Attractions – Snow Activities

Tonahutu River in Winter

Tonahutu River after first snowfall

 

Winter in Grand Lake

 

Lots of Winter Snow to Play In: Grand Lake Colorado

Snowmobiling

Grand Lake becomes a snowmobiler’s mecca in the winter and is known as the Snowmobile Capital of Colorado. You can ride your sled right from your room at the Rapids Lodge, out of town and onto the groomed trail system in the Arapaho National Forest. Over 130 miles of smooth trails offer varied terrain and amazing views. The Grand Lake Trailgroomer’s detailed map of the extensive trail system will guide you to all the best spots. A lot of our regular guests love the fact that you can ride your snowmobile to the grocery store or one of the many great retail locations along Grand Avenue.

Grand Adventures

Grand Adventures provides guided tours, but you can also explore on your own, whether you have been riding for years or are trying this sport out for the first time. You will see their rental location as soon as you come into town. Experienced riders will find their fleet of the latest machines a perfect match.

On The Trail Snowmobile Rentals

This is a perfect location to rent your sled since you can start your ride right on the trail, and OTR is only 7 minutes from the Rapids Lodge. The latest snowmobile models are waiting for you to try them out. They have experts who can assist you and provide directions to all the places that offer exciting terrain, great views or fresh powder to play in.

Grand Lake Trailgroomers

Visit the Grand Lake Trailgroomer’s website to download a map of the Grand Lake snowmobile trail system or pick one up at the Rapids Lodge front desk. The Trailgroomer’s website will provide you with up to date snow and trail conditions so you can always see which sections have been most recently groomed. The groomer also keeps the trail from town in great shape. If you have your own sleds and don’t need to rent them, the Rapids Lodge is located next to public trailer parking opposite our property. You can park your off-loaded sleds right outside your Rapids vacation rental. If you prefer to trailer your sleds in the early or late winter season, look for the Idle Glen parking lot on the map (County Road 4) just 15 minutes from the Rapids. Are you looking to do an epic ride? Consider riding from Grand Lake all the way to Gould in North Park. You will need extra gas and please make sure you always have survival gear with you.

If you have your own sleds, don’t forget about other trails in the area for example Strawberry Creek at the south end of Lake Granby. The three frozen lakes also offer some fun opportunities for snowmobiling, whether to reach an ice-fishing spot, or simply to explore the interesting shorelines. Beware of changing ice conditions and make sure you know where open water can be found year round.

Trail Blazers Social Club


If you are looking for people who share your love of snowmobiling, this is a great social club to join. Enjoy activities such as the annual moonlight ride and many other fun adventures. Definitely check out their calendar of events on their website. The Trail Blazers are proud supporters of the annual Grand Lake Snowmobile Poker Run which raises funds for Flight for Life. The club members also offer a valuable service to riders by volunteering as trail hosts throughout the winter. Hosts wear a bright orange vest and can help you with directions, advice and even offer assistance if you are having trouble.

Ice Fishing

Grand County, Colorado is one of the best places to ice fish. Lake Granby, Shadow Mountain Reservoir and Grand Lake all have something different to offer. There are two major ice fishing competitions in our areas: The Three Lakes Ice Fishing Competition and the Grand Lake Catch and Release Ice Fishing competition. Both events offer fun for the whole family and incredible prizes. It is so easy to book a room at the Rapids lodge and park along US 34 within a quick walk to the shoreline for a day out on the ice. You could also bring your snowmobile and venture further afield.

Rocky Mountain Outfitters

The folks at Rocky Mountain Outfitters are experts that can assist you with fishing advice and gear no matter what time of the year. If you would like to try ice fishing and have never done it before, they can set you up with gear and advice or even take you out for a day of guided ice fishing.

Dog Sledding

This outdoor adventure is one of a kind! Dog Sled Rides of Winter Park is located in Fraser, about 22 miles from Grand Lake. This adventure is exhilarating as a team of husky and snow dogs races through mountain meadows and dense patches of forests with some amazing views to enjoy as well. With the wind blowing in your hair and scarves wound tightly it’s truly breathtaking! Meeting the dogs after your ride is a really special experience and you will want to do it again and again.

