Best off-leash dog park - 2000
Stevens Grove Chatfield State Park
The sign at the parking lot calls Stevens Grove a "picnic area," but "paradise" would be more like it -- at least as far as dogs are concerned. Below the Chatfield Dam, trails wind lazily beneath groves of grand old cottonwoods around a couple of gentle ponds, with plenty of sandy spots that are perfect for beach romping, kong fetching and dog paddling out to the cattails. A field stretches out to the west of the ponds, its hardy sage, buffalo grass and milkweed unfazed by packs of flying-disc chasers. It's not a bad place for humans (or, if you're from Boulder, "pet guardians"), either: The mountain backdrop makes for dramatic sunsets, and nobody minds when a stranger's wet dog shakes off at their feet -- everyone's friendly in that anonymous way, where you know the names of all the dogs and none of the people. Just don't wear white.