Grand Lake, Colorado Wheelchair Accessibility

Grand Lake is wheelchair friendly!

The Historic Rapids Lodge and Restaurant offers an OSHA certified handicapped accessible room in our Rapids Suites building and we are located just one half block from the end of the main street in town, and two half blocks to the lake. Access to the river in front of the Historic Lodge building is at the North end of the main lodge so you may enjoy a lunch or early dinner in our gazebo or on the riverside patio in summer. If it’s cold outside, just let us know and we will direct you to the easy way into the main building for a warm meal next to a fireplace with a view of the Tonahutu River.

The Rapids Lodge is the perfect base from which to explore. The town of Grand Lake offers store front boardwalks that are accessible to everybody. Enjoy the beach area and lakeside docks too. Sitting next to the calming water with tremendous views all around you, is a memorable experience!

Rocky Mountain National Park offers a lot of picnic areas, viewpoints and short trails from which to explore the park and view wildlife. The Coyote Valley Trailhead is fully accessible and will take you along a mile of trail with outstanding views of the Kawuneechee Valley and surrounding mountain peaks. The trail also is alongside the Colorado River and there is a fully accessible little fishing spot on a scenic meander of the river. Try your luck for brook trout, browns, cutthroats, and even the odd rainbow trout!

the fishing platform of Coyote Valley Trail Head

There’s plenty more to do. Grand County and Grand Lake are one of the most scenic and unique areas to visit. Come stay with us!

The Historic Rapids Lodge and Restaurant
Grand Lake, Colorado

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Rapids Lodge A Grand Lake, Colorado Hotel

Rapids Lodge A Grand Lake, Colorado Hotel

Well, this March certainly did not live up to its reputation of being the biggest snow month! After our record January snow accumulation, the rest of the winter was pretty wimpy. No more big snows, no extended cold snaps. Spring definitely arrived in Grand Lake, like elsewhere in the country, three weeks early. The Tonahutu River began opening up in earnest around March 24th and by the 29th, the water was flowing more strongly. By the end of March, the Alders were already blooming along the lake shores. Grand Lake ice was breaking up on April 12th and Lake Granby was largely free of ice by April 15. All the lakes were clear of ice soon after. Boating channel markers were in by mid-April! The Town of Grand Lake will be putting two new docks in at the East Boat Ramp on Grand Lake in May!

So here we are in late April and bulbs are blooming, the grass is greening up and a few green leaves are beginning to appear. Days have been in the 60’s and the weather has been up to its usual spring tricks; rain, snow, sunshine all in a space of a few hours. The last few days of April were cool, and cloudy with flurries but that’s great – the snowpack won’t melt too fast! Moose are really beginning to move around as well. We have seen quite a few yearling moose off on their own, and that means one thing, mom is getting ready to have a new baby. Even the bears woke up early, our local Houdini Bear squeezed into the bear proof dumpster for a little snack on April 18th and 20th.

May is going to be exciting. When all the snow melts, and there is still lots of it up high, the rivers will be rushing, Lake Granby will soon be brimming, and the snow-capped mountains will provide a spectacular backdrop to our stunning scenery.

The Rapids Lodge is open for the summer season starting Monday, May 1st. The Rapids Restaurant is open beginning Friday, May 5th. Restaurant hours TBA – keep an eye on our Restaurant Hours page. Lunch service begins Memorial Day Weekend!

Mother’s Day is coming up, and as you know, the Rapids is the perfect place to treat her to something special; a weekend away and a dinner at the Rapids Restaurant. We also still have some availability for Memorial Day Weekend and that is always fun, especially with the Monday parade!

Getaway ideas for Grand Lake Colorado

October Getaway Ideas ….

So the fall colors are at their tail end but the elk are still bugling away in Rocky Mountain National Park. What a great time of year to see the grand bull elk round up there harems and defend them. The elk herds appear out of the trees every day like clockwork at dusk and you are guaranteed a sighting! If you are an early riser, you can watch them head back into the trees after a night in the meadow.

