Explore Durango

Go To Search
Today's Weather

Off Leash Program

Pilot Off Leash Program


In response to citizen requests for additional areas within the City park system for pet owners to legally exercise their dogs off leash, the Durango Parks and Recreation Department is exploring a Pilot Off Leash Program.  The current Off Leash Area is located at the base of Smelter Mountain with parking access on Highway 160 west and this site will remain open as a location where dogs may be off leash.  The proposed Pilot Program would differ from the activities at the existing Off Leash Area by requiring that pet owners must be actively engaged with exercising their dog in designated City parks in a controlled and responsible manner.  Once the dog exercise session is complete, dogs must be returned to a leash.

Public Comments:
Public Comments on the Off Leash Pilot Program for Jenkins Ranch Park and Fanto Park (updated 5/13/15)
Jenkins Ranch Park:
Survey Monkey Results for Jenkins Ranch Park
Jenkins Ranch Park Proposed Off Leash Area

Fanto Park:
Survey Monkey Results for Fanto Park
Fanto Park Proposed Off Leash Area


  • Two City parks are being considered for the Pilot Off Leash Program:  Fanto Park and Jenkins Ranch Park.
  • In April 2015, the Parks and Recreation Department will release a survey to residents in the vicinity of Jenkins Ranch Park and Fanto Park.
  • The results of the survey will be reviewed with the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board at the May 13, 2015 meeting and the Board and City staff will determine if the Pilot Off Leash Program should be pursued at Jenkins Ranch Park and Fanto Park. 
  • If the Pilot Off Leash Program moves forward, there will be additional discussions with La Plata County Animal Control, Durango Police Department and City Park Rangers regarding the program parameters and an educational campaign will be initiated to inform Durango residents.
  • The proposed Pilot Program could be in effect for up to one year and can be terminated at any time by the Parks and Recreation Director.
  • Neighbors of Fanto Park and Jenkins Ranch Park will be encouraged to participate in the volunteer Park Ambassador Program to assist with monitoring the Pilot Off Leash Program and notify the City of the effectiveness of the program.  Email the Parks and Recreation Department to volunteer.   
  • Following the one year Pilot Off Leash Program, neighborhood residents will be surveyed again regarding the program.  If the Pilot Program is deemed successful, the City will consider changing the City Code of Ordinances to allow Fanto Park and Jenkins Ranch Park to be a designated off leash area.

Pilot Off Leash Program Requirements

  • Dog owners would be responsible for following all posted rules and may only exercise their dogs in a controlled manner with active supervision in the designated City parks in the pilot program.
  • All dogs must be under visual supervision and voice control by owners at all times.
  • Aggressive dogs are not permitted.
  • Owners are legally responsible for any and all injury or destruction of property caused by their dog.
  • Owners must pick up dog waste and dispose of their garbage properly.
  • Normal park hours would apply to the Pilot Program in Jenkins Ranch Park, however, dog owners must avoid conflicts with their dog and other park users.
  • Designated non-school and non-recreation programmed hours would apply to the Pilot Program in Fanto Park.
  • All dogs participating in the Pilot Off Leash Program must be licensed by the La Plata County Humane Society with vaccinations up to date.
  • Respect other users in the area.

Click here for information on the current designated Off Leash Area.