Its spring in Grand Lake, Colorado!
The Continental Divide has had some excellent snowfalls recently with snowpack as of April 18, showing at 97% of average in the Upper Colorado Basin. Most of the snow at lower elevations has melted off and the three lakes, Grand Lake, Shadow Mountain and Granby, are days away from returning to open water.
Spring in Grand Lake, Colorado
The Tonahutu River at the Rapids Lodge is now fully open and beginning to inch up with snowmelt. The American Dippers are back and darting in and out of the water as they search for food below the surface. What a unique species they are. Bird-watching is always good at the Rapids. The Stellar Jays are constantly flitting about and the morning chorus is alive with the calls of American Robins and Chickadees.
Moose are being seen frequently now as they move around in search of spring willow shoots and a coyote was seen running down highway 34 just the other day. Foxes are always darting in and out between the houses. Elk are frequenting the open areas near Granby
The Aspen Trees are blooming and grass is greening up. It’s a quiet time of year but it’s beautiful and peaceful. Weather can change in an instant from sunny and warm to a few flurries to chilly and windy so come prepared with lots of layers!
Although Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park doesn’t open until Memorial Day Weekend, you can still drive 8 miles into the park for wildlife viewing and hiking trail access. You can also now enjoy traffic-free conditions and walk or bicycle past the vehicle barriers to enjoy Trail Ridge Road (with you leashed dog as a bonus). The Rapids Lodge is offering great low season rates in Lodge Guest Rooms and Rapids Suites. The Rapids Restaurant will open for the summer season on May 4th for dinner and lunch service starts Memorial Day Weekend.
Consider staying and dining at the Rapids Restaurant for Mother’s Day or Memorial Day Weekend! Catch Grand Lake before the crowds.
The Historic Rapids Lodge and Restaurant are now listed by Expedia.com and Booking.com! However, our guests will always find the lowest room price through our “Book Now” link at www.rapidslodge.com or by giving us a call! Whether you are a new or returning guest, book with us directly to make receive the best hotel deal and to ensure that managing your reservation is as simple as possible.
We are booking up more quickly than ever and it is important to plan ahead. Groups, business meetings, family reunions, weddings and other special events should contact us directly so we can offer the full range of accommodations that we have available. We take hotel reservations one year ahead.
Some of our accommodations are privately owned condos with a view. These riverside condos are not listed on Booking.com and Expedia (except for River View 1 and River View Condo 4 which are listed in the winter season only).
Did you know that there are two “families” of online booking agencies? Booking.com owns and operates Priceline.com, Kayak.com, and Agoda.com. Expedia’s family includes Hotels.com, Trivago, HomeAway, Orbitz.com, Travelocity, and Hotwire.com.
So if you see us on one of these online travel agency sites, remember to call us or visit our website to make your booking! We look forward to providing memorable vacations experiences to more and more people every year! Visit Grand Lake, Colorado and stay at the Rapids Lodge.
Spring Break in the Rockies
February always feels like we are turning a corner and progressing towards spring. The days are a little longer and warmer, the birds and the moose increase their activity levels and it is much more pleasant to be outside. Despite reports of low snow measurements this season, the Sky-Hi News, our local county newspaper, just published an article saying that the Upper Colorado Basin is at 102% of average snow levels which is great news. There is still plenty of snow to play in.
Spring in the Rockies
March is often a high snowfall month so perhaps we will get big snows! Either way, March is a great time to come visit Grand County and Rocky Mountain National Park. All the winter activities are still available and days can be beautiful. Consider trying your hand at Ice-Fishing, Sledding, Sleigh Rides, Cross Country Skiing, Snowmobiling, Ice-Skating, watch for moose, scan open water at the channel and do some Bird Watching and more. Finish it all up with a great soak at Hot Sulphur Springs, just 35 minutes away from the Rapids Lodge.
The Rapids Lodge, Grand Lake, Colorado
The Rapids has historically been closed for the month of April but this year our lodging will be open. This means we are a great hotel for Spring Break in Grand Lake, Colorado! Our off-season rates for a one bedroom unit with full kitchen, perfect for a family, start at just $125 per night. Some Rapids Suites are pet-friendly too. We have the widest variety of accommodation in Grand Lake, there is something for everybody! The Rapids is just 20 minutes from the family-friendly ski resort of Granby Ranch and 45 minutes from the more challenging Winter Park Resort. If you don’t want to downhill ski every day, there is plenty to do and you can enjoy time away from the crowds.
Snow in the Rockies during Spring Break, Grand Lake, Colorado.
