopping with a dog in tow, but I did manage to stop in at Rocky Mountain SereniTea for a bag of English Breakfast. They make delicious teas. I looked longingly at Poppy’s Pizza & Grill; it was morning and they were still closed but their trout pizza is a personal favorite.
Estes Park can be a very crowded place making it a great spot to visit in the off-season. This abundance of tourists means that breweries here are not dog-friendly inside although dogs are allowed on their patios.
A watering hole that does allow dogs inside is The Barrel. We’ve known Lou and Ingrid, the owners, for quite some time. Serving up beer and spirits in a large space on Moraine Avenue, Fritzi enjoyed her time here and we drank some good beer.
There is a huge outdoor space at The Barrel and there will be a rooftop patio in the future. I believe this will be the first rooftop patio in Estes Park.
We also took Fritzi to the large Estes Park Dog Park a large park with a view of Estes Park Lake. While dogs aren’t allowed inside at many businesses, Estes Park is still a good place to visit with your pup. Especially when that puppy can use as many dog and human encounters as possible.
Thank you to the YMCA of the Rockies for hosting our stay.