Fall Getaways and Hotels in Grand Lake

Why visit Grand Lake in October?


The month of October can offer fabulous weather in the Rockies, or a dusting of snow! It is a peaceful month and folks who don’t like crowds love to visit Rocky Mountain National Park at this time of the year. The elk are still bugling and the trails are quiet. Sunny days can be t-shirt warm, and the scenery always astounds.


Looking for affordable Hotels in Grand Lake?

Take advantage of one of the Rapids Lodge hotels deals: enjoy a one bedroom Rapids Suite that can sleep up to six people and has a fully equipped kitchen for just $89 per night. Rapids Suite 4 is a studio that runs at just $60 per night! The lower level Rapids Suites (1-4) are all pet-friendly so you can vacation with your four legged family member!
If a smaller, more romantic room is your style, Trails End or Garden Room on the second floor of the historic lodge building might be perfect for you at just $60 per night.
Hotels in Grand Lake
The Rapids Restaurant will be open for dinner four nights a week in October, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Enjoy a sumptuous meal with a view over the spot-lit river. Cozy up in front of the lobby fireplace with a nightcap before bed.

Ideas for Daytime Activities in October:

  • – Hike to Adams Falls, just 0.3 of a mile
  • – Drive Trail Ridge Road (average closing date Oct. 23)
  • – Listen to the elk bugle in Rocky Mountain National Park at sunset
  • – Shop downtown for early Christmas gifts
  • – Soak at Hot Sulphur Springs
  • – Book a relaxing massage with Sarah Chabot
  • – Take a Hot Air Balloon ride and soar above the Rockies
  • – Fish Grand Lake, Shadow Mountain, and Lake Granby
  • – Read that book you have wanted to read for ages
If you a Colorado hunter, you will find some of our larger units ideal for groups if you don’t want to rough it at a hunting camp!
We invite you enjoy the peace and quiet in Grand County, hear the crunch of Aspen leaves underfoot and completely relax when you visit Grand Lake, Colorado


February Adventure Grand Lake

Feeling stuck in a mid-winter slump? You are in need of a February Adventure!

With fresh snow and more on the way, Grand Lake is dressed to impress! So take this opportunity to come visit us at the Historic Rapids Lodge for your February Adventure! Rates start at $60 a night and there’s a ton to see and do here!  With the days getting longer (and warmer), February is the perfect time to visit.

Book your stay now

What could your February Adventure entail?SnowmobileSnowmobiling

This weekend is the Trail Blazers Snowmobile Poker Run Fundraiser for Right to Ride Fund and Flight for Life. Everyone is welcome to participate so bring your own sled or rent one. You’ll be glad you did when you’re enjoying our fabulous groomed trails and astounding vistas!

ice fishing

Ice Fishing

The lake is still frozen, and Grand Lake is home to some of the largest trout in the West! If you’ve always wondered about ice fishing, stop wondering and come give it a try! We can set you up with a guide, or direct you to all the good spots.

history Grand Lake

Photo Credit: The Grand County Historic Society


If you’re a history buff, we recommend checking out the historic Kauffman House Museum. The Kauffman House Museum was the first hotel in Grand Lake and will be open this coming weekend. Entering the museum is like stepping back in time. While you walk through each of the tiny rooms, you’ll see period dress, furniture, and everyday utensils from the late 1800’s. The historical display of Grand County is fascinating and features the history of Grand County all the way back to when the Utes were attacked on the shores of Grand Lake, and their wives and children who were sent out on rafts to stay safe, capsized and perished in a storm. Since then the lake has been known as, “Spirit Lake.”

nordic skiing cross-country skiing

Nordic Skiing

Looking to add Nordic skiing to your February Adventure? On February 28th the Grand Lake Nordic Center will be holding the Foxy Freestyle Nordic Race benefiting the National Center for the Disabled. With food and prizes it is sure to be fun for the whole family! The Grand Lake Nordic Center miles of groomed trails for you to use at your leisure, snowshoeing, rentals, a kid’s tubing hill, an more.

Bull Moose in WinterWildlife

Grand Lake is just minutes from Rocky Mountain National Park. With warmer days, animals are beginning to move around and migratory birds have started returning to the Rockies. Visit the National Park and keep your eyes peeled for elk, moose, fox, eagles, bighorn sheep, and other amazing animals. Don’t forget your camera!

