15 Things to do in Winter in Grand Lake, Colorado. West Entrance Rocky Mountain National Park

  1. Stay at the Historic Rapids Lodge (est. 1915). Some rooms are dog-friendly.
  2. Dine at the famous Rapids Restaurant.
  3. Walk the “Old West” Town of Grand Lake. Enjoy shops, restaurants and breathtaking scenery.
  4. The Grand Lake sledding hill is fun for the whole family – it’s fast!
  5.  Ice-fish the frozen lakes. Guided outings available. Contests are fun to enter too.
  6. Snowmobile +/-150 miles of groomed trails or go off trail in the Arapaho National Forest (guided and unguided). The views are astounding. Grand Lake is known as the “Snowmobile Capital of Colorado”. Ride right from your room at the Rapids Lodge.
  7. Visit the Grand Lake Nordic Center: snowshoe, cross-country ski or have fun on the tubing hill. Equipment rental is available if you don’t have your own.
  8. Explore Rocky Mountain National Park:  snowshoe or cross-country ski the park trails.
  9. Wildlife and bird-watching is a must. Seeing a moose is always a highlight.
  10. Take a short walk to the frozen Adams Falls.
  11. Treat yourself to a relaxing massage.
  12. Take a magical Sleigh Ride.
  13. Don’t miss the ice skating rink at the Grand Lake Center.
  14. Visit Hot Sulphur Springs and enjoy 21 outdoor pools.
  15. Try the Rocky Mountain Lockdown Escape Room.

3 Lakes Ice-Fishing Tournament 2019

Looking for a fun or new experience this month? Look no further! You don’t need to be an expert, you just need to be ready to have fun! January 25-27 is the 31st Annual 3 Lakes Ice-Fishing Tournament and the Rapids Lodge is the perfect place to stay. We have small rooms just for one or bring your friends and family and stay in one of our Rapids Suites (some dog-friendly) that sleep 6-7 people; or River View Condo that sleeps 4-8 people.

Prize Packages are awesome and details are posted on the Granby Chamber of Commerce website. You can also sign up there! The first 500 entrants will receive a hat as a reminder of this great experience! Under 17’s   that pay to enter are eligible for cash prizes! If the cash prize isn’t a big deal, a 17 and under entrant is free. Contests begin at 6:40 am each day.

Ice fishing Lake Granby

Grand County is quite stunning and the views from frozen Lake Granby will astound you. There is always some shopping, sledding, ice-skating and more to keep folks who don’t fish, entertained.

This is one of the best Ice-Fishing tournaments in Colorado. Don’t miss it!

Winter Activities in Grand Lake, Colorado

It’s January and we have months of winter fun still to be had. February and March will bring warmer, longer days and that is always a plus when you are outdoors in the snow. Think outside the box for Spring Break in Colorado.

A winter family reunion is a great idea! One family has been our guests every New Year’s for over 20 years! Most folks wait until summer but there are two good, long weekend opportunities in the form of Martin Luther King Weekend and Presidents Day weekend. Family activities include snowshoe and cross country ski outings, ice fishing, snowmobiling, sleigh rides and more. Kids love to learn how to snowshoe and cross country ski; it is challenging and novel, especially when interspersed with tubing or sledding and hot cocoa by a fireplace. Outdoor winter activities can offer a unique opportunity for family camaraderie and bonding. Great photo memories too. Imagine throwing the Grand Lake Winter Carnival or 3 Lakes Ice Fishing Contest into the mix!

Winter Weddings, Winter Weekends away, Valentine’s Day, Spring Break, Winter Anniversary Celebrations and Birthdays ….. who needs an excuse to come up to the Rapids Lodge in Grand Lake, Colorado!

Grand Lake, Colorado, has great snow!

What a spectacular November of snow, snow and more snow! Temperatures have also remained low, so the snow is not melting away. Folks are coming from all over, including Minnesota to head out on the snowmobile trails and enjoy our local winter sports..

Grand Lake Colorado

The snowmobile trail from town to the groomed trail system is OPEN. Visit the Grand Lake Trailgroomers website for up to date details. Conditions up high are spectacular and will provide an excellent base to keep us going through the winter. Snowpack is currently at about 118% of normal for this time of year.

