I once tried to share a breakfast picnic at the Fossil Beds with my grandchildren and my dog. The ranger came over, telling us we couldn't have a dog in the picnic area. By the way, you also can't leave a pet unattended in a vehicle. Catch-22?
Later, I was driving Lower Twin Rocks Road (CR42) through the monument when I pulled over at the equestrian turnout so the dog could pee. A ranger came by, arrogantly stating that dogs are not allowed in the monument except at the small area near the Visitors Center. Apparently, not even at the equestrian gate, littered as it is with horse dung.
Now, my dog and I are not unfamiliar with goofy rules, but we've been to the Badlands, Mount Rushmore, Devil's Tower, Glacier NP, Yellowstone NP, Grand Teton NP, Grand Canyon NP, Yosemite NP, and Sequoia NP, where, in each case, dogs are permitted on roads, in parking lots, picnic areas, camping grounds, and on some non-back-country trails. Even local Mueller State Park allows dogs on roads, in parking areas, campgrounds, and some trails near the road.
What's so special about the Fossil Beds? Not much, I'd say.
Being chided by a ranger for letting my dog out to pee on the side of a county road takes the cake. Making it worse is that I live nearby, and would like to support the local attractions. But in this case, I advise you to continue to Cripple Creek, and avoid the Fossil Beds NM.
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