We hope to see you soon for your February Adventure! Book your room today and select the hotel special offer rate!


Bedroom Inn Lodging Rapids Restaurant, Grand Lake Colorado

Rapids Restaurant, Grand Lake Colorado

Grand Lake Ice Fishing Tournament …….

Plan ahead for March 7 and 8, 2015:  the 4th Annual Catch and Release Grand Lake Ice Fishing Contest will be held on Grand Lake and is becoming more and more popular each year! Prizes will be awarded for Lake Trout, Brown Trout and Rainbow Trout. Kids under 14 are free and adult registration costs just $40 (register at the Rocky Mountain Outfitters Grand Lake, Colorado website). There is also a “Kids Wildlife Snow Art Contest” so there is fun for the whole family. Rocky Mountain Outfitters also rent snow shoes and provide FREE ice skates for the town ice rink. For family members who are not so keen on fishing, there is still plenty to do: have fun at the bowling alley, take a sleigh ride, cross country ski at the Grand Lake Nordic Center, fly down the tubing hill, soak in the hot springs, shop and dine.


Rapids Condo 5B

Rapids Condo 5B

Did you know that Grand Lake is Colorado’s largest and deepest natural lake and is an award winning fishery? The lake is at 8369 feet elevation, has a surface area of 507 acres, maximum depth of 265 feet and a total volume of  68,621 acre feet! Two natural tributaries, the North and East inlets, keep the lake nice and chilly with snow-melt.


The Rapids Lodge is just 2 ½ blocks from the lake where all the action will be happening. Bring your buddies and take advantage of some of our diverse hotel rooms. Choose a room for 1 or 2 people or an  8 person condo or a 6 person Rapids Suite (some of which are pet-friendly). Note the Rapids Suites are available for a great hotel special – just $89 per night!


Grand Lake offers stunning scenery and is an authentic mountain town. We hope to see you in March!


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Ideas for Valentine’s Day Dinner and President’s Day Weekend …..

Make this weekend a special getaway. We invite you to stay at the Rapids Lodge for as low as $60 a night for 2 or $89 per night for up to 6 people! What a great Grand Lake hotel special – it is hard to beat.

Valentine's day lodging Valentine's Day dinner

Valentine’s day lodging

The Rapids Restaurant will be serving our regular menu accompanied by one delicious Valentine’s Day Dinner Special! Although the Rapids Restaurant is open Wed through Sunday in the winter, we will also be open Sunday February 15th for the long weekend. If you would prefer a quieter dining experience, consider joining us on Friday or Sunday nights instead. The Rapids Restaurant has been voted “Most Romantic”, “Best Dessert” and “Grand Lake’s #1 Restaurant” in Grand County’s Sky-Hi news “Best of Grand Lake” survey.

Imagine a snowy night, dining with a view of the snowy Tonahutu River and enjoying the ambience of 2 fireplaces. A moose wanders past or the red fox may trot up the frozen river’s edge. Snuggle up during the day in front of one of the River View or Rapids Condo fireplaces after a day of winter outdoor adventure. On Friday February 13th, you can take advantage of the Valentine’s “2 for 1” passes at the Grand Lake Nordic Center. We are a pet-friendly hotel too, so bring the entire family if you choose.

Romantic mountain getaway, Valentine’s Day dinner, and more.

Winter Holiday Weekends at The Rapids …

Spend holiday weekends at The Rapids this winter! The first public holiday is Martin Luther King Day Weekend (Jan 16+17+18+19) followed by a double celebration for Valentine’s Day and Presidents Day Weekend in February (Feb 13+14+15+16). The Rapids Restaurant has been voted the most Romantic Restaurant in Grand County in the “Best of Grand County” publication by the Sky-Hi News in 2014.

What a great opportunity to take an extended break and play in the snowy mountains of Rocky Mountain National Park. We have great Holiday Weekend Lodging Specials.

Colorado winters bring lots of snow, ideal for winter sports like cross country skiing, snow shoeing and snowmobiling. There are miles of groomed snowmobiling trails and the Grand Lake Trailgroomers website will keep you up to date on conditions. Grand Lake is Colorado’s snowmobiling capital and you can ride right from your room to the trail, even along the main street where all the shops are located.

