Aspen ranks as pup-ular place | AspenTimes.com

Aspen ranks as pup-ular place

Abigail Eagye

Paul Conrad/The Aspen Times

Aspen is no stranger to best-of lists, and now it can add one more.Aspen made Dog Fancy’s top-10 list of dog-friendly ski towns during the winter, which the magazine published in its December edition.The Rio Grande Trail, the magazine observes, “is busy with cyclists and joggers in the summer months, but wide open for peaceful dog walks in the winter.” The short description also cites The Little Nell as one of Aspen’s dog-friendly hotels, offering a special pet menu for the four-legged family members.

Aspen didn’t make the top of Dog Fancy’s list, though. That honor went to Stowe, Vt., where Gracie’s Restaurant and the related Gourmutt Shop offer a dog-themed menu.The list also mentioned No. 3 Jackson Hole, Wyo., where the Teton Tails shop offers gourmet dog biscuits, and No. 7 Flagstaff Nordic Center in Arizona. There, dogs are welcome to join their humans on the ski center’s 3.5-mile, groomed skijoring trail.A lot of places allow dogs on leashes, but off-leash trails are getting harder to find.

No. 5 Great Glen Trails at the base of Mount Washington in New Hampshire, however, allows pooches to roam tether-free … in winter months … for a $15 fee.But there’s no need to head off to these other locales, where most of the kudos go to local trails, hotels that allow dogs and stores with puppy puns for names.No. 2 Aspen is the only place on the list where dogs are welcome inside and out – and not just in hotels.

“Wander through town, and your dog will be welcomed inside retail stores, lavished with dog biscuits, and otherwise pampered just for being your four-footed friend,” the magazine reports.Fancy that.Abigail Eagye’s e-mail address is abby@aspentimes.comThe Aspen Times, Aspen, Colo.