Grand Lake Colorado

Grand Lake Colorado

The scenery in Grand Lake, Colorado is always breathtaking no matter what time of year, the mountain scenery and the sparkling lakes always astound. October is a great time to visit for those who like to avoid the crowds. The Rapids Lodge begins offering low season rates at the beginning of the month: stay for as low as $60 for 2 people and $89 for up to 6 people.  Some of these are pet-friendly so the whole family can come along!

There is still plenty to do besides shopping and dining out in Grand Lake (The Rapids Restaurant will be serving dinner during October, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday). Fishing, hiking, hot air ballooning  and biking can still be enjoyable as any random snowfall is not likely to stick until November. If it does get a little cool, soak in Hot Sulphur Springs or snuggle up in front of one of our fireplaces. Beware that if a substantial snowfall occurs at higher elevations, Trail Ridge Road through Rocky Mountain National Park may close, even if temporarily. Permanent closure usually happens when plowing the road becomes too difficult but can be late into October. Access to Grand Lake from Granby is year round.

The Arapahoe National Forest offers great hunting and if you are not the camping type, access is very quick and easy from the Rapids Lodge.  The Rapids has some larger condominiums  which can accommodate larger hunting groups if you are visiting Grand County with friends.

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.

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.

Start thinking Summer in Grand Lake

We are in the home stretch of winter and already planning for our summer season! February was unexpectedly warm in Colorado with days in the 60’s and 70’s in Denver and 40’s and 50’s in Grand Lake. Unfortunately this meant a February “mud-season” for a little bit and the snow compacted substantially. Of course when the sun is out and a warm breeze is blowing, how can one not be happy! Hopefully March and perhaps April will bring us some good storms to bolster the snowpack for the summer lake levels, wild flowers and no firebans!

Even if we don’t get too much snow, all the winter sports will still be available: Grand Lake Nordic Center and Rocky Mountain National Park for cross country and snowshoeing, ice-fishing on the three lakes, wildlife and bird watching, snowmobiling and more. March is often a big snow month especially after a dry spell, so don’t be surprised if we get a lot more of the white stuff for you to play in!

Now is the time to start planning your summer family vacation, reunion, rehearsal dinner, wedding reception or other celebrations. Some weekends are already getting quite booked!

Grand Lake Hotel - Rapids Suite 7

Rapids Suite 7: Lynne has been busy again so keep your eye out for some subtle changes coming soon in the Rapids Suite Building!

BOOK A ROOM ONLINE AT THE RAPIDS

Review Our Restaurant and Bar Menus

March Hours
 
Open Wednesday, Thursday, Friday andSaturday!
Also open on Easter Sunday March 27th at 4pm.

Hotel 
9am to 5pm daily

CLOSED FOR “MUD-SEASON” SPRING BREAK
The Rapids Lodge will be closed from Sunday, March 27, 2016 to Sunday, May 1, 2016.
  • The Front Desk will be open every week during the closed period on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 9am to 1pm.
  • We will be standing by to answer your e-mails and questions, assist you with your planning and make your hotel/restaurant reservations.
  • The on-line booking system will be available 24 hours a day!
We open for the summer season on Monday May 2, 2016
We look forward to serving you and your family! 
Sincerely,
Tom and Lynne Ludwig
Max, Tatyana and Natalia Ludwig

Things to do for Easter ……

Easter comes early this year and the Rapids Restaurant will be open for Easter Sunday dinner on March 27, 2016! Lodging will be open through the night of the 26th of March (we will take our spring break March 27th through May 1st as we prepare for a busy summer season beginning May 2nd).

Easter Grand Lake Easter and spring break are great opportunities to get the family away together and enjoy the great outdoors during the tail end of winter. Bring a group of friends and your four-legged family member along too. Our pet-friendly rooms are spacious and comfortable and sleep up to 6 people for just $89 per night on our “winter special offer”.