Colorado weather also brings lots of sunshine and the dry air means it doesn’t feel as cold as the East Coast or Central Plains. T-shirt days in the sunshine are possible. Don’t forget there are hot springs, ice fishing on the three lakes, ice-skating, winter hot air balloon rides, sleigh rides, dog sled rides and all that Rocky Mountain National Park has to offer.


River View Condo 2

For a unique lodging experience including cabins, condos, and motels in Grand Lake, we invite you to stay with us at the Rapids Lodge – “Grand Lake’s Hidden Gem!”

To contact the Rapids Lodge, call 970.627.3707.

New Year’s Eve in Grand Lake

Join us for New Year’s Eve ~ Grand Lake ~ You’ll be glad you did!

Grand Lake is magical over the holidays and New Year’s Eve. The town is strewn with festive lights and alive with people. Everything is open and hopping. Enjoy a sumptuous meal at the Rapids Restaurant on New Year’s Eve (see our Restaurant – Dinner Menu page and scroll all the way to the bottom).

New Year's Eve Grand LakeThen take a casual stroll to the frozen lakefront, just two and a half blocks from the restaurant and your room at the Rapids, then watch the Grand Lake Fireworks Extravaganza at midnight. The light reflecting off the snow covered mountains and lake is something special.

We have a three night minimum (any 3 nights including December 31st). We will definitely fill up, so book early. New Year’s Eve is in the middle of the week this year and we suggest extending your vacation by including a weekend on either side!

Come celebrate New Year’s Eve Grand Lake style with us! There are plenty of winter activities to keep you busy!

For historic lodging, cabins, and motels in Grand Lake, contact the Rapids Lodge at 970-627-3707

The History:

The Rapids Lodge was built in 1915, making our lodge nearly a century old. The lodge is built from local lodge pole pine, and was the first building in Grand Lake, Colorado to have running water and electricity. The building originally opened as an inn and restaurant, and has been preserved over the years as a historical hotel and a local Grand Lake icon. Our long list of famous (and infamous) guests includes Janis Joplin, Jim Croce, and Kris Kristofferson.

Though gambling was illegal in the 1950s, there was some action to be had at Rapids! The lodge even had a secret bell to ring to when authorities pulled into the driveway, alerting guests and allowing them to “turn the tables” and hide the evidence of gambling!

Plan Your Holiday Party!

The Rapids Restaurant is the perfect place for your Holiday Party. Owner Lynne Ludwig always decorates the Rapids Restaurant beautifully with several Christmas Trees and artful touches. No matter if your group is big or small, we can accommodate you and tailor a group menu that will fit your budget and style. Of course, smaller groups can always order off the regular menu if that is preferred.

Although the Rapids Lodge and Restaurant is taking a fall break, there will be a representative available between 10am and Noon Monday through Friday. Leave a message or e-mail us and we will help you make your plans.

Our winter season begins again on Thursday December 11th. Check out our great accommodation specials for the winter whether just a regular weekend, Christmas, Martin Luther King Weekend, Valentine’s and Presidents Day Weekend. Remember we have great pet-friendly rooms too!

Christmas in the Rocky Mountains of Grand County. You can’t beat it!

Holiday party

Christmas at the Rapids Lodge

For historic lodging, cabins, and motels for the holiday season, contact The Rapids Lodge today at 970.627.3707.

The History:

The Rapids Lodge was built in 1915, making our lodge nearly a century old. The lodge is built from local lodge pole pine, and was the first building in Grand Lake, Colorado to have running water and electricity. The building originally opened as an inn and restaurant, and has been preserved over the years as a historical hotel and a local Grand Lake icon. Our long list of famous (and infamous) guests includes Janis Joplin, Jim Croce, and Kris Kristofferson.

Though gambling was illegal in the 1950s, there was some action to be had at Rapids! The lodge even had a secret bell to ring to when authorities pulled into the driveway, alerting guests and allowing them to “turn the tables” and hide the evidence of gambling!

What are you doing this weekend?

