It’s almost fall in Colorado!

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.

What to expect: May in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado

As of mid-March, our area is at 143% of average expected snowpack for this time of year! March is often the biggest snow month of the season although I think this January will be hard to beat! The weather right now is fairly warm, days in the mid 40’s with nights not too far below freezing. Just today, the Tonahutu River in front of the AAA Three Diamond Rapids Restaurant, began to open up and for the first time. We can hear the water gurgling again! Music to our ears. Unless we get a remarkably cold snap, we expect the ice to melt away fairly quickly. Perhaps we will have a nice slow melt, maybe it will be really warm and we will have a sudden melt. Either way, the Tonahutu River this spring will be raging and a quite a spectacle to see. Pick a River View or Rapids Condo with a view of the river and enjoy the rushing water from the comfort of your room.

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Spring has arrived in many parts of the country an estimated three weeks early. Right now, mid-March, there have been sightings of our spring icons: American Robins and Mountain Bluebirds! Your birding adventures can start now! Perhaps the lake ice will also melt off early this year and the Aspen Trees will sprout green leaves at the beginning of May versus Mid-May in Grand Lake. We will have to see.

The two big events of May are of course, are Mother’s Day and Memorial Day Weekend (enjoy the Parade)! On Memorial Day Weekend, Bingo, on the weekends, in the Grand Lake Pavilion starts up for the summer and the historic Kauffman House (Grand Lake, Colorado’s first hotel) opens up for the summer season. Who needs events for an excuse to come to the mountains in May? The scenery is never prettier with snow-capped peaks towering above azure lakes and the brilliant green of fresh spring growth contrasting with the blues of peaks and sky. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for baby moose!

We have accommodations for every taste: Riverside Condos that sleep 4 to 12 people, Historic Lodge Guest Rooms, Rapids Suites sleeping 4-7 people and in mid-May, our pet-friendly cabins will open up for the summer season! Book now to visit “Grand Lake’s Hidden Gem.”

Fall in Grand Lake Colorado

Fall Foliage Tours …..

Colorado’s fall color is something to behold. The grass, the willows and the Aspen Trees turn a glorious gold. A few red Aspen Trees may be found in patches. If the leaves are backlit, the brilliance of the leaves is unsurpassed!  Fall peak colors may be a bit early this year. Golden trees and willows began appearing in late August and show no signs of slowing down! There are plenty of fall color drives to choose from and Trail Ridge Road through Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the best!

Grand Lake Colorado

Fall in Grand Lake Colorado

 

Fall in Grand Lake, Colorado also has a few fall festivals and activities to keep you entertained. Our main fall attraction is “Constitution Week” which runs September 12th through 17th. Enjoy talks and fun activities celebrating our constitution and don’t miss the fireworks that bring the week to a close!

The Elk mating season is another reason to visit us here at the Rapids Lodge in the fall. People come from all over the world to witness the bull elk bugling as they round their harems of females up for mating. You mightThe Tonahutu Creek at the Rapids Lodge be lucky enough to see a fight between majestic, antlered bulls. The elk (also known as Wapiti) come out of the trees and gather in the meadows daily at dusk and tourists gather with chairs and blankets on the road verges to witness the action. The bulls elk’s mating call is a haunting sound and will stay in your memory forever.

So head our direction on your fall road trip and enjoy Colorado at its best. The Rapids Lodge is located on the Tonahutu River, at the end of the main street in town (Grand Ave.). You can walk everywhere …. it is just two short blocks to the lake. Some of our accommodations are pet-friendly too. Monarch Lake Trail is a perfect loop for a fall hike with your dog!

The Rapids Restaurant is in a spectacular location overlooking the river . Savor dinner next to the fireplace in the evenings or join us for lunch (served outside on warm fall days).

“Leaf peeping” is just too much fun to miss! Call us today.

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.

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

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.

Last Minute Spring Break Plans …

If you have left your spring break planning a little late, how about Grand Lake Colorado! It may not be crazy, it may not be crowded but it is simply beautiful with lots to do. The Rapids Lodge property consists of a variety of lodging such as Lodge Guest Rooms, River View Condos, Rapids Condos and Rapids Suites. The condos sleep up to 8 people and the Rapids Suites are one of the best hotel deals out there – just $89 per night for up to 6 people. What an adventure it will be in CO!

The Rapids Lodge is unique among Grand Lake Colorado lodging options. The hotel was built in 1915 and boasts a few ghosts. If haunted hotels are your thing, you might find the Rapids quite interesting. We are just a few blocks from the Western Riviera lakeside lodging and a ½ block from the Grand Escape Cottages Grand Lake Colorado. Walk to the shops in town, walk to the frozen lake, walk everywhere!

View of Grand Lake Colorado taken by local Dawn R

So what is there to do? Rocky Mountain National Park of course: cross country skiing, snowshoeing, wildlife watching and more. Then there is ice-fishing to try out (rent your ice fishing gear at Rocky Mountain Outfitters), sleigh rides at Winding River Ranch, a good soak at the Hot Sulphur Springs, tubing and downhill at Granby Ranch, Dog Sled Rides of Winter Park and Grand Adventure Balloon rides (a great experience in winter).

