Traveling with pets to Estes Park can be a lot of fun, *if* you’ve prepared in advance. I am constantly amazed at the number of people who drop their pets at local kennels and say they “just found out” that their hotel doesn’t accept pets! Really?!
Fortunately, *you* are not among those people, and traveling with pets to Estes Park will be a much nicer experience for you, because you will be prepared with the following:
1) A crate or carrier.
Not only are crates essential for your pet’s safety during transport, but some hotels will only allow you to keep a pet in your room provided you have a way to confine it.
2) Your vet’s name and number.
This is essential information to carry when traveling with pets. Heaven forbid you should need to seek veterinary care while you’re traveling, but if you do need to, you’ll wish you had this. It’s also handy to have your vet’s contact info in case you forget any of your pet’s medical records, and need them for boarding, or–heaven forbid–a medical issue.
3) Your pet’s pertinent medical records, especially a vaccine history.
If a boarding kennel does not require this information of you, I would not leave your animal at that facility! Even if you aren’t planning on boarding your animal, you never know when you might need this information. Bring it.
4) Your pet’s food, medications, toys, bedding, and other necessities (leashes, litter boxes, etc.).
Pets don’t like the stress of traveling any more than we do, and sleeping in an unfamiliar bed and eating unfamiliar food makes it that much worse. Make sure to pack your pet’s belongings, and make sure to bring more food and medication than you think you’ll need.
5) Reservations at pet-friendly hotels made well in advance.
Call ahead and make sure the places you plan to stay accept pets, and if so, what their rules and fees are. Nobody likes a bad surprise, like a hefty pet charge. Traveling with pets is becoming more common, and more hotels are opening their doors to pets, but not all hotels in Estes Park accept pets.
A collar with identification is essential. Preferably, the collar will list your cell phone number so that you can be contacted on the road. It’s also an excellent idea to have your pet microchipped, and to make sure your cell phone is part of your contact information in the microchip registry.
7) Cleaning supplies.
Be prepared to clean up after your pet.
Pets in Rocky Mountain National Park
You should also know that you cannot hike with your pet inside Rocky Mountain National Park. Although there are many local trails that do allow dogs, the trails in Rocky Mountain National Park are off limits! Part of the Park’s mission is to protect wildlife, so that is why these rules are in place.
That being said, you can bring your pet inside the park, so long as it is on a leash or confined at all times. Pets are not allowed on trails or in the backcountry, but pets are allowed in campgrounds, picnic areas, and along roadsides. Also, your pet cannot be left unattended in your vehicle. You should always clean up after your pet.
Service animals as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (no, emotional support animals do not qualify) are permitted on trails and in the backcountry.
Check out these pet services in Estes Park for more information about bringing pets with you.