Winter Weekend Getaways

Summer is fast fading away and fall colors are peaking in Grand County, Colorado. Elk and Moose are rutting and mornings are frosty. We have already had a dusting of snow on the mountain peaks. So we know winter is on its way!

Winter getaways Grand Lake Colorado

Winter getaways Grand Lake Colorado

The Rapids Lodge is a great place to stay for Grand Lake’s Constitution Week in mid-September. Then there is Halloween! Before we know it, snow will blanket everything and Grand Lake will have been transformed into a Winter Wonderland! Some of you may already be dreaming of winter days, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing among the peaks. Well, we are the place to stay. The Rapids has great off- season rates and we have a great location, close to everything.

Imagine cold, starry nights, soft snow flakes falling, alpenglow on white-capped peaks, moose in the willows, snow shoe hares under the spruce and vast, breathtaking scenery! Oh, Grand Lake is magical in the winter, all the lights and a towering lit tree at the end of the main street. A more heart-warming Christmas is hard to imagine and perhaps you will see the New Year in with a bang, fireworks over the frozen lake. Tubing and ice skating, sled dog and sleigh rides, a little icy fishing, warm fires and a soak in hot springs – Grand County, Colorado has it all!

Get out of town, take a break and revitalize your soul in the mountains. Weekdays or weekends, Grand Lake will welcome you with smiles and good food. Martin Luther King Weekend, President’s Weekend, Winter Carnival, snowmobile races and rides, make your plans today

Grand Lake Hotels and Deals

Shadow Mountain Reservoir October 12, 2016

Shadow Mountain Reservoir October 12, 2016

The last of the fall colors are evident in the high country of Grand County, Colorado.  Grand Lake is quiet and peaceful and preparing for a coating of snow. We have had a few snowfalls up high and Trail Ridge Road has closed temporarily but with all this nice weather coming up expect that  it will be open quite a bit longer. We still have some golden Aspen Trees here at the Rapids Lodge.

The lakes are beautiful right now with waterfowl occasionally disturbing the tranquil waters. Bring your kayak or get that last hike in for the season! The trails are “all yours” now that the crowds are gone and a good soak at Hot Sulphur Springs is a must after a workout. The elk in Rocky Mountain National Park will bugle through October, their haunting calls echoing through the valleys as they round up their harems.

Grand Lake, Colorado is top of the list if you are looking for Grand Lake hotels deals you can’t beat. You can stay at the Rapids Lodge for just $60 for 2 people and $89 for up to 6 people. Rapids Suites 1-4 are dog friendly so bring the whole family! The Rapids Restaurant is serving dinner Wednesday through Saturday beginning at 5pm.  Our riverside location provides a stunning view!

If you can’t visit the Rapids Lodge this month, plan to come up in December, the same great hotel prices still apply. The lakes may still be free of ice in early December, sometimes they have frozen over as late as Christmas. November might bring us a heavy snowfall for all the winter sports and activities that Grand County has to offer: snowshoeing, cross country skiing, snowmobiling, winter hot air ballooning, sleigh rides, dog sled rides and sledding! If you have never tried cross country skiing, take advantage of the Grand Lake Nordic Center’s ” Learn to ski free with Grand Nordic Club instructors. Sign up in advance. All ages, all experience levels, Classic and Skate skiing lessons”.

Contact us today or book online! 970-627-3707

The National Park Service Centennial begins August 25, 2016!

The National Park Service Centennial

Rocky Mountain National Park

Last year, Rocky Mountain National Park and The Historic Rapids Lodge and Restaurant turned 100! The RMNP Centennial celebrations were awesome and enjoyed by the myriad visitors to Grand Lake, Colorado. Grand Lake is the Western Gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park and this little town certainly has the feel of an old western town! Original buildings line the main street, Grand Avenue, and the Grand Lake  Area Historical Society has done a great job of preservation in the town. Enjoy the Kauffman House Museum, Smith-Eslick Cottage Court and a great walking tour of historic structures.

The National Park Service Centennial is so exciting! This summer has already been much busier because of this grand celebration and it hasn’t formally begun yet! Make your reservations for hotel rooms in Grand Lake, Colorado, as early as possible. Lodging in Grand Lake Colorado can be hard to find especially on a holiday like Labor Day Weekend (we still have a few rooms available). In early September, the  Colorado fall colors and fall roadtrips will bring people from far and wide. Weather is often good well into October and Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park will stay open as late as possible in the season.

The Rapids Lodge has amazing fall rates beginning the second week of October. One hotel deal is a Lodge Guest Room for 2 people from just $ 60 per night. Another great hotel special is that our Rapids Suites, which can sleep up to 6 people, run at just $89 per night. Four of the Rapids Suites are pet-friendly accommodations!