Don’t forget to plan for Memorial Day Weekend in May. Trail Ridge Road through Rocky Mountain National Park usually opens for this holiday weekend. Enjoy your 3 day weekend in one of Colorado’s most beautiful locations!
Call us today or book online. We are here to help you plan your trip.
Community – by Faith Zak, Rapids Lodge Front Desk
I am writing about “Community” and what it means in a small town like Grand Lake, Colorado. I went to the neighborhood Church throughout my childhood and my Pastor was amazing. He was there for tragedy, illness and bringing new babies into the world, he was a truly caring person and he taught our church what Community really means. When I was a young adult, married with kids, my Pastor passed away from cancer but left me with a longing for that feeling of being a part of a Community and it was not until I moved to Grand Lake, Colorado that I really felt that feeling of Community again.
Grand Lake, Colorado
Grand Lake is a true community and whether you are a full-time resident, or part-time resident, or on vacation, you are a part of this special Community. I work at the front desk at The Rapids Lodge and Restaurant, and I do my part to make every person walking through the door to feel like they are a part of this Community, because they are! I want everyone to feel like they belong because that is how I feel, and maybe when you leave our town you will take a part of that feeling of community home and pass that on to others.
You might ask yourself how it is possible to feel like a part of a Community while passing through on vacation. Well that is easy … it is really the little things such as, if you see someone on the side of the road with car problems, stop and see if you can help, open the door for someone, help a parent carry something when you see they have their hands full with their kiddos on the beach or in town. Perhaps you strike up a conversation with someone at a restaurant and buy them a drink, or even just ask how their day is going.
Be kind, kindness goes a long way.
It’s December in the Colorado Rocky Mountains! Although we have not had much snow yet, it’s coming! It always does.
When all that good, white fluffy stuff is here, be ready to get into the great outdoors! Snowshoeing is always a fun adventure no matter how much snow is on the ground and Rocky Mountain National Park is our backyard. The North Inlet and Tonahutu trails leave from right above our property so you don’t need to drive anywhere. Red fox and coyotes might be seen in the meadows.
Later in the season, cross-country skiing at the Grand Lake Nordic Center is a must. They have miles of groomed trails, some are pet-friendly, and offer ski lessons too. The kids will love the tubing hill. Some of their events over the winter are: Saturday December 17 – Learn to Ski Free Day; Saturday, December 30 + Saturday, January 27 + Saturday, February 24 + Saturday, March 31 – Full Moon Ski; Sunday February 11 – Romp and Stomp Fundraiser for Pet Pals; Wednesday February 14th – Valentine’s Day 2 for 1 passes. Book your Grand Lake, Colorado lodging room at the Rapids Lodge with our great low season rates today!
Ice fishing is already underway in Grand County and the Grand Lake Ice Skating Rink is open!
Of course, it’s not even Christmas yet and all our energy is going into the festive holiday season. The Rapids Restaurant is beautifully decorated, as is the Town of Grand Lake. Shops are open if you are looking for special gifts. The Rapids Restaurant is open on Christmas Eve, book your family dinner with us and enjoy the view, fireplaces and lights. New Year’ Eve this year will be a great time with our annual fireworks over frozen Grand Lake following a sumptuous meal at the Rapids Restaurant. Check out the Special New Year’s Eve Menu at the bottom of the dinner menu page on our website.
Need some more ideas on how to make your Grand Lake Vacation the best it can be? Call us for a friendly chat.
October is proving to be a beautiful month in Grand County, Colorado. Gorgeous days of blue sky and sunshine! Yes, there have been a few snowfalls but the white has settled mostly at higher elevations and melted off at our elevation. Our scenery is truly breathtaking at the moment with the remaining trees still cloaked in gold against a backdrop of stunning, white mountains. At this time the rutting elk are still busy in Rocky Mountain National Park and Trail Ridge is still open for the season despite a few temporary closures including at night. Nothing beats the un-crowded trails and peaceful moments of solitude at this time of year. And then join the Rapids Lodge for dinner.
Deer eating bushes, Grand Lake, Colorado
For those of you who are hunters, the snow always helps to push big game down to lower elevations. If you aren’t a fan of the cold and roughing it at hunter’s camp, the Rapids Lodge has great lodging options ranging from 8 person condos to smaller rooms, some of which are now bookable at a great low season rate. Use our book online option to check availability at these great rates (available all the way through early June next year). Don’t forget Halloween, a really fun time to be up in the mountains and doing something different. Grand Lake and Granby both have trick or treating!
Deer eating bushes, Grand Lake, Colorado
Get planning for the winter! Grand Lake offers so many winter activities. Call us and we will send you in the right direction. A white Christmas in the Colorado Mountains is a magical experience! The Rapids Restaurant is now serving dinner Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Come at 5pm and grab your spot by the fire.
