Surveying CT Segment 23 with pack, booties and leash. Photo Kaitlin Fahy

Surveying CT Segment 23 with pack, booties and leash. Photo Kaitlin Fahy


Alternative Starting Points to The Colorado Trail

Dogs are allowed on The Colorado Trail, except for six miles of Segment 1. The Segment 1 no-dogs section begins at the northern terminus of the Trail at Waterton Canyon and extends to where the Trail leaves the gravel road adjacent to the South Platte River and moves onto singletrack. The Denver Water Board, which administers this stretch of land, put the restriction in place to protect bighorn sheep habitat.

There are alternate starting points for Trail users wanting to travel with their dogs beyond the first six miles. The most popular is the Indian Creek Trailhead, which is accessible via Colorado Highway 67 west of Sedalia. After 4.4 miles, the Indian Creek Trail connects to the CT near the midpoint of Segment 1. Click the right-hand map or here to view a map and guide for this alternative route.

Other options are to skip Segment 1 altogether or arrange to join up with your dog at the beginning of Segment 2 at the South Platte River Bridge Trailhead.

Within National Forests and Wilderness Areas, regulations regarding dogs vary.

Dog with sunglasses, gloves, and chainsaaw
Gloves on…check. Protective glasses… check. Ready to saw? Sorry, dogs not allowed on CTF trail crews

Leashes are required in some areas to protect wildlife. In other places, it is sufficient to have your dog under voice control. Check with individual National Forest or other federal offices for more details (contact information is provided elsewhere in this Trip Planning section).

Finally, dogs and other pets are not allowed on CTF trail crews. This is for the safety of the animals and crew members.


CT Hiker shares advice after traveling with her dogs.
Facebook group, “Thru-hiker Dogs”

Gallery of Dog Photos