Winter Attractions in Grand Lake Colorado

Winter in Grand Lake, Colorado

Looking for the perfect spot for your winter vacation or quick getaway? Grand Lake, Colorado is a magical and memorable experience. Lots of fresh, fluffy snow, amazing lights and so much to do.

Depending on the year, winter can start in November, sometimes early December. We have known Novembers where the groomed snowmobiling trails are open and piled with snow. This year may be one of them because of the great snow we received beginning in October. Grand Lake offers four months of pure winter pleasure.

Where to stay for the holidays in Colorado? Well, with us of course. Book early. Enjoy our little Western town’s sparkling lights, Christmas Trees and more. Nothing beats a white Christmas and the Rapids Restaurant is open on Christmas Eve. Book a room with a full kitchen at the Rapids and enjoy your holiday meal with your family. The Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre puts on a holiday show and of course you have to ring in the new year with the Grand Lake fireworks at midnight on New Year’s Eve! The best viewing spot is just 2 very short blocks from the Rapids. Enjoy our fabulous New Year’s Eve dinner and then saunter down the road for one of the best fireworks shows you will ever see.

Do you have a love of the great outdoors? Ice-Fishing is at its best on our three lakes and Rocky Mountain Outfitters will get you lined up with equipment, a guide, and gear. Try something new – you might just get hooked! The Annual Grand Lake Catch and Release Contest is one of them and has a $1,000 prize! Check out the Three Lakes Ice Fishing Contest too. 

 Grand Lake is known as “The Snowmobile Capital of the USA” with 70+ miles of groomed snowmobile trails, exciting terrain and deeply snow-covered meadows. On the Trail Rentals at Winding River Resort or Grand Adventures in town has the sled you need. Double rider sleds are available. Plan an epic adventure and ride from Grand Lake in Grand County to Gould in Routt County. Traverse the Continental Divide. If you bring your own sleds, ride right from your room at the Rapids, through town and onto the trails. 

Not into motorized winter sports? Take a sleigh ride at Winding River Resort, something everyone should experience snuggled under a soft blanket. It is so quiet and peaceful gliding through the trees.

Got kids? Family activities in Grand Lake include our annual, fun-filled Winter Carnival. Bed-sled races, human bowling, teapot curling and more. Pull your little one on a sled in the sled pull races or build a snowman for the competition! Locals participate in a snow sculpture competition. Join in and sign up. To top it off, there is a parade and fireworks! There is a free sledding hill just off the main street. The “Quackers” rubber ducky and fudge store is a must to visit with the family. Everyone can take home a memento.

Did you know there is a free ice-skating rink in Grand Lake? Visit the Grand Lake Community Center and check out some free skates. They even have a gym if you want to work out.

Want a change of scenery …. head down to Granby and go downhill skiing for day at Granby Ranch. The runs are just right and it is not too crowded so you and the kids can ski versus mostly stand in line! Affordable ski lessons are available. Night skiing at Granby Ranch is a fun adventure that will make for some great memories. Go a little farther afield and visit Winter Park for dog sled rides or tubing (day and night). Tubing is some of the best fun you can have and when you head home, soak away the cold at Hot Sulphur Springs. Sit under the stars in the steaming pools or watch the snowflakes fall softly around you. Stargazing in Grand County is absolutely fantastic on the cold, clear nights of winter. If you get up early, you can take a breathtaking trip in a Hot Air Balloon and float above the snowy landscape. 

Grand Lake Nordic Center offers a tubing hill just up the road from the Rapids Lodge, cross country ski and snowshoe lessons and equipment rentals, miles of groomed trails and if you are in one of the dog-friendly rooms at the Rapids, take your dog on the pet-friendly loop! Never Summer Mountain products also have winter sports equipment for sale and for rent. If you have forgotten your boots or mittens, this is the place to get them. The Harbison Loop, Coyote River Trail and Holzwarth Ranch trails in Rocky Mountain are easy and fun for the whole family on snowshoes or skis. The Kawuneechee Visitor Center offers guided trails on weekends throughout the winter. The Center is worth a visit for the displays and the short film introducing Rocky. For skilled skiers and snowshoers, there are plenty of challenging trails. Cross country skiing on the frozen lake ice is a blast and a great way to explore the historic homes along the Grand Lakeshore. Check with the locals to find out ice conditions and open water risks.

Well, by now, you should be convinced that Grand Lake in Colorado is the perfect place for winter family fun. Book at the Rapids Lodge today. We have great rates in the winter. Always book direct for the best price. Find us on Booking.com and Expedia.com, but book with us online or by phone. We are always happy to chat so give us a call.

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

Click Here to book

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!

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!

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!

History Surrounds the Rapids Lodge

Grand Lake has a rich history. The area was occupied by Paleo Indians and Clovis Peoples, then Arapahoe, Sioux and Cheyenne. Fur trappers and mountain men, gold miners all began to change the area. Grand Lake village was established in 1881 and there are exciting tales from those rough frontier days. Tourism to Colorado’s largest natural lake boomed, especially when Rocky Mountain National Park was established.

Grand Lake HistoryThe Grand Lake Area Historical Society works hard to preserve many historical structures, the stories and the memories of the people that have influenced Grand Lake. Their website is fascinating to peruse and a visit to the Kauffman House (historic Grand Lake hotel museum) and Cottage Camp (oldest Motor Inn in the USA located right here in Grand Lake) will be worthwhile.

Join the devoted volunteers for December and January fundraisers and learn about our area.

December 26, 6-9pm: Enjoy an evening in the festively decorated Kauffman House with food, beverages and music! $25 at the door. Benefits the Cottage Camp. No young children please.

Food 1 December 31st 10pm to midnight. Stay warm, tour the Kauffman House, enjoy treats and then step outside for the fireworks that welcome the new year. $5 at the door.

January 30th: Groundhog Gala. 5:30-8pm at the Grand Lake Golf Course Clubhouse. Benefits the Cottage Camp.

History enthusiasts will find all of these events, their website and their museums fascinating. The historical walking tour with pamphlet can be taken at any time of your and will show you all the historical hotspots in town.

Nov 29 2013 Open House sled & wreath on porchStay at the Rapids Lodge which is just one block away from the Kauffman House. We have fantastic Winter Specials in select Historic Lodge Guest Rooms and Rapids Suites: stay for as little as $60 for 2 people and from $89 for up to 6 people! Some of the Rapids suites are pet-friendly too. We strongly suggest you plan for a sumptuous dinner in the Rapids Restaurant. We have our own interesting history along with a few hotel ghosts…


 

 

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!