These great hotel specials run all the way through early June next year! Winter is also a great time to visit the national parks and Rocky Mountain National Park certainly offers the quiet and peace of a pristine winter vacation. Although Trail Ridge Road may be closed, you can still access miles and miles of the park via car as the keep the Kawuneechee Valley portion of the road well plowed and in good condition. From there you can snow shoe and cross country ski many trails.

We hope to have you stay with us and dine in our spectacular riverside Rapids Restaurant.

Cascade Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park

Cascade Falls is located approximately 3.5 miles from the Rapids Lodge on the North Inlet Trail. This is a popular hike that is rated as moderate but is not too challenging. The trail head is located just north of the Rapids Lodge (on the hill above us) and follows the North Inlet river. Terrain varies between open fields and sage, meadows, lodge pole pine forest and old growth Spruce forest. There are some good view points along the way too. These photos were taken in mid-June when the water was really roaring. This is a great trail for anyone to start out with when arriving in Grand Lake, Colorado!

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If you are really ambitious you can take the North Inlet Trail all the way up above tree-line and traverse “Flattops” before heading down into Estes Park.

The Tonahutu Trail also leaves from about the same location and follows the Tonahutu River north to Big Meadows and eventually Granite Falls. You can reach the Kawuneechee Visitor’s Center on an off shoot from this trail as well.

The Rapids is in a great location for being able to simply walk everywhere right from your ro0m. Trailheads are right here, the lake is two very short blocks away and the end of the main street (Grand Ave.) where all the shops are, is just one very short block away.

Although many of the peaks weekends in July are booked, there is still great availability during mid-week periods and through all of August. We invite you to stay with us here at the Rapids Lodge “Grand Lake’s Hidden Gem” on the banks of the Tonahutu River.

Hiking Rocky Mountain National Park

Flat-top Mountain RMNP

Rocky Mountain National Park Hike

Rocky Mountain National Park offers extensive trails for all to enjoy, no matter your skill level. The Historic Rapids Lodge and Restaurant is situated at the West Entrance of RMNP and is the quieter side of the park. Compared with the traffic and crowds of Estes Park, we are a peaceful option.

The famous Adams Falls Trail leaves from the east end of Grand Lake, and you will arrive at the falls after just about a third of a mile. Just beyond, is a stunning meadow with views of Mount Craig. Of course, you can hike a long way into the park to Lone Pine Lake and Lake Verna (13.8 miles) if you want to get a longer hike under your belt.

A great trail that is easy for everyone to do is the East Shore Trail, about 3.6 miles one way, but you can go as far as you are comfortable and turn back. The trail is pretty easy and follows the scenic shore of Shadow Mountain Lake. If you are looking for something more strenuous, there is a trail that diverges to the top of Shadow Mountain and the historic fire lookout which offers astounding views over Grand Lake, Shadow Mountain Reservoir, Rocky Mountain National Park and the Never Summer Mountain Range.

In the Kawuneechee Valley, the Harbison loop will take you on an easy trail that for much of the time follows the course of the Colorado River. Several other easy trails include the Coyote Valley and Holzwarth Ranch trails. The Colorado River Trail will take you up to the site of Lulu City, an old mining town, and if you would like to go further, Little Yellowstone is well worth seeing. Yes, it really looks like “Little Yellowstone”!

Some challenging high country hikes that leave the Kawuneechee Valley are the Bowen Baker and Timber Lake trails that will take you way above tree-line for breathtaking views.

We have two great trails that depart right from the hill above our property.  For ambitious hikers, the North Inlet Trail to Flattop Mountain connects Grand Lake and Estes Park (Bear Lake) and can be accomplished in one day or overnight. We have regular guests who do this hike every year and always plan for the end point to be the Rapids Lodge which is just a little downhill from the end of the trail. A quick clean up and a sumptuous meal at the Rapids Restaurant overlooking the scenic Tonahutu Creek is the perfect way to end the day. Believe it or not, we have had some endurance trail runners jog over from Estes Park, have lunch at the Rapids Restaurant, and then jog back to Estes Park. Wow!

The North Inlet Trail is also a pleasant shorter hike for many of our guests, most of whom set the goal of Cascade Falls. The Tonahutu Creek Trail which departs at almost the same point follows the course of our very own Tonahutu River, all the way through Big Meadows to Granite Falls. You can also reach the Kawuneechee Visitor’s Center via this trail.

So, how about booking your “hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park trip” with us today. You just might try “trail running Rocky Mountain National Park” next time!

Grand Lake History

Grand Lake History

Our area is steeped in fascinating history stretching from the days when Ute, Arapaho and Cheyenne Indians used our famous valley for summer hunting and fishing grounds. Explorers pushed west and traded in skins. Finally Grand Lake was settled with year-round residents in 1867. The discovery of silver, although short lived, brought more people to our area. Finally tourists arrived and hotels were built.