The Grand Lake Colorado Weather in late February and March can bring some awesome fresh snow but the days are longer and warmer making outdoor adventure much more comfortable. We have had good snows this winter and despite a warm spell, our base is good so winter fun will last a long time!

Call us today or book on-line. Spring Break is here.

Snowmobile in Grand Lake this Weekend!

Snowmobiling

What are you doing this weekend? How about coming to Grand Lake Colorado and joining in a snowmobile poker run, no experience required. You can ride at your own pace between 9am and 4pm. The Poker Run benefits the “Right to Ride Fund” and FLIGHT FOR LIFE (the best part of your worst day) and is on Saturday February 20th, 2016.

The Rapids Lodge has Lodge Guest Rooms 1+2+3+4 available that sleep 2 people and if you CALL US to reserve for the Poker Run, we will give you a rate of just $60 per night! We also have Rapids Suite 4 (dog-friendly) at $65 and one bedroom Rapids Suites with full kitchen at just $89 per night for up to 6 people. Even if you aren’t going to stay, it is one of the easy day trips from Denver.

Registration is from 9-noon at the Grand Lake Community House (cash or check only).

$5/hand or 5 hands for $20

Cash Prizes of $700 for 1st, $200 for 2nd and $100 for 3rd.

WeatherSilent Auction and Bonus Hidden Boondocking Stop.
Check out the Grand Lake Trail Groomers website to see current trail conditions and a map of the area.
The poker run is sponsored by The Grand Lake Trailblazers Snowmobile Club CO and the Mile Hi Snowmobile Club- Denver CO.

To donate to the silent auction or volunteer or sponsor the event contact Toni Boettcher at 720-208-6692

While you are up here, bring your ice fishing gear and enjoy the world class fishing on any of the three lakes. Fish Explorer can tell you more. Rocky Mountain National Park is open for wildlife watching, snowshoeing cross country and our local moose are on the move so likely to be seen.

Grand Lake Co Weather is going to be great this weekend. Come play!

Valentine’s Day in Grand Lake

Make your Valentine’s Day plans well ahead of time this year. Accommodation in Grand Lake will be booking up earlier than usual if trends are to be believed. Grand County hotels are always humming with activity over this long, 3 day weekend in February. Monday February 15th is President’s Day, a public holiday, so you can take advantage of the holiday and extend a great weekend getaway.

Although the Rapids Restaurant usually serves dinner Wednesday through Saturday in the winter, we will definitely be serving dinner to you and your sweetheart on Sunday, February 14th. The Rapids Restaurant is regularly voted as the “most romantic dining experience” by Grand County locals.

Valentine’s Day in Grand LakeOur fantastic “Winter Special Offer” reduced room rates are valid all through the holiday weekend. Some of the Rapids Suites are pet-friendly if you have another sweetheart or two you would like to bring along. Or perhaps you would enjoy a real wood burning fireplace in Rapids Condo 1B or a gas fireplace in one of the River View Condos.

Take your loved one for a relaxing soak at Hot Sulphur Springs in one of their 21 outdoor pools, or try them all. Whether you relax under the stars or amidst snowflakes, it is a great winter experience. Rent a snowmobile for two and ride the 100 or so miles of groomed trails, enjoying breathtaking scenery and a picnic lunch. Perhaps you would like to borrow ice skates and take a twirl on the ice rink in the park or experience ice-fishing for the first time (contact Rocky Mountain Outfitters). The Grand Lake Nordic Center also offers a two for one pass on Valentine’s Day for a romantic cross country ski or snowshoe.

Nothing beats a refreshing Valentine’s Day getaway in Grand Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park and the stunning Grand County winter playground.

The Rapids Lodge and Restaurant – Open for the Winter Season!

Grand Lake, Colorado is glowing with festive Christmas lights and is always magical and open for the winter and during the holiday season. We received great snow in early November and are expecting more this coming weekend to freshen us up. Shadow Mountain Reservoir is frozen but Lake Granby and Grand Lake are still open so if you are brave enough to do some last minute boating and fishing, now is the time!IMG_1041The snowmobile trail to the Arapahoe National Forest from the Town of Grand Lake is not yet open but you can still trailer to Idle Glen just 10 minutes down the road and have a great time on the groomed snowmobile trails. Check out the the Grand Lake Trailgroomers site for up to date conditions.tree

The Rapids Lodge is hard to beat among Grand Lake Rentals with our winter hotel specials starting at just $60 per person. Book on-line right here on our website to get the best rates. Dogs are just $15 per night additional in some pet-friendly units and they love to play in the snow!

The Rapids Restaurant has some of the best food in Grand Lake and a new winter menu (available for you to look at here on our website). The Restaurant has been festively decorated with highlights of blue and lots of fun details. We have already hosted a few very successful holiday parties and if you haven’t booked yours yet, give us a call! The Tonahutu River is almost frozen solid with just a few patches of flowing water. The blanket of white with the odd fox trotting by, is always beautiful especially when you are toasty warm nest to the fireplace! A few moose have been seen about town recently as well.

12321132_10205219689952066_3975235424680043681_n The Grand Lake Nordic Center is open for the winter. Enjoy snowshoeing and cross country skiing and if you prefer the wilder side, the Rocky Mountain National Park offers easy trails for both winter activities.

Check out the Grand Lake Events listings on the Grand Lake Chamber website and on the Visit Grand County website. There is so much to do!