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Dog-Friendly Guide to Vail: From Hotels & Restaurant Patios to Hiking Trails & Events

In Colorado, dogs aren’t just our best friends; they’re a huge part of our active mountain lifestyle. We hike, dine and shop with our fur buddies. So, whether you’re vacationing with your pup or lappin’ up the local dog-friendly lifestyle, you’ll find plenty of tail-wagging spots in Vail.

A hiker in a bright blue jacket gazes out at the mountain scenery with their furry, brown dog sitting in the lush, green grass.

Dog-Friendly Hotels in Vail

Our dogs are part of the family, so why not pamper them as well in a luxurious hotel?

While many upscale hotels charge anywhere between $50 to $150 a night for fluffy residents, at Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail dogs stay free. There’s no size limit, and they get their own comfy bed to snuggle up in, along with food and water bowls. Plus, the pastry department bakes special treats, and the furry-friends menu features grass-fed beef tenderloin with rice and carrots.

Some hotels don’t allow you to leave your pooch alone — but, at The Galatyn Lodge, two small dogs or one medium or large dog per room can hang out, as long as they’re well-behaved. And the pet fee is only $30 per night. At Grand Hyatt Vail, your pups can lap up any of three nonalcoholic “beers,” from Beefy Brown Ale to Porky Pug Porter or Cock-A-Doddle Brew (chicken broth). Dine in and order a scrumptious beef- or chicken-flavored doggie dinner — but be careful: Fido may not ever want to leave. 

Gravity Haus Vail accepts up to two big dogs in a room and treats them like stars. Once they get their photo taken and “sign” the doggie guest book, they get in-room beds, bowls and treats just for them.

The Sebastian Vail believes “dogs are people, too.” So much so, they welcome their canine guests with all-natural, locally made, liver-flavored treats. Doggie beds come with Tempur-Pedic mattresses to soothe sore muscles and the staff will happily walk dogs or babysit for short periods.

Who doesn’t want snacks 24/7? At The Arrabelle at Vail Square, dogs can beg to their hearts’ delight because just about every area — from the hostess to the bell station — happily hands out treats. Doggies also receive collapsible bowls, chew toys, and, of course, poop bags. 

More Vail hotels with welcoming pet-friendly policies: 

Vail Restaurants With Dog-Friendly Patios

Bart & Yeti’s isn’t only loved for its delicious burgers, sammies and salads. This local pub is named after Bart, a pup who rendezvoused with none other than President Gerald Ford’s dog, Liberty. The two hounds created a fur baby for former United States Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Yeti, the restaurant’s other namesake, was the mascot, guard dog and “quality-control supervisor” (turns out, she always loved the food here, and with good reason). Fun fact: Local dogs can be seen hopping up on bar stools, asking for their daily treat (no dogs in the main restaurant, however). 

Garfinkel’s sunny deck overlooks the gondola in Lionshead Village, making it an excellent, year-round hangout. Here you can post up slopeside to enjoy Colorado craft beers and cocktails, juicy burgers, hot wings, salads or hearty dinners. And, though you’ll have to keep dogs outside, be sure to check out all the stories, photos and local memorabilia on the walls.

Upscale dining meets doggie friendly at La Tour Restaurant & Bar. Though this fancy French restaurant earned Wine Spectator’s “Best of Award of Excellence” and Zagat’s “extraordinary” food rating, it’s hardly stuffy: You don’t need a bow tie for Fido, and you can show up to the shaded patio in hiking shoes, dressed to the hilt or anywhere in between. 

Indulge your four-legged friends in European flair at Tavern on the Square in The Arrabelle as you relax under colorful umbrellas. Located just steps from the Eagle Bahn Gondola, this year-round patio transports you to an enchanting alpine world, where New American cuisine and craft cocktails await. 