Don’t believe everything you’ve heard about Grand Lake weather. February has been a little warmer than usual and snowfalls of 1-3 inches periodically have kept things fresh. The snowpack is still above average in our basin for this time of year. This means there is still a great base of compacted snow on hiking and snowmobile trails. As soon as you get a little higher in elevation, there is still an amazing amount of snow to play in. If anything, compacted trails mean you can go faster and further on snowshoe trails in Rocky Mountain National Park, with much less effort than feet of fresh powder would demand.

12308127_10153724700012552_6964529756002343896_oSo what else is there to keep you busy? Try ice-fishing (check out Fish Explorer for some great information). Rocky Mountain Outfitters will rent you ice fishing gear and get you set for success. Snowmobiling in the high country is a great experience with unbelievable views from the 100 or so miles of groomed trails which are easy to negotiate for any skill level. The Grand Lake Nordic Center will provide you with snow shoes or cross country skis and teach you how to get around the trail system. Rocky Mountain National Park trails are a real adventure but stay aware that you might bump into a moose anywhere, even in town! Try winter hot air ballooning or dog sled racing followed up by a relaxing soak in the hot pools of Hot Sulphur Springs.

Grand Lake is a true western town with history and character, old buildings and a historical walking tour. It is easy to envision the old days of the Old West as you walk the streets shopping. Just one stop sign in town and everything is in walking distance. Although the Grand Lake Lodge is closed, there is still plenty to see. The Rapids Lodge and Restaurant really is the “hidden gem of Grand Lake”. The historic lodge building was established in 1915 and offers an astonishingly cozy interior with 2 fireplaces, comfy couches and a view over the frozen Tonahutu River. The food is simply delicious, the wine list is extensive. The Lodge Guest Rooms upstairs are all quaintly different and inviting, sleeping 2 to 6 adults. We have two of these rooms on a “Winter Special Offer” of just $60 per night. Book them soon – at that great rate, they disappear fast.

So when you are searching for Grand Lake CO Lodging options, think of us.

Ice Fishing Contests in Grand Lake, Colorado …..

Do you love ice fishing? Have you ever fished Lake Granby or Grand Lake? Ice fishing is a very popular activity in the Three Lakes area every weekend of the winter. Expect to always see gatherings of warmly dressed figures out on the ice every day. Success stories are shared on facebook all the time, and attract the interest of fishermen country wide.

Ice fishing Contest - Copy

Our area is great for beginners too. If you want some guidance or need to rent your equipment, contact Rocky Mountain Outfitters right here in Grand Lake. They will share their love of ice-fishing with you as well as their skills and tips. We have two ice-fishing contests coming up in the next 2 months and all skill levels are welcome. Try your hand at it!

The Rapids Lodge is a great place to stay for these occasions, especially for the Grand Lake contest where you can walk just 2 very short blocks down to the ice. We have condos and suites that accommodate 3 fishing buddies or more very comfortably. Your dogs are welcome in Rapids Suites 1+2+3+4. Follow up a day on the ice with a great meal at the Rapids Restaurant, next to the fire and overlooking the frozen Tonahutu Creek.

Ice fishing

The 28th Annual 3 Lake Ice Fishing Tournament: January 29th, 30th and 31st, 2016
Fish one, two or all three days. Win cash and prizes. Over $15,000 in cash prizes will be awarded! Cash prizes to 8th place in four categories and a “Big Fish” drawing category. Over $3000 in products will be given away. Your entry fee includes a commemorative hat and one entry in a prize drawing. $35 for one day, $45 for two days, only $50 for all three days! Sunday’s Tournament now ends at 11 am and prize money will be smaller.

