Visiting Rocky Mountain National Park can be frustrating for dog owners, as dogs are not allowed on any park trail. Taylor Mountain Trail is a National Forest trail that begins a stone’s throw from the center of the tiny town of Allenspark near the Wild Basin entrance to the park and not far from Olive Ridge Campground. The trail is frequently used for trail rides by the stables in Allenspark, and bikes are also allowed (but no motorized vehicles). While Taylor Mountain Trail doesn’t offer the spectacular high-mountain scenery or enchanting streams of the Rocky Mountain National Park, it does offer a very pleasant and scenic hike on which dogs are perfectly welcome.
There is room for a few vehicles to park just across the highway from the Business Route 7 turn into downtown Allenspark. The trail heads up a steep slope above the road and settles into a gentle climb over a ridge after a few switchbacks, leaving the road noise behind. The trail then starts dropping gently through pine and aspen forest, offering nice views of Mount Meeker and Meadow Mountain to the west and Twin Sisters Peaks to the north. There are several confusing trails crossing the main trail, but there are frequent markers for Trail 932 to stay on the route. Just before the 1-mile point a log structure can be seen on a low hill near the trail. Easily reached with a short detour from the trail, there is evidence of an old mine opening, now filled in, with an old and degenerating log frame erected over it. No information is posted around it, and it appears to be just another nameless remnant of Colorado’s mining past.
Beyond the mine remnant the trail continues to meander to the east, climbing up over a ridge before heading down to a creek drainage below. If you leave the trail at the top of the ridge and climb to the small hill just to the north you'll find a nice 360-degree view of the surrounding hills and mountains, and this a logical turnaround spot for a short and pleasant hike with the dog.