Golden Gate Canyon State Park

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On a beautiful sunny day, temperatures in the 50s, we went to check out Golden Gate Canyon State Park, which true to its name is located just west of Golden, so easy enough to get to. The drive in winds through the canyon, so you are treated to pretty views even before you reach the visitor center. Here we stopped to get some maps and then head off to the trailhead that was recommended to us, Horseshoe Trail.

We had brought Maggie along as the park is dog friendly, but keeping them on a leash is a park rule. Of course, we came across three other dogs and their owners on the trail and how many would you guess were on a leash other than Maggie? Big fat zero. We speculated that this may contribute to why so many parks ban dogs, when so many people blatantly disregard this rule. I’m all for allowing well-behaved dogs off of their leash and I hope that someday we reach that point with Maggie. But then we’ll seek out those places we can allow her to go off leash, and not those places that specifically ask that you don’t. But as far as others are concerned, they’re responsible for their own decisions, and for the most part it doesn’t impact us personally on the trail. But every once in awhile you come across a dog that doesn’t pay attention to its owners and we ran into just that kind of dog. We’d pulled way off to the side, but it still got up in Maggie’s face and started growling and snarling. Of course she’s super excited and wiggly, probably making it worse with her uber-energy. But at that point I’m thinking, “man, I hope I don’t end up having to jab this dog with my hiking pole if it attacks.” Luckily, the owners dragged their dog off at that point and were very apologetic. Oh well.

A daily pass is $7, but we bit the bullet and bought the $70 annual pass to all of Colorado’s State Parks. I think that we will get our money’s worth this coming year. Part of the park’s road system is closed in the winter, so once it reopens that will make even more trails accessible as well as allow us to drive up to Panorama Point for the view. Here are some pictures from the day:

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