Wildlife sightings – Rocky Mountain National Park

The spring buzz in Grand County, Colorado is in full swing. The elk, in their furry winter coats, are hanging out at the “Rocky Mountain National Park” sign. The locals can barely drive anywhere without seeing a moose! The marmots are always busy sunning themselves on the piles of rocks just south of Sloopy’s Grill on US 34. Foxes are always running busily about town and Columbine Lake and the coyotes are active too. The Osprey are back with other migrant birds of prey and the hummingbirds are already hungrily defending feeders. And that is just in town!

Rocky Mountain National Park is busily clearing snow from Trail Ridge Road and is scheduled to be open for Memorial Day Weekend. There is always so much to see and do in Grand Lake, Colorado, no matter what the season.

Pet-friendly Chickadee Cabin is now open for the summer season and available for rental. The remaining three cabins will be available for rental at the end of next week. So plan a trip and bring your pet! As always our riverside lodging is a hit at this time of the year. The river is ice free and mesmerizing to watch. Don’t forget to bring the special “Mom” in your life to the Rapids for Mother’s Day weekend and treat her to dinner at the Rapids Restaurant. We are looking forward to serving all of our guests for the summer season!


New comforter in Chickadee Cabin!

To contact the Rapids Lodge, give us a call at 970-627-3707 or email [email protected]

Hotels in Grand Lake

The Rapids Lodge Hotel and Restaurant are both open and ready for another great summer season! Check our Restaurant Hours page for details. We have just had another round of snowy days but once the sun comes out again, melting will continue in earnest and soon the ground will be bare except for a few big piles leftover from winter snow removal.

The Tonahutu river is creeping higher and this winter’s epic snows will likely produce record runoff. Come experience the roar of water past your room! The Riverview Condos are perfect for watching the river from your couch, in front of the fireplace! The Rapids Condos, Riverview Condos, Lodge Guest Rooms and Rapids Suites are all waiting for your visit!

The lakes have open water areas that are increasing in size everyday. The fishing in Grand Lake, Lake Granby and Shadow Mountain Reservoir is excellent.

Mother’s day is always popular at the Rapids. We invite you all to dine and stay for this very special occasion!

The weather forecast looks great over the next few weeks. The cabins (closed in winter) will be open from May 16th and are pet-friendly – bring the whole family!

Remember that Trail Ridge Road is still closed and is currently scheduled to open May 23rd in time for Memorial Day Weekend traffic. The trip through the deeply cut snowdrifts up high will be something to see this year for sure. Towering white walls on either side of you in places. Take advantage of our “buy 2 nights, get one free holiday weekend special” we’re one of the most authentic, and affordable hotels in Grand Lake – see our specials page for details.

Grand county awaits you……


Photo credit: Rocky Mountain National Park Public Gallery

National Geographic “Best Trip of 2014”

Get ready! The Rapids Lodge and Restaurant will be fully open for the spring/summer/fall season beginning May 1st! No matter what time of year you visit us, there is always a special memory to take home with you. Did you know that National Geographic Traveler named Grand Lake as one of their “Best Trips of 2014”?

This is what they wrote:

“A climb in the Rockies, proclaimed naturalist Enos Mills, will “put one in tune with the infinite.” He would know: The mountain air buoyed his health after he moved to Colorado as a sickly teenager. Rocky Mountain National Park owes its own life to Mills, who pushed for the official park status it received in January 1915.

Rising up along the Continental Divide, Rocky Mountain National Park is a natural overachiever, with 77 mountains above 12,000 feet—including 14,259-foot Longs Peak—and a span of alpine tundra. Snow-packed granite peaks tower over a calm of ponderosa pines, which ease toward meadow and meandering stream—four ecosystems within one park. It’d be simple to cover them all on a drive along scenic Trail Ridge Road, but why not channel Enos Mills and hike some of the 355 miles of trails instead? You might hear elk bugling or spy otters swimming among lily pads.

Starting in September, the time of year when aspens flare to gold, a yearlong celebration will mark the park’s centennial anniversary—a mere pebble in the life of a mountain, a milestone for a national park. —Alison Brick

Travel Tips

When to Go: Tourist traffic is heaviest mid-June to mid-August, so plan to visit the park early or late in the day to avoid the biggest crowds. Subalpine wildflowers bloom in May. September typically brings fewer visitors, as well as the most sun and peak fall foliage.”


Grand Lake Colorado Indian Summer

“Indian summer” weather this weekend.

Days have been in the 50’s, sunny and pleasant and the forecast is excellent though Friday and Saturday. We have plenty of rooms available! Fall in the mountains is a special time. Clear blue skies and snowy mountain peaks make the scenery evening more breathtaking.

Elk Herd In Rocky Mountain National Park

Elk Herd In Rocky Mountain National Park

Bring your kids and enjoy a Grand Lake Halloween. Take them trick or treating in town on Saturday night.
The elk may be dispersing on the East side of Rocky Mountain National Park, but they are still in full rut here at the West Entrance. I went for a drive just yesterday and enjoyed a herd right at the entrance to the park (they are at this location every evening). Roadside bugling and close-up photography with perfect evening light, was a wonderful way to end the day. Soon the meadows were filled with hundreds of elk, females, youngsters and many huge bulls. Packs of coyotes are active in the park too.

Got your elk tag? The Arapahoe National Forest offers great hunting opportunities and there have been many recent successes. Rent an ATV from “On the Trail” and head up into the mountains for some fun and adventure. We have the perfect grand lake accommodations for you and your friends – some of the Rapids Condos sleep up to 12. Nights in warm comfort can make your cold early mornings much more exciting.

If none of these ideas appeal to you, plan on a romantic lodge guest room and enjoy our quiet and beautiful trails. Soon, the snow will fly in earnest!

The Historic Rapids Lodge and Restaurant
P. O. Box 1400 / 209 Rapids Lane
Grand Lake
CO, 80447