- Ski & Snowshoe with a Ranger in RMNP
- Dog Sled Rides
- Sleigh Rides
- Guided and Unguided Ice-Fishing
- Snowmobiling – 130 miles groomed trails
- Ice Skating
- Grand Lake Touring Center
- Winter Hot Air Ballooning
- Soak in the Hot Springs at Hot Sulphur Springs
- Wildlife watching – moose in the snow, red foxes and coyotes, a deer or two.
- Birdwatching in Colorado can be good, new species from the north make an appearance.
- Stay at the Rapids Lodge
A Colorado Vacation in September or October
Grand County, Colorado has experienced unusual weather this year! January brought endless snow, and nobody had anywhere to put it after shoveling driveways and clearing roads! Then we hardly had any snow for a couple of months. This was all followed up by a snowy April and snowy/wet May. Trail Ridge Road didn’t even manage to open in time for Memorial Day Weekend, and that was not for lack of trying; it just kept snowing at high elevations! June is usually unpredictable weather wise. It can be sunny, snowy, rainy, and most often, all of those in one day! Late June this year was dry, sunny and unseasonably warm. Then the monsoons came in July, and it was more cloudy than usual with longer afternoon sessions of rain, often beginning around noon into the evening. It did this all through August too! August usually brings us quick showers in the afternoons but is generally drier with hot days. The Aspen Trees started turning yellow in spots in late August and although the change sometimes “goes on hold”, this year they have just kept on changing, and it looks like an early peak color in the middle of the month instead of late in September.
Considering all the fires in the North West of the country, we are very grateful for all the moisture and no backyard forest fires! The lakes are all still full as well, including Lake Granby! Full lakes are scenic and are great to be out on in the fall weather. Come fishing and boating in Grand County, Colorado!
What will October, November, and December bring? Will it be an early winter or will we have a warm and sunny October? Will the lakes freeze in early or late December? We look forward to finding out. The elk are usually bugling in Rocky Mountain National Park at the West Entrance through early October. The bull elk, moose and mule deer are all sporting impressive racks at this time of the year. We invite you to visit us a go bird and wildlife watching, hiking and sightseeing. There are excellent hunting opportunities in the Arapaho National Forest. Soak the day away at Hot Sulphur Springs in the outdoor pools under an open sky! Grand Lake, Colorado is a great place to visit in October – the crowds are gone, the shops and restaurants are waiting to welcome you and there are some great sales!
Grand Lake, Colorado
The Rapids Restaurant will be serving lunch and dinner 6 days a week through October 7th closed on Tuesdays). Thereafter we will switch to our low season schedule of dinner Wednesday through Saturday. Our amazing low season hotel rates begin October 8th!
The Rapids will be open a little later than usual this year before we take out fall break and that means we will be open for Halloween! Our last night open will be Saturday, November 5th and then we take a break until December 1st, 2017. Book your September or October Colorado Vacation with us today!
This summer has flown by and it’s been a wet one for the Colorado Mountains. Nights have been, on average, a little cooler. Perhaps this will bring a fabulous, dry fall bursting with color! Colors have already started to change here and there, the odd willow, a few Aspen Trees, the grass in the meadows …. it won’t be long before the scenery is bursting with color.
Fall in Colorado
Perhaps you have made your fall vacation plans and perhaps some of you are waiting to see when peak color will be. Either way, we encourage you to book soon for fall accommodation at the Rapids. A River View Condo at the Rapids is always the prime spot but there is charm in every room whether it is Lodge Guest Room 6 “Treehouse Suite” or a Rapids Cabins with a fireplace. Our Rapids Suites are spacious and some a dog-friendly too. We invite you to explore our website and enjoy all the wonderful photos of the rooms, property, and area.Trail Ridge Road through Rocky Mountain National Park is a fantastic drive to Estes Park. Plan an evening for spending in the park, watching the Bull Elk round up their harems of females, all the while filling the valley with their haunting “
Trail Ridge Road through Rocky Mountain National Park is a fantastic drive to Estes Park. Plan an evening for spending in the park, watching the Bull Elk round up their harems of females, all the while filling the valley with their haunting “bugling”. Fall days on the lakes are often warm and still, with the water reflecting blue skies and golden Aspen leaf reflections dance on the water. Try a Starlight soak in Hot Sulphur Springs after a stunning hike. You will likely see Moose around too and the bulls sport really impressive racks in Grand County. We can direct you to some breathtaking fall dives in the area.