Walking through downtown Grand Lake is like stepping back in time.

The Grand Lake Area Historical Society offers a great walking tour and the self-guided tour pamphlet (50c donation) is available at the Rapids Lodge front desk.

So next time you are in Grand Lake, take a walk and read up about:

  • The Grand Lake Yacht Club (est. 1902)
  • Some of the great old houses for example “The Spider House” which has a rather tragic history.
  • The public square.
  • The Lariat Saloon (est. 1924).
  • The Grand Lake Mercantile general store (early 1900s).
  • The glacial moraine that Grand Avenue intersects.
  • Humphreys Store (Est. 1908).
  • The Smith-Eslick Cottage Court (fine example of an early motel accommodating motor vehicles).
  • The Kauffman House, an early Grand Lake hotel (Est. 1892).

Of course the Historic Rapids Lodge and Restaurant is on the list (est. 1915) and Laps Ish, who built the Rapids, also had a house just down Rapids Lane dating from 1900. Did you know that the Rapids Lodge was one of the first hotels in the area to have running water, electricity and heat! The Rapids had a water powered generator just upstream from the building in the North Inlet.

The Rapids Restaurant is a great place to enjoy a meal overlooking the Tonahutu Creek and we are in a prime location from which to explore Rocky Mountain National Park in any season. Our low season rates begin early October and run through Mid-June and are hard to beat: just $60 for 2 people and $89 for up to 6 people. Pets are welcome in some units too. We invite you to visit in any season, there is always lots to do and the beauty of the area will astound you.

Spring in the Rockies

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Spring starts late in the higher elevations of the Rockies. May is when it all begins: the last of the lake ice melts, grass is green and flowers brighten the landscape. Aspen trees bud out and animal babies arrive. If you are thinking of a spring trip to the Colorado mountains, there is plenty to do!

The Rapids Lodge has low season rates in effect until June 9th, 2016 and this means that you can stay as low as $60 for 2 people and $89 for up to 6 people. Some accommodations are pet-friendly too.

  • Hike Rocky Mountain National Park.
  • Watch the baby elk in the meadows at dawn and dusk.
  • Keep an eye out for foxes, coyotes, moose, porcupines, deer, marmots, pine martens and weasels. Of course squirrels and cute chipmunks are everywhere!
  • Enjoy lunch Riverside at the Rapids.
  • Take a canoe, pontoon or fishing boat out on any of the three lakes
  • Kids get to have fun at Rocky Mountain Speedway and the min-golf at the hardware store.
  • Play the Grand Lake Gold Course.
  • Fly fish the Colorado River
  • Soak at Hot Sulphur Springs
  • Float up above the valley in a hot air balloon
  • Rent an ATV or bring your own.
  • Grill out at Point Park and enjoy a breathtaking view of Grand Lake and Mount Baldy.
  • Test your Bingo skills in town on the weekend.
  • Attend a Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre performance after dinner at The Rapids
  • Restaurant.
  • Birdwatch mountain, meadow and lake environments.
  • Revel in the rivers rushing by full of spring snowmelt
  • Drive Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park – the highest continuous highway in the United States.
  • There is never a dull moment in Grand Lake Colorado!

MAY

Mother’s Day at the Rapids Lodge and Restaurant!
Sunday May 8th, 2016

History Chat: Early Days of Grand County EMS with Ida Sheriff and Tim Nicklas.
Learn about the needs and history of Emergency Management in Grand County. Meet the first certified EMT in Grand County, Mrs. Ida Sheriff.
6-8pm
Tuesday May 17, 2016

Juniper Library Progressive Dinner
Wednesday May 25, 2016

“Around Granby” History Book Signing
11am -2pm
The area around Granby was developed in the late 1800s and today remain
Friday and Saturday May 27 + 28, 2016

Memorial Day Weekend
May 27+28+29+30
Stay at the Rapids Lodge!

Grand Lake Memorial Day Parade
Monday May 30, 2016

Bingo in Town Park with the Rotary Club of Grand Lake
Saturday and Sunday May 28 + 29, 2016

JUNE

Grand Lake Golf Tournament
9am – 2pm. 970-627-8008
Saturday June 11, 2016

Birds of the Kawuneechee
All day birding excursion. 970-586-3262
Saturday June 11, 2016

Art and Crafts Fair
Saturday Jun 11, 2016 – Sunday Jun 12, 2016

BINGO Every Friday and Saturday 7pm

Ride the Rockies
Wednesday June 15 and Thursday June 16, 2016

2nd Annual Duck Derby
Race your rubber duck! Fundraiser.
Saturday June 18, 2016

Hummingbird Research
Learn about the hummingbird populations in the Rockies while observing field ornithologists as they safely capture and band these remarkable birds. 970-586-3262
Monday June 20, 2016