What are you doing this weekend? The weather is as good as it gets in the Rocky Mountains during October. Trail Ridge Road through Rocky Mountain National Park is still open! This is a beautiful drive especially now that the mountain tops are covered in snow. Bugling elk in the meadows, moose, mule deer, foxes and coyotes abound. Expect to see a few marmots sunning themselves as well.

We invite you to take advantage of our “Stay 1 night, get 1 free” lodging special available in the Rapids Suites and the Lodge Guest Rooms. We have just one pet-friendly accommodation left for this weekend, so don’t delay. Book now.

The Rapids Restaurant is open Wednesday through Saturday. Our dining room view at this time of the year is definitely the best in Grand Lake. The Tonahutu River is always mesmerizing to watch from your fireside table.


The Tonahutu River near the Rapids Lodge

The cool morning air is perfect for your morning jog or hike. Mist rises from the 3 lakes and a light frost will greet you. Days are deliciously warm with a forecast for 66 degrees and sunny! The clear starry nights are ideal for star gazing or relaxing in the outdoor pools at Hot Sulphur Springs. There is so much to do in Grand Lake right now. No crowds, pure relaxation – we will help you plan! Hike, fish, wildlife watch, shop, eat, live music ……come stay with us.

For historic lodging, cabins, and motels in Grand Lake, Colorado, contact the Rapids Lodge! Give us a call at 970-627-3707.

Mid-October at the Rapids!

Great weather coming up this week!

The forecast is for almost perfect fall weather starting Monday and continuing through the weekend (warm and sunny days)! Take advantage of our hotel lodging special “stay one night and get one free” so you can enjoy October at The Rapids! Many of the trees in Grand Lake still have beautiful fall leaves on them and when the sun is out, the scenery is astoundingly beautiful.

October at The Rapids

Snow capped peaks are freshly coated in glistening white and the fresh snowfall has pushed many of the big game species down to lower elevations, great for hunting! The fishing is really excellent now as the waters have cooled and activity has increased. Fishing in the pools along the North Inlet trail, which leaves from just above the Rapids on the hill, is also prime.

A good soak in the Hot Sulphur Springs is a great way to warm up and relax after a day in the great outdoors. Bring your kayak or canoe and enjoy the 3 lakes. Hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park is peaceful with lots of game activity, fall colors and no crowds! Don’t forget to view the elk in Rocky Mountain National Park as the bugle and round up harems of females. What a perfect way to spend October at The Rapids.

For historic lodging, cabins, and motels in Grand Lake, Colorado, contact the Rapids Lodge! Give us a call at 970.627.3707.


Savor peak fall color …..

Peak fall color looks set for the last week of September. We have plenty of rooms still available during this period (including pet-friendly). Call us today or use our online booking option. We have great lodging specials too.


Young Mallards on Grand Lake

Did you know that Grand Lake is also known as Spirit Lake? In cold weather wisps of fog can be seen dancing over its surface in the cool morning air and the fall is the perfect time to see this phenomenon. In 1882, as other Indian Tribes moved into the area, fights occurred with the resident Utes. The tale is that a Ute group was surprised by an Arapaho-Cheyenne war party and children, squaws, and elderly were put onto pine rafts on what is now known as Grand Lake. A storm was approaching and as the warriors battled, the rafts capsized with no survivors. The spirits of the dead rose as spectral mists above the lake and the warriors fled, never to return.

The last two weeks of September offer a really special opportunity for fall color drives and walks, solitude, brilliant blue skies and no crowds. Rocky Mountain National Park has some of the best roadside spots from which to view bull elk protect their harems. The bull elk bugles are a haunting sound through the valley. Bull Moose now have huge racks and are being seen frequently here in town.

Coming up in Grand Lake: Constitution Week September 15-20; enjoy a community game of bridge (Sept 17); Music in the Town Park (Sept 17 + 24); watch plein air painters in Rocky Mountain National Park from now through the end of the month; take in the fall show at Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre (Double Trouble); Trappers Wild Game Culinary Event (Sept 26+27 – part of the Rocky Mountain National Part Centennial Celebrations); Taking Steps to End Cancer 5K (Sept 28 – to benefit Rocky Mountain Rural Health).

The Rapids Lodge invites you to visit this fall. For historic lodging, cabins, motels, and dining in Grand Lake near Rocky Mountain National Park, contact us today! Give us a call at 970-627-3707.