A Colorado Fall is just not to be missed, it’s that spectacular!
A fall lunch outside by the river with startlingly blue skies and golden Aspen Leaves is not to be missed. On chilly nights, you may enjoy a fireside table with a view for a sumptuous dinner.
Picnic spots in Grand County, Colorado
There are so many great places to have a picnic lunch in a scenic location in Grand County, just a short distance from the Rapids Lodge. The Historic Rapids and Restaurant is the perfect place for a Colorado family vacation or getaway. Take advantage of the last weeks of August to experience the remaining Rocky Mountain Summer or visit us in fall when the Aspen Trees paint the landscape gold. Late summer and fall days are often clear and dry, and the scenery glows with color.
One of the closest spots is at the East end of Grand Lake, right next to the Adams Tunnel (takes water to the Front Range). Enjoy a few picnic tables and a view over Grand Lake to the West. An evening picnic might serve up a spectacular sunset. The fishing is good in this location due to the flow of water.
At the West end of Grand Lake, Point Park offers covered pavilions, picnic tables, charcoal grills and a truly spectacular view over Grand Lake and our iconic “Mount Baldy”. There is a viewing dock with information panels and the bridge over the channel connecting Grand Lake to Shadow Mountain Reservoir is a renowned place from which to dangle your fishing line. Moose frequent this spot too!
Heading south towards Granby will bring you to Pine Beach on Shadow Mountain Reservoir. Here there are several picnic tables with charcoal grills on a spit of land overlooking the islands. Bird watching here is excellent whether it be nesting Osprey, Bald Eagles, White Pelicans, Common Mergansers and much more. Again, this is a great place to see moose.
Just a hop skip and a jump away is the Green Ridge Picnic Area with an expansive view and tables ready for your picnic basket. There is an Osprey nest right next to one of the tables and it great to watch the growing chick get fed by the parents. They will leave the best soon after Labor Day Weekend.
There are numerous opportunities in Rocky Mountain National Park, some with charcoal grills and quite a few with picnic tables. These areas overlook the meadows and the willows, perfect for seeing Elk, Deer, and Moose, perhaps even a coyote.
Enjoy all that the great outdoors in Grand County has to offer and the Rapids’ river front. If you aren’t in the mood to organize a picnic, the Rapids restaurant can offer you a memorable experience!
Boating Adventures in Grand County, Colorado….
July, August, and September are all prime months for boating in Grand County and there are so many lakes to choose from! The water is still a bit chilly right now due to the late melt this year, but it is warming quickly. So if you are in the mood for a swim, the water will definitely take your breath away.
Boating Grand Lake, Colorado
Headwaters Marina in Grand Lake, Colorado offers boat tours around historic Grand Lake. Sit back and absorb the history and anecdotes of the lake and its residents past and present. A kayak rental or paddle board rental is also a fun way to explore. Mornings are always best when the air and lakes are still and reflective. Boater’s Choice Marina is also a great option and they offer one of the closest coffee shops to the Rapids Lodge: “The Wake”.
Boating Shadow Mountain Lake
Perhaps a pontoon ride on Shadow Mountain Lake may turn into a fun expedition for the whole family. Trail Ridge Marina allows you to explore the wild eastern shore of the lake and you just might see deer, moose or a mink! Head down south and meander between the islands, one of which you can get off on and enjoy a picnic. Birds abound on Shadow Mountain Lake including Canada Goose, Common Mergansers, Red- Winged Blackbirds, White Pelicans, Osprey and more.
Boating Lake Granby
Try Lake Granby for a day of boating. You can rent from Beacon Landing Marina or Indian Peaks Marina. Head east past the Farr Pumping Plant (part of the Big-Thompson Water Project) and you will soon discover scenic beaches to stop off at on the way to Columbine Bay, a narrow finger of water that heads back towards the Colorado River inflow. Campsites abound on these shores and an overnight stay is a memorable experience. You might even see a bear sneak out of the woods between camping “check-out/in time” seeking the odd dropped morsel. This is a great area to see Bald Eagle and Osprey nest on almost all the islands. The shoreline is varied and offers ever-changing views. Colorful Aspen Trees make this a great lake to explore in the fall.
Lastly, for non-motorized boaters, a canoe, kayak or SUP (Stand Up Paddle) paddle board adventure on either Monarch Lake or Willow Creek Reservoir can be very rewarding. These smaller lakes also teem with birdlife and wildlife. Don’t forget your fishing poles, all of these lakes are prime fishing locations!
The Rapids Lodge is a great base from which to explore and you can begin or end your adventure with an appetite-satisfying lunch or dinner riverside at the Rapids Restaurant.