All three lakes are beginning to freeze! Please be careful on the new ice! Make sure its solid enough to hold you.

GRAND LAKE NORDIC CENTER is OPEN for the SEASON! DAILY 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Season Passes are Now On Sale. A whole winter of fun awaits!

If you are interested in Ice-Fishing, read the “Fishing with Bernie” blog for the latest conditions. Fishing guides are available in Grand County to take you out and provide you with a great experience.

Don’t forget sleigh rides, soaking in the Hot Sulphur Springs outdoor pools, downhill skiing at Granby Ranch Ski Area / Winter Park Ski Area, Rocky Mountain National Park trails and wildlife watching. There is so much to do!

Business owners in Grand Lake have outdone themselves with Holiday Lights and the town is looking just beautiful. So if you are looking for a weekend getaway, come on up! This holiday season is going to be a special one, very white and glittery. We have accommodation over Christmas available!

Winter Weekend Getaways

Summer is fast fading away and fall colors are peaking in Grand County, Colorado. Elk and Moose are rutting and mornings are frosty. We have already had a dusting of snow on the mountain peaks. So we know winter is on its way!

Winter getaways Grand Lake Colorado

Winter getaways Grand Lake Colorado

The Rapids Lodge is a great place to stay for Grand Lake’s Constitution Week in mid-September. Then there is Halloween! Before we know it, snow will blanket everything and Grand Lake will have been transformed into a Winter Wonderland! Some of you may already be dreaming of winter days, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing among the peaks. Well, we are the place to stay. The Rapids has great off- season rates and we have a great location, close to everything.

Imagine cold, starry nights, soft snow flakes falling, alpenglow on white-capped peaks, moose in the willows, snow shoe hares under the spruce and vast, breathtaking scenery! Oh, Grand Lake is magical in the winter, all the lights and a towering lit tree at the end of the main street. A more heart-warming Christmas is hard to imagine and perhaps you will see the New Year in with a bang, fireworks over the frozen lake. Tubing and ice skating, sled dog and sleigh rides, a little icy fishing, warm fires and a soak in hot springs – Grand County, Colorado has it all!

Get out of town, take a break and revitalize your soul in the mountains. Weekdays or weekends, Grand Lake will welcome you with smiles and good food. Martin Luther King Weekend, President’s Weekend, Winter Carnival, snowmobile races and rides, make your plans today

Book direct and save

The Historic Rapids Lodge and Restaurant are now listed by Expedia.com and Booking.com! However, our guests will always find the lowest room price through our “Book Now” link at www.rapidslodge.com or by giving us a call! Whether you are a new or returning guest, book with us directly to make receive the best hotel deal and to ensure that managing your reservation is as simple as possible.

We are booking up more quickly than ever and it is important to plan ahead. Groups, business meetings, family reunions, weddings and other special events should contact us directly so we can offer the full range of accommodations that we have available. We take hotel reservations one year ahead.

Some of our accommodations are privately owned condos with a view. These riverside condos are not listed on Booking.com and Expedia (except for River View 1 and River View Condo 4 which are listed in the winter season only).

Did you know that there are two “families” of online booking agencies? Booking.com owns and operates Priceline.com, Kayak.com, and Agoda.com. Expedia’s family includes Hotels.com, Trivago, HomeAway, Orbitz.com, Travelocity, and Hotwire.com.
So if you see us on one of these online travel agency sites, remember to call us or visit our website to make your booking! We look forward to providing memorable vacations experiences to more and more people every year! Visit Grand Lake, Colorado and stay at the Rapids Lodge.

Colorado Winter Activities

It’s December in the Colorado Rocky Mountains! Although we have not had much snow yet, it’s coming! It always does.

When all that good, white fluffy stuff is here, be ready to get into the great outdoors! Snowshoeing is always a fun adventure no matter how much snow is on the ground and Rocky Mountain National Park is our backyard. The North Inlet and Tonahutu trails leave from right above our property so you don’t need to drive anywhere. Red fox and coyotes might be seen in the meadows.