Cross Country Skiing and Snowshoeing adventures

With two major Alpine Ski Areas in the county, it’s well worth remembering the Cross Country skiing options. Besides the two Touring Centers with groomed trails you might like to do some back country skiing in Rocky Mountain National Park. Never Summer Mountains Products in Grand Lake can set you up with rental equipment and has everything you might need for an outdoor vacation. The Harbison Loop in the park is an easy trail that follows the Colorado River and then loops back to the trail head. The Onahu loop is very scenic and is suitable for all skill levels. If you are looking for a more challenging trail, the Lulu City Trail or Green Mountain Trail to Big Meadows would be good choices. The North Inlet and Tonahutu trails leave from right above the Rapids Lodge and the East Inlet Trail leading to Adams Falls is just a few minutes from your room at the Rapids Lodge.

Another popular place to ski and snowshoe is on the three frozen lakes. Its great fun to wander along the shores and look at the houses on Grand Lake or get a wilder workout along the undeveloped shore of Shadow Mountain Lake either on the ice or on the East Shore Trail.

Grand Lake Touring Center

Located at Grand Lake, the touring center boasts some of the finest groomed cross country trails in the county. Get a work out and see beautiful mountain scenery at the same time! Snowshoe trails are also available and some trails are dog- friendly. Our pet-friendly accommodations at the Rapids Lodge are perfect for your winter adventure. The Grand Lake Nordic Center offers a tubing hill, ski and snowshoe lessons and rental gear. Try your hand at skate skiing. Monthly full moon cross country ski adventures are a memorable experience and include a bonfire and hot chocolate.  If you want to have fun and do a good deed, participate in one of their annual fundraisers; for example the Romp & Stomp (raises money for the Grand County Pet Pals) and the Foxy Freestyle (raises money for the National Sports Center for the disabled).

Snow Mountain Ranch

The YMCA at Snow Mountain Ranch is just 25 minutes from the Rapids Lodge and offers miles of scenic, groomed trails whether during the day or at night under the star studded Colorado skies.

Downhill Skiing or Snowboarding

Ski Granby Ranch

Located in Granby, about 16 miles from Grand Lake, Ski Granby Ranch is perfect for beginners or families with small children. Ski lessons are available and will quickly get the novice skier onto the green or bunny slopes. Even experienced skiers can really enjoy blue and black slopes with challenging terrain including skiing in the trees if that appeals to you! This smaller ski area has been classified as one of the “Gem’s of the Rockies” and the best part is that you will ski way more than you wait in line, unlike many other major ski areas. Night skiing is available on weekends. If you don’t ski, you can still ride the lift both ways to the top and enjoy the amazing views or take a snowshoe trail back down to the bottom. Groomed cross country trails add to the variety of activities available at this renowned ski area. A terrain park provides additional excitement for snowboarders.

Winter Park Resort


The third largest ski area in Colorado, Winter Park boasts terrain for everyone in your family or group. Explore new terrain and chairlifts at the Panoramic Express and Eagle Wind! The Winter Park Resort is located about 38 miles from Grand Lake.

Ice Skating, Sledding, Tubing and More


An ice skating rink is available at the Grand Lake Center and there are free skates on loan or you can bring your own.

Grand Lake does have a very exciting sledding hill – ask the friendly folks at the Rapids Front Desk for directions.

Tubing is available in Fraser and is great fun, day or night.

Have you tried winter hot air ballooning? Did you know that the higher you go the warmer it gets? Contact Grand Adventure Hot Air Balloon rides.

Don’t miss out on a magical sleigh ride, wrapped in warm blankets with snow falling gently all around you as the horses pull you through the quiet forest. Contact Winding River Resort, just 7 minutes away from the Rapids Lodge.

Enjoy a day of activity and return to the Rapids Restaurant for a delicious, fireside dinner overlooking the frozen Tonahutu Creek. You might just see a fox or a moose wander by.

Soak in the Hot Springs

Thirty-five thousand feet below the surface of the earth, the heat of volcanic rock is released through countless fissures that spread out through the earth’s crust. At Hot Sulphur Springs Resort, 21 outdoor pools and 3 indoor pools. Massages are available and are the perfect way to relax after a day of skiing, snowmobiling or any other outdoor winter activity. The springs are open at night and nothing beats sitting in a steaming hot pool under the stars or with snow falling around you. The springs are located about 22 miles from the Rapids Lodge and Restaurant.