My first impression was that it looked exactly like what I imagined for a state park out East. It was pretty flat for the most part (with the exception of the usual rolling hills you see in the Coloradan plains, large grass fields, wooded areas, a lake, and things of that nature. It’s actually somewhat similar to Bear Creek Lake Park… I can’t decide if I still like Bear Creek better because I am a little biased to it since I’ve been going there since I was a kiddo or if it’s because Bear Creek actually has better landscaping… I guess you can be the judge of that.
Visually my first impression was just meh. Not good, no bad, just meh. I will say however they have a lot of activities that look pretty fun some dog friendly, a lot not. So I’ll only be listing the ones I know for sure are dog friendly.
For the most part the only truly dog friendly activities they have are nature trails and the dog off leash area. I’m not going to get too detailed about the two as I’ll be writing separate reviews for them all, this is just a review of Cherry Creek overall.
I will say however that the off leash area is huge and has a fun little surprise for the dogs to play in. And there’s a pretty descent amount of trails to choose from around the park… a lot of which actually don’t permit dogs. Boooo.
Although I drove past one of the trails that does not permit dogs and there were quiet a few people walking their dogs on it so I don’t know if the rangers don’t enforce it or if there were just a lot of rebels that day.
The other thing is when we first pulled into the park I asked one of the rangers what trails she recommended and she said to try out the wetlands trails, all of which don’t allow dogs according to the map. So I don’t know if she didn’t notice the big dog sitting clearly in the back seat or what but it made for some serious confusion.
So for now don’t hold your breath for any trail reviews in the wetlands till I know what the deal is. In the end it didn’t matter that day because we got far too distracted with the off leash area anyway.
The staff I met was friendly and helpful, unlike a lot of the fellow park visitors. Nobody was particularly rude, they just all kept to themselves. It was just a bit of a culture shock compared to the communal, “lovely day!’ And, “morning!” that I’m used to exchanging at other parks. It’s not a big deal and could potentially be appreciated by those who like to keep to themselves as well.
The other thing I noticed about the people was there were herds of them! Greanted it was a warm and beautiful Saturday on the day I was there so I’m sure that was a big factor. One lady we chatted with for a minute said it’s busy on weekends but you’re lucky if you see three people on a trail on a weekday.
From what I’ve gathered form my little experience at Cherry Creek it would appear it’s more of a family activity and bicycle friendly park. Unless you’re hoping to go to the off leash area, or find a dog friendly trail it’s probably not my number one choice to take my dogs to as a whole unless I lived in the area. But who’s to say I wont change my mind the more I explore it?
Daily Park Pass $9 (includes the Cherry Creek Basin Water Quality Authority $1 fee… whatever
Annual Park Pass $73 good for 12months from purchase date(includes $3 Cherry Creek Basin
Water Quality Authority decal)
Aspen Leaf Annual Park Pass $63 (same as annual park pass but for seniors)
Dog Off Leash Area additional $2 added to the day pass or additional $20 added to the annual pass
If you have a Colorado State Parks pass that will be valid here but you have to buy
a $1 Cherry Creek Basin Water Quality Authority sticker to add next to your
windshield with the state park sticker pass.
5:00 am - 10:00 pm Daily
4201 S Parker Rd, Aurora, CO 80014