Somehow, survival on the outskirts of Boulder bears all of the positives and none of the heavy traffic, Hill hype or leash laws associated with Boulder proper. Even where leash curbing is posted, Gunbarrel is a haven for pet owners who follow a pretty free-spirited, but responsible pet philosophy. Enjoy open space at Gunbarrel Ranch or a peaceful stroll around Walden Ponds with the pooch. Or move to one of the western neighborhoods—think condos or suburban homes—and sip morning coffee with a mountain view while the pups play in the yard. Dog parks dot nearly every neighborhood, but most of the neighborhoods themselves serve as dog parks with grassy, traffic-protected lawns. A pet (or more) in nearly every household makes it hard to find a Gunbarrel resident who won’t pet sit, and demographics range from retirees to recent grads. The hood isn’t dog-specific, either. Cats, both on and off leash, are safe from aggressive pooches and destructive drivers, courtesy of considerate neighbors. And at least one PowderHorn resident has befriended three generations of squirrels. Easy access to local hiking and biking trails make this an ideal area for apartment dwellers with anti-apartment dogs. Let Lassie herd to her heart’s content, Gunbarrel’s hodge-podge mix of hounds can take the heat.
Best trail for off-leashing:
Gorgeous sunsets and doggy swimming areas.
Best place to socialize pets:
Gunbarrel Park Commons
Low traffic, off leashing, lots of friendly pet owners.
Best local doggy doc:
Gunbarrel Veterinary Hospital
Acupuncture, geriatric care, daycare.
Median home cost/gross rent: $375,000/$1,050
Dog parks/hiking areas: 7
Perks: Celestial Seasonings tours (and the smell of tea in the air for miles); mountain and waterfront views from Tom Watson Park; suds at Asher Brewing Co.; bus services from Gunbarrel to Boulder and back; vino from Boulder Creek Winery; Jay Hill Farm and 63rd St. Farm offer the best of what’s grown.