Secret Places is RMNP – Colorado River
970-586-3262
Friday June 24, 2016

Songwriters in the Round
with Nashville songwriters, Monty Powell, Anna Wilson and Peggy Mann.
Friday June 24th

33rd Annual State of Colorado CASI Chili Cook Off 2016
303-831-5061
Saturday Jun 25, 2016

Painting the Kawuneeche: Beginners Class
970-586-3262
Saturday Jun 25, 2016 – Sunday Jun 26, 2016

Diversity in Wildflowers
970-586-3262
Thursday June 30, 2016

Grand Lake Memorial Day Parade

The three day Memorial Day Weekend is the precursor to summer fun! The great outdoors is waiting for you in a small town called Grand Lake, Colorado. This gateway town of the Rocky Mountain National Park is perfect for families and is the quieter side of the park. Just one main street with one stop sign! Step back in time and enjoy the ambiance of an authentic western town bordered by 3 lakes and astounding scenery.

The Rapids Lodge has rooms starting from just $89 per night for up to 6 people. These one bedroom suites offer a comfortable living area and a full kitchen. Different bedding configurations allow you to make the perfect choice for your family. If you have some four legged family members, bring them along too! Rapids Suites 1 through 4 are pet friendly. There are some great deals for couples too.

Memorial Day Parade

Grand Lake will be open for business and Trail Ridge Road through Rocky Mountain National Park will be open too. Don’t miss seeing the towering snowbanks the park employees have cut through at 12,000 feet! Wildlife will be active and visible. Take a boat out on a lake or walk a trail to Adam’s Falls. Enjoy lunch by the river at the Rapids Lodge or shop in town to your heart’s content.

Grand Lake Memorial Day parade The Grand Lake Memorial Day Parade & Ceremony is always a weekend highlight for the whole family. Starting at 10am on Monday May 30th, our townsfolk and visitors join in the fun. See horses and floats, fire trucks and more. 2016 Memorial Day Parade Registration. After the parade, head to the town park for the ceremony and live music.

The Rocky Mountains in May…and Mother’s Day

Great low season rates through June 9th! Stay as low as $60 for 2 people and as low as $89 for up to 65 people. BOOK NOW. The Historic Rapids Lodge and Restaurant is the perfect place to treat your Mom for Mother’s Day whether for a scrumptious dinner at the Rapids Restaurant or a relaxing getaway for a day or two. Don’t forget to treat her to flowers from “The Stalk Market” and an indulgent massage from Sarah Chabot or Sage!

Mother's Day Dinner

 

The Rapids Lodge is gearing up for spring and summer! Grand County, Colorado received excellent snow in March so the ground is well saturated and ready to burst forth with spring flowers. Wildlife watching is prime at this time of the year as animals are easily spotted against the backdrop of remaining snow. The grazers congregate in the lower reaches of Rocky Mountain National Park where melting snow has exposed tasty morsels and the predators follow. Expect to see Moose, Elk, Mule Deer, Coyotes and Red Foxes. You might even spot a hungry Black Bear or a rarely seen Lynx! Although Trail Ridge Road probably won’t open until Memorial Day Weekend, there are still 8 miles of the road entering Rocky Mountain National Park, plenty of trails and grand views.

Mother's Day

 

Early May is still relatively quiet meaning you have the option for solitude. The Town of Grand Lake will be open and getting ready for Memorial Day guests right from the beginning of the month. Although our three lakes, Grand Lake, Shadow Mountain Reservoir and Granby, have thawed as late as middle of May, we expect the thaw earlier this year due to the warmer winter temperatures. This means you can enjoy the open water in your kayak, canoe, motor boat or pontoon very early in the season. Due to the “Big Thompson Pumping Project”, Shadow Mountain Reservoir and Grand Lake remain brimful year round. Bring your fishing gear!

So join us for a refreshing start to the 2016 summer season. Soak in Hot Sulphur Springs, take in the view from the Grand Lake Lodge, breath in the sweet clean air and enjoy all that Grand Lake, Colorado has to offer!

Cabin for Sale in Grand Lake

Are you looking for a cute little cabin in Grand Lake?

We know of the perfect little cabin for Sale in Grand Lake. This one has history and character! The new owners can continue to rent it through the Rapids Lodge and although we have not kept it open in the winter, it is winterized and ready to withstand the cold mountain nights. The cabin has always been one of the most popular rentals at the Rapids. It was built in 1904 and was moved from its original location where Shadow Mountain Reservoir now lies.

Cabins for sale in Grand Lake, CO

The listing is with Mountain Lake Properties.