There will be 8 tagged fish released into Lake Granby. Each is worth $1000! Register with Rocky Mountain Outfitters.Contact the Granby Chamber of Commerce for more information: 970-887-2311

5th Annual Grand Lake Catch & Release Ice Fishing Contest
on Colorado’s largest natural lake March 5th & 6th.
Prizes will be awarded in three categories: Lake Trout, Brown Trout and Rainbow Trout.
$40 entry fee, kids under 14 yrs FREE. Along with the contest, there will be a Friday Night Welcome Party and “A Fisherman’s Feast” on Saturday after the contest with food and door prizes. For more information call: (970) 798-8021 and register at www.rkymtnoutfitters.com

Memorial Day Ideas In Colorado

It may be the dead of winter but I bet many of you are already thinking of where to go and what to do for the first holiday weekend of the summer, a three day weekend at that! We are dreaming of green grass, warm days, wildflowers, sunshine and baby animals.

Rocky Mountain National Park The end of May in the Rocky Mountains is early spring and the higher you go, the further behind spring lags. Grand Lake, Colorado is at 8,400 feet above sea level and by Memorial Day Weekend the three lakes will be thawed, the Aspens Trees will have sprouted bright green leaves and many wildflowers will be reaching skyward. Birds will be nesting in earnest and moose and elk will be fat with young.

Almost everything opens up for the summer on Memorial Day Weekend: the marinas, all the shops, all the restaurants, all the hotels and much more. Grand Lake swings to life as is always very evident on Memorial Day itself when the townsfolk have fun with a Memorial Day Parade, crowds, candy, fun displays and all sorts of vehicles and floats.

Grand Lake Lodging

The Rapids Lodge has a two night minimum this weekend BUT we still have our fantastic “Special Winter Offer” in place until early June. This means that 2 people could stay with us for as little as $60 per night (Lodge Guest Room 5 + 7) and up to 6 people for as little as $89 per night (Rapids Suites). Some of the Rapids Suites are pet-friendly. So make your plans early and ensure you “get in on the good deal”. Book online right here on our website.

The Rapids Restaurant will begin serving lunch outside by the Tonahutu River as it rushes by, swollen with snowmelt. Dinner overlooking the creek will create magical memories for you and your family.

Hike, bike, boat, fish, soak up the sun all the while enjoying the awe inspiring scenery of Rocky Mountain National Park and Grand County. Snow-capped mountains against the foreground of spring in the Rockies, is quite the sight to see!

Fall in Colorado

Fall in Colorado Rocky Mountains

Grand County experienced a frost August 18th and 19th this summer! That is a sure way to get things turning to reds and yellows. August has not provided much rain either, so a few bushes and trees here and there are showing gold colors already. Predicting when the colors will turn is difficult, perhaps as early as Labor Day Weekend, perhaps as late as the second week of September. Peak colors are often experience during the third week of September. We will see how this Fall in Colorado turns out.

No matter what, Fall in Colorado is a fabulous time to visit Rocky Mountain National Park and Grand Lake, Colorado! Both the Rocky Mountain National Park and the Historic Rapids Lodge are finishing up celebrating their Centennial Year! At 100 years old, this building is a must see. The blockish, “barky” covered building hides a real treasure inside. The Rapids Restaurant offers a cozy ambience with fascinating details in décor, two fireplaces and a wonderful view over the river.

Fall in Colorado offers crisp mornings, brilliant blue skies and vibrant color everywhere you look. Migratory birds and waterfowl begin passing through Grand County on their way south for the winter, and the area offers good opportunities for excellent Colorado birding. Watch bull Moose in rut and bull Elk herding their harems of females and “bugling” in the meadows of the Rocky Mountain National Park. An evening enjoying the elk is perfectly followed by a dinner at the Rapids Restaurant next to the fireplace! Taking a day drive anywhere in Colorado is bound to amaze in the fall. Hot Sulphur Springs is a great place to relax in steaming starlit pools after a long day of hiking and mountain adventure.

The Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre will be presenting their fall show “Forever Plaid” through September. Check their website for show days and times. Grand Lake also celebrates “Constitution Week” (Sept. 14-19) which offers all sorts of interesting talks and even a fun fireworks show on Saturday the 19th.

No matter when you visit during the fall, there is plenty to do, some of the best weather, busy weekends or quiet weekdays and endless opportunities to make memories!