Grand Lake Lodging – A Visitor Favorite

The Historic Rapids Lodge and Restaurant is a popular stop for many tours of Colorado for many reasons. The food is great whether lunch or dinner, the view is mesmerizing, our rooms offer something for everyone’s tastes and just about everything in town is within walking distance. We are also one of the top historic buildings in Grand Lake. In fact we are 100 years old this summer making us one of the oldest options for lodging in Grand Lake. The Rocky Mountain National Park Centennial is going on right now as well.

Lodging in Grand Lake

Grand Lake is not only the West Entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park but is one of the few old Colorado towns with an authentic western feel. Visitors can envision cowboys walking down the main street and you never know, you might be one of the lucky ones to see our local horse-lovers ride into town for refreshment. Grand Lake history comes alive with narrated boat tours around Grand Lake which point out local homes and places of interest in the present and the past and the Kauffman House museum which is one of the oldest hotels in the area. Grand Lake offers a fascinating historical walking tour and the booklet is available all over town including the Rapids Lodge (#7 on the tour).

Lodging in Grand Lake

Grand Lake offers scenery, activities, Rocky Mountain National Park, great shopping, memorable dining and much more, all in a very relaxed atmosphere. So call us today and book your Colorado bus tour in for lunch at the Rapids Restaurant or an overnight stay at the Rapids Lodge.

Find Inspiration in Grand Lake Colorado

Grand Lake Colorado offers a wonderfully inspiring environment that is sure to get your creative juices flowing. The scenery is majestic and inspiration abounds everywhere you look. In such a beautiful location you are sure to find inspiration for your painting, photography, writing, or life in general.

Writer’s Retreats are held in Grand Lake Colorado every year. This summer the Shadowcliff is hosting a writer’s retreat in late July. Just steps away from Shadowcliff, the Rapids Lodge offerings a wealth of comfortable and unique lodging options with excellent amenities. Looking for more inspiration? Many of our lodging options overlook the unparalleled magic of the river and the scenery that has provided inspiration for so many artists and writers.

Take the plunge, do something for yourself, and attend a writer’s or art retreat in Grand Lake, Colorado this summer. No matter what your medium or skill level, there are great opportunities in Grand Lake Colorado to get together with other creators, set goals, chat to your co-participants, and share and receive valuable feedback.

Countless paintings, poems, short stories, mysteries, love stories have been inspired by Grand County, Colorado. Local authors live, work, seek inspiration from, and play in Grand Lake Colorado. Stop by the galleries, art shops, and  the delightful and intimate bookstore, ‘Cascades of the Rockies’ while in Grand Lake to discover an amazing variety of locally inspired works.

Reading, writing, and painting by the river is one of the most relaxing ways to spend a day. Enjoy a glass of wine or light lunch entrée while working, and keep an eye out for the moose and other wildlife that frequent our riverfront.


So what are you waiting for? Do something for yourself. Make your escape to the Rocky Mountain National Park! Pamper yourself. Make the time to be you and get creative at the Historic Rapids Lodge and Restaurant!

The little things in Grand Lake Colorado ….

The Rocky Mountain National Park (100 years old this year) is a great place to learn about life on the Continental Divide. The Rapids Lodge (also 100 years old this year) is just 5 minutes from the West Entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. We are located just below the North Inlet Trail access in Grand Lake Colorado. Our stunning location along the banks of the Tonahutu River offer great opportunities for Moose and American Dipper viewing. On occasion an Otter or Mink might clamber along the river’s edge and Red Foxes often traverse the property.Grand Lake Colorado

The Rocky Mountain Conservancy is providing several educational day excursions on the West side of Rocky Mountain National Park. Contact them at 970-586-3262 to reserve  your spot.

Starting out on June 13, 2015 is a “Birding in Rocky Mountain National Park” all day excursion. Start indoors and then head out into the field within Rocky Mountain National Park. Identify birds by sight and voice and learn about their natural history. Look for woodpeckers, bluebirds, swallows and wrens at their cavity nests.Grand Lake Colorado

On July 11, 2015 look for common and not-so-common “Rocky Mountain Wildflowers” and the park’s diversity. Did you know the West slope has more plant diversity than the East side of the park? A naturalist will answer your questions.

Grand Lake ColoradoAugust 15th, 2015 brings a chance to learn about the “Butterflies of Rocky Mountain National Park”. Learn about diversity and behavior. You might see Rocky Mountain Parnassian, Scudder’s Sulphur, Silver-Bordered Fritillary, Mourning Cloak and Dark Wood-Nymph. Bring binoculars and cameras.  The instructor will have a net and release permit so a close look can be enjoyed.

The final excursion will cover the “River Otters of Rocky Mountain National Park” on September 12, 2015. River Otters live in the Colorado River and were re-introduced beginning in the 1970’s having been absent from the landscape since the early 1900’s. The region now shows a healthy reproductive population at carrying capacity. This course will be enjoyed at the Trail River Ranch in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Book your room at the Rapids Lodge today and plan a scrumptious dinner overlooking the river after a long day of exploration.

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Celebrate Mother’s Day ~ Grand Lake Events

Springtime in beautiful Grand Lake Colorado. All too soon, the snow will be melting quickly and it will be time to treat your Mom to her Mother’s Day surprise on May 10th. The Rapids Lodge has the perfect Guest Room for Mom and a menu to spoil. Keep an eye on our website for our Mother’s Day Specials that will complement our regular menu.

Grand Lake Events

Why not make a weekend of it and really give her a break. Perhaps schedule a massage in her room, a soak at the hot springs and a mani-pedi in town. Think about a box of homemade chocolates from the local store in town, a bouquet of flowers from The Stalk Market and a book from Cascades of the Rockies to take her to another world. Finish up the weekend with a gift from our Grand Lake Art Gallery, a painting, piece of hand-blown glass or a stunning pottery dish will always remind your Mom of this Mother’s Day forever.

Grand Lake Events

We have great winter special offer rates: ‘Trails End” and “Garden Room” at just $60 or a Rapids Suite at just $89 per night. Book soon, these great hotel deals will be snapped up quickly. Call us today!Grand Lake Events

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

Martin Luther King Weekend……Grand Lake Colorado Lodging Deals

…..looking for places to stay? How about Grand Lake, Colorado?

Rapids Restaurant, Grand Lake Colorado

Rapids Restaurant, Grand Lake Colorado

The Rapids Lodge has an accommodation special that will get you a great 3 night stay:  Book two nights and the third night is 50% off in any Rapids Lodge Guest Room or Rapids Suite. See the specials page for more detail. Plan to enjoy a Rapids Restaurant meal and join us as we celebrate our Centennial Year. In appreciation of our customers, we are offering a “Buy one entrée, get the 2nd entrée of equal or lesser value FREE”.

It is also the Rocky Mountain National Park’s Centennial celebration as well. So much fun to be had!

If ice-fishing is your thing, think about coming up for the famous “Three Lakes Fishing Contest” on Lake Granby January 23rd, 24th and 25th. There is plenty to keep you busy in Grand County even if you aren’t keen on ice-fishing! Try the Grand Lake ice skating rink and borrow free skates from Rocky Mountain Outfitters or experience the Grand Lake Nordic Center’s groomed trails amid fantastic scenery. All just a few minutes from the Rapids Lodge! We have pet-friendly Rapids Suites, Condos that sleep up to 12 people and romantic rooms too!

Grand Lake Colorado Lodging deals

Call 970-627-3707 or Book Now


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!

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.