Later in the season, cross-country skiing at the Grand Lake Nordic Center is a must. They have miles of groomed trails, some are pet-friendly, and offer ski lessons too. The kids will love the tubing hill. Some of their events over the winter are:  Saturday December 17 – Learn to Ski Free Day;  Saturday, December 30 + Saturday, January 27 + Saturday, February 24 + Saturday, March 31 – Full Moon Ski;  Sunday February 11 – Romp and Stomp Fundraiser for Pet Pals;  Wednesday February 14th – Valentine’s Day 2 for 1 passes. Book your Grand Lake, Colorado lodging room at the Rapids Lodge with our great low season rates today!

Ice fishing is already underway in Grand County and the Grand Lake Ice Skating Rink is open!

Of course, it’s not even Christmas yet and all our energy is going into the festive holiday season. The Rapids Restaurant is beautifully decorated, as is the Town of Grand Lake. Shops are open if you are looking for special gifts. The Rapids Restaurant is open on Christmas Eve, book your family dinner with us and enjoy the view, fireplaces and lights. New Year’ Eve this year will be a great time with our annual fireworks over frozen Grand Lake following a sumptuous meal at the Rapids Restaurant. Check out the Special New Year’s Eve Menu at the bottom of the dinner menu page on our website.

Need some more ideas on how to make your Grand Lake Vacation the best it can be? Call us for a friendly chat.

Grand Lake Colorado Fall Vacation

A Colorado Vacation in September or October

Grand County, Colorado has experienced unusual weather this year! January brought endless snow, and nobody had anywhere to put it after shoveling driveways and clearing roads! Then we hardly had any snow for a couple of months. This was all followed up by a snowy April and snowy/wet May. Trail Ridge Road didn’t even manage to open in time for Memorial Day Weekend, and that was not for lack of trying; it just kept snowing at high elevations! June is usually unpredictable weather wise. It can be sunny, snowy, rainy, and most often, all of those in one day! Late June this year was dry, sunny and unseasonably warm. Then the monsoons came in July, and it was more cloudy than usual with longer afternoon sessions of rain, often beginning around noon into the evening. It did this all through August too! August usually brings us quick showers in the afternoons but is generally drier with hot days. The Aspen Trees started turning yellow in spots in late August and although the change sometimes “goes on hold”, this year they have just kept on changing, and it looks like an early peak color in the middle of the month instead of late in September.

Considering all the fires in the North West of the country, we are very grateful for all the moisture and no backyard forest fires! The lakes are all still full as well, including Lake Granby! Full lakes are scenic and are great to be out on in the fall weather. Come fishing and boating in Grand County, Colorado!

What will October, November, and December bring? Will it be an early winter or will we have a warm and sunny October? Will the lakes freeze in early or late December? We look forward to finding out. The elk are usually bugling in Rocky Mountain National Park at the West Entrance through early October. The bull elk, moose and mule deer are all sporting impressive racks at this time of the year. We invite you to visit us a go bird and wildlife watching, hiking and sightseeing. There are excellent hunting opportunities in the Arapaho National Forest. Soak the day away at Hot Sulphur Springs in the outdoor pools under an open sky! Grand Lake, Colorado is a great place to visit in October – the crowds are gone, the shops and restaurants are waiting to welcome you and there are some great sales!

Grand Lake, Colorado Entry sign

Grand Lake, Colorado

The Rapids Restaurant will be serving lunch and dinner 6 days a week through October 7th closed on Tuesdays). Thereafter we will switch to our low season schedule of dinner Wednesday through Saturday. Our amazing low season hotel rates begin October 8th!

The Rapids will be open a little later than usual this year before we take out fall break and that means we will be open for Halloween! Our last night open will be Saturday, November 5th and then we take a break until December 1st, 2017. Book your September or October Colorado Vacation with us today!

Picnic spots in Grand County, Colorado

Picnic spots in Grand County, Colorado

There are so many great places to have a picnic lunch in a scenic location in Grand County, just a short distance from the Rapids Lodge. The Historic Rapids and Restaurant is the perfect place for a Colorado family vacation or getaway. Take advantage of the last weeks of August to experience the remaining Rocky Mountain Summer or visit us in fall when the Aspen Trees paint the landscape gold.  Late summer and fall days are often clear and dry, and the scenery glows with color.

One of the closest spots is at the East end of Grand Lake, right next to the Adams Tunnel (takes water to the Front Range). Enjoy a few picnic tables and a view over Grand Lake to the West. An evening picnic might serve up a spectacular sunset. The fishing is good in this location due to the flow of water.

