When living in a rural area, finding a place to socialize your dog can be difficult. Fortunately, the western slope in Colorado is very dog friendly, with a lot of great places to take your dog to play.
Ouray Dog Park- The Ouray Dog Park is located at the west end of 8th Avenue, where 8th Avenue intersects with the Uncompahgre River. It is a small fenced-in area where dogs can play off leash. They have a spigot for water when your dog gets thirsty and splash pools for dogs to cool off in during the hot summer days. They also have a couple pieces of agility equipment including a ramp and staircase as well as a teeter board. It never gets very busy, but lunchtime seems to be the most active time for dogs to play there.
Ridgway Off-Leash Area- In Ridgway, Colorado, just before the River Trail begins, there is an area by the Uncompahgre River where dogs are welcome to play off leash. This area is not fenced in, so be sure to exercise caution when playing there. However, traffic in this area is minimal, which makes it a nice place to let the dogs romp around for a bit. Dogs are also welcome off leash in the Ridgway parks and sporting fields, as long as no sporting games are in progress. This area is open from dawn until dusk
Ridgway State Park- Dogs are required to remain on-leash throughout most of Ridgway State Park. However, there is a section of the beach specifically designated as an off-leash area, where well-behaved dogs can run free. However, this area is not fenced and you need to be responsible in ensuring your dog stays with you. They are open to the public year round, with a $7 entrance fee required.
Montrose Dog Park- Montrose, Colorado has a gorgeous, 1.4 acre dog park for your dogs to play. It is separated into a small dog yard and a large dog yard, making it a great place for dogs of all sizes and activity levels. The Montrose Dog Park is located at Riverbottom Park, near the duck pond. The park also has large concrete culverts that your dogs can run through while playing. This is a great place to socialize your dog, as it is usually fairly busy. They also provide doggie bags on-site, so be sure to pick up after your pets.
Durango Dog Park- Located near the intersection of Hwy 160 and Hwy 550, this massive dog park is always buzzing with people and dogs. It is a vast, open area with lots of room for your dog to run and play. Your dog can access the Animas River here, as well, which is great in the hot summers. There are also some short hiking trails in this area, if your dog gets bored of playing with the other dogs.
Ouray Dog Park: http://ouraydogpark.wordpress.com/
Colorado Parks and Wildlife: Ridgway: http://cpw.state.co.us/placestogo/Parks/ridgway
City of Durango Colorado: Off-Leash Dog Area: http://www.durangogov.org/Facilities/Facility/Details/20