Brews, dogs and mountain excursions: How can it get any better? Vail Brewing Co. supports them all. The team serves up a variety of extraordinary, hand-crafted beers to complement the mountain lifestyle. Sit back, and drink in the moment with your furry friend by your side. Check out more Vail breweries.

Did someone say bacon puppucinno? Yeti’s Grind doesn’t think humans should have all the fun, which is why they offer a special doggie drink with bacon and whipped cream. Round the drinks out with burritos, bagels and baked goods (you decide if Fido gets a bite).

Other Vail restaurants with dog-friendly outdoor patios include: 

Dog-Friendly Things to Do in Vail

A dog flies into the air above a pool of water, ears standing tall in the wind, at the GoPro Mountain Games in Vail.

Test your pup’s skills at Vail’s GoPro Mountain Games. See how big a splash your dog makes in the long-jump DockDogs Big Air or in head-to-head swim challenges and speed retrievals. Even if your fur baby isn’t the competitive type, you’ll both have a blast watching four-legged athletes duel it out. You can even see how your bestie does in DockDogs swims, without the pressure of competition; just bring a favorite floatable toy and an atta-boy attitude. 

Two off-leash havens allow your dog to run free. Bighorn Park in East Vail and Stephens Park in West Vail both provide grassy fields, which are soft on the paws and easy on the car (unless your pup cools off in Bighorn Park’s small pond; then a wet dog becomes a distinct possibility). Just be sure your pup responds to voice commands, especially at Stephens Park, which is not fenced.

Vail Hiking Trails

Locals’ Tip: All trails in and around Vail, including the trails that enter the Eagles Nest Wilderness, require dogs to be kept on a leash.

Hiking Vail Mountain offers a completely different experience than skiing it in winter. Aspen groves, lush greenery and colorful wildflowers populate the many miles of trails accessible from Vail Village and Lionshead. Though dogs can’t ride the gondola up, you can both ride the gondola down for free if you get tired.

Step back in time within the 1940s homestead, or walk along Gore Creek with your canine as you explore Vail Nature Center’s 7 acres. Sometimes, Walking Mountains Science Center hosts special dog hikes.

Your pups love groomed trails, too, and at the Vail Nordic Center they can join you on the 6 miles of snowshoe terrain for an extra fee.

Sniff out Vail’s treasures through the Vail Scavenger Hunt: “At the Height of Colorado.” Solve puzzles, complete challenges and explore historic landmarks and people in this 1.06-mile, dog-friendly, self-guided tour. 

Just a few more doggo-approved trails:

Vail Shopping Has Gone to the Dogs

We all love to sniff out a great find, and many of Vail’s shops are dog-friendly; just ask before going in. Some stores even cater to dogs. For example, Gorsuch offers water and biscuits, and their signature Bernese mountain dogs are usually there, offering a friendly tail wag. 

If you need to gussy up your pup to go out on the town, stop by The Pet Boutique of Vail, which offers stylish and sporty jackets, collars and much more.

Other Handy Tips for Traveling With Four-Legged Friends:

  • Bring plenty of water and food, and take it easy on dogs, just as you would yourself, especially if you’re all adjusting to high elevation. The sun and dry climate can be intense, so make sure your pup stays hydrated.  
  • Leashed dogs are allowed in Vail and at all town parks, except for Ford Park. Following leash rules help protect wildlife and your pup. Dogs are not allowed on the free bus, however, so make sure you packed your walking shoes.
  • Before heading out, check for trail-specific information; there may be a seasonal wildlife closure in place.
  • Pack it in, then pack it out. Dog waste can transmit bacteria like E. coli and end up in Gore Creek (yuck). Though bag stations exist around town for when you’re in a pinch, remember to bring your own. 
  • Leave dogs at home for big Vail events like the Vail Farmers’ Market & Art Show because, although the smells are good, crowds can stress them out. 

More Ideas:

Find Vail trail-etiquette tips.

Explore Vail’s best wildflower hikes.

Learn about Vail wildlife.