Pine Beach

At the West end of Grand Lake, Point Park offers covered pavilions, picnic tables, charcoal grills and a truly spectacular view over Grand Lake and our iconic “Mount Baldy”. There is a viewing dock with information panels and the bridge over the channel connecting Grand Lake to Shadow Mountain Reservoir is a renowned place from which to dangle your fishing line. Moose frequent this spot too!

Heading south towards Granby will bring you to Pine Beach on Shadow Mountain Reservoir. Here there are several picnic tables with charcoal grills on a spit of land overlooking the islands. Bird watching here is excellent whether it be nesting Osprey, Bald Eagles, White Pelicans, Common Mergansers and much more. Again, this is a great place to see moose.

Just a hop skip and a jump away is the Green Ridge Picnic Area with an expansive view and tables ready for your picnic basket. There is an Osprey nest right next to one of the tables and it great to watch the growing chick get fed by the parents. They will leave the best soon after Labor Day Weekend.

Green Mountain

There are numerous opportunities in Rocky Mountain National Park, some with charcoal grills and quite a few with picnic tables. These areas overlook the meadows and the willows, perfect for seeing Elk, Deer, and Moose, perhaps even a coyote.

Enjoy all that the great outdoors in Grand County has to offer and the Rapids’ river front. If you aren’t in the mood to organize a picnic, the Rapids restaurant can offer you a memorable experience!

 

Bye Bye Winter! Grand Lake, Colorado

One more month of winter!

 

Here we are at the end of February and it seems like winter has flown by. Don’t worry – there is still one more month of prime snow conditions to keep us entertained! The Upper Colorado Basin snow-pack levels are still well above average at 150 %. The base for our downhill skiing slopes (Ski Granby Ranch), cross-country skiing and snowshoeing (Grand Lake Nordic Center) and snowmobiling in the Arapaho National Forest is really good, and that will extend the season for all those activities. The Rapids Lodge will have rooms to rent through April 1st, so if your Spring Break is early, make the Rapids Lodge your base (room start at just $60/night). There is so much to do!

Now that the weather is warmer, moose are more active and have been seen around town a lot lately. The ice-fishing is great too.  During the warmer periods of February, the river right in front of the Rapids, began to open up here and there. We could see that the river otters had been hopping in and out of the openings leaving telltale tracks with tail drag marks. After a fresh snow, there are always red fox tracks all over the snow covered, frozen river. The squirrels are out and about on warm days too. Wildlife sightings are something that make Colorado Vacations truly memorable. We are one of the best places to pick out of all the Rocky Mountain National Park lodging options.  Now

 

Beginner Snowshoe Rocky Mountain National Park

Enjoy a Rocky Mountain National Park hike on snowshoes! It’s easy. If you don’t have your own gear, rent from Never Summer Mountain Products or the Grand Lake Nordic Center. Saturday March 4, 2017

 

Intermediate Snowshoe Rocky Mountain National Park

Sunday March 5, 2017

 

Grand Lake Catch & Release Ice Fishing Contest

Saturday March 4, 2017 – Sunday March 5, 2017

This is something the whole family can do even if you have never tried it before! Rocky Mountain Outfitters will get you set up and on the right track. A family of 6 can stay at the Rapids Lodge for as little as $89 per night!

 

Full Moon Ski

Grand Lake Nordic Center
Saturday March 11, 2017


Snow Mountain Ranch Stampede Ski Race 

Saturday March 11 and Sunday March 12, 2017


Celebrate Women’s Aviation History
Emily Warmer Field, Granby
Friday March 17, 2017

Grand County Concert Series – Atlantic Brass 

Friday March 17, 2017

Kauffman House Museum Open

Saturday March 18, 2017

 The Grand Lake Area Historical Society has done a great job recreating one of Grand Lake’s first hotels. They have excellent seasonal exhibits too.

 

Soon it will be spring in the Rockies and the Tonahutu River will be rushing by. When this snow-pack melts, we expect a river that really wants to overflow its banks! It will be something to see. It’s never too early to start thinking about Mother’s Day and Memorial Day Weekend at the Rapids Lodge and Restaurant. Spring will soon be in the cool mountain  air!

 

Don’t forget, we are one of the best hotels in Grand Lake, Colorado!