The Rapids Lodge is located right on the western edge of Rocky Mountain National Park, one of our nation’s true natural treasures. The park affords ample outdoor activities to guests, including incredible hiking, camping, fishing, bird and wildlife viewing, mountaineering, sightseeing, and other activities.
Some of the park’s best activities can be found on the western side of the park, from shorter day hikes to more extensive backcountry excursions. Beautiful waterfalls, alpine lakes, meandering streams, lush meadows, jagged mountains, and other amazing natural features can be found on Rocky Mountain National Park’s west side.
These high mountain lakes and streams provide the perfect habitat for fish species to thrive. Rocky Mountain National Park’s fish species include brook, brown, rainbow, and native cutthroat trout, all of which provide exciting fishing opportunities for anglers. (Be sure to be familiar with regulations and to obtain a fishing license before fishing).
The park is home to a spectacularly diverse population of flora and fauna. Wildlife ranging from mule deer, moose, and elk, to bear, cougar, coyotes and fox all inhabit the park. Some of the more unique sightings include Bighorn Sheep, Beaver, Yellow Bellied Marmots, Snowshoe Hare and Pika.
Over 270 species of birds have been recorded in R.M.N.P., making the area very attractive to bird-watchers. Birding groups come from all over the world to see some of the more unique species for example Dusky Grouse, White Tailed Ptarmigan, Three Toed Woodpecker, Western Tanager, Mountain Chickadee, Pine Grosbeak, Gray Jay, Pygmy Nuthatch, Red Crossbill, Clark’s Nutcracker and Townsend’s Solitaire.
Rocky Mountain plant life is impressive in its own right: new growth and old-growth forests of spruce, fir, and lodgepole pine; colorful aspen stands; vast meadows full of fragrant, colorful summer flowers…seriously, it’s worth visiting just for the wildflowers! Explore the impacts, good and bad, of wildfires and the Pine Beetle Epidemic that has changed forests across the Continental United States.
Visitors can travel easily from one side of the park to the other via Trail Ridge Road, which is open during the summer season, and is a spectacular attraction in its own right. The road provides a quick route from Estes Park on the east side of the park, to Grand Lake and the Rapids Lodge on the west side. The Old Fall River Road is a less traveled alternative from Estes Park to the Trail Ridge Store and Alpine Visitor atop the Continental Divide. Trail Ridge Road is the highest continuous, paved road in the U.S. and offers truly astounding views of some of the highest peaks and deepest valleys of the Rockies. In some spots there is snow year round, it never melts. The views of the 14,259 foot Long’s Peak are breathtaking.
Rocky Mountain National Park also offers several visitor’s centers, including the Kawuneechee Visitor Center on the west side, museums, historic sites, and other facilities, where guests can learn more about the park and its diverse story. Ranger-led hikes and seminars offer even more interactive park experiences to guests.
The North Inlet and Tonahutu trails leave from just above the Rapids Lodge and are easily accessible without having to drive. Other popular trails in the immediate area include the East Inlet Trail past Adams Falls to Lone Pine Lake, the East Shore Trail and Shadow Mountain Fire Lookout. The Rapids Lodge is also the perfect start or end point if you want to walk from Grand Lake to Estes Park via Flattop Mountain! The Colorado Trail and Continental Divide Trail brings hikers right past the Rapids Lodge and is a popular stopping point for a comfy bed, hot shower and rejuvenating riverside meal.
Indeed, Rocky Mountain National Park is an awesome experience that offers something for virtually every guest. And since we’re conveniently located in Grand Lake on the west side of the park, the Rapids Lodge is the perfect place to stay while you visit!
To contact the Rapids Lodge, call 970-627-3707 or email [email protected]
Call today to book your stay at The Historic Rapids Lodge and Restaurant only minutes from the West entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. 970-627-3707