I am writing about “Community” and what it means in a small town like Grand Lake, Colorado. I went to the neighborhood Church throughout my childhood and my Pastor was amazing. He was there for tragedy, illness and bringing new babies into the world, he was a truly caring person and he taught our church what Community really means. When I was a young adult, married with kids, my Pastor passed away from cancer but left me with a longing for that feeling of being a part of a Community and it was not until I moved to Grand Lake, Colorado that I really felt that feeling of Community again.
Grand Lake, Colorado
Grand Lake is a true community and whether you are a full-time resident, or part-time resident, or on vacation, you are a part of this special Community. I work at the front desk at The Rapids Lodge and Restaurant, and I do my part to make every person walking through the door to feel like they are a part of this Community, because they are! I want everyone to feel like they belong because that is how I feel, and maybe when you leave our town you will take a part of that feeling of community home and pass that on to others.
You might ask yourself how it is possible to feel like a part of a Community while passing through on vacation. Well that is easy … it is really the little things such as, if you see someone on the side of the road with car problems, stop and see if you can help, open the door for someone, help a parent carry something when you see they have their hands full with their kiddos on the beach or in town. Perhaps you strike up a conversation with someone at a restaurant and buy them a drink, or even just ask how their day is going.
Colorado’s fall color is something to behold. The grass, the willows and the Aspen Trees turn a glorious gold. A few red Aspen Trees may be found in patches. If the leaves are backlit, the brilliance of the leaves is unsurpassed! Fall peak colors may be a bit early this year. Golden trees and willows began appearing in late August and show no signs of slowing down! There are plenty of fall color drives to choose from and Trail Ridge Road through Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the best!
Fall in Grand Lake Colorado
Fall in Grand Lake, Colorado also has a few fall festivals and activities to keep you entertained. Our main fall attraction is “Constitution Week” which runs September 12th through 17th. Enjoy talks and fun activities celebrating our constitution and don’t miss the fireworks that bring the week to a close!
The Elk mating season is another reason to visit us here at the Rapids Lodge in the fall. People come from all over the world to witness the bull elk bugling as they round their harems of females up for mating. You might be lucky enough to see a fight between majestic, antlered bulls. The elk (also known as Wapiti) come out of the trees and gather in the meadows daily at dusk and tourists gather with chairs and blankets on the road verges to witness the action. The bulls elk’s mating call is a haunting sound and will stay in your memory forever.
So head our direction on your fall road trip and enjoy Colorado at its best. The Rapids Lodge is located on the Tonahutu River, at the end of the main street in town (Grand Ave.). You can walk everywhere …. it is just two short blocks to the lake. Some of our accommodations are pet-friendly too. Monarch Lake Trail is a perfect loop for a fall hike with your dog!
The Rapids Restaurant is in a spectacular location overlooking the river . Savor dinner next to the fireplace in the evenings or join us for lunch (served outside on warm fall days).
“Leaf peeping” is just too much fun to miss! Call us today.
Even if you are not a big fan of snowmobiling, off road motorcycles and ATVs, exploring the Arapahoe National Forest is still worthwhile! In the winter roads and trail provide almost 100 miles of groomed snowmobile trails and in the summer the same accesses are used for horses, off road vehicles and even regular cars!Access the Arapahoe National Forest from highway 34 and follow County Road 4 West. At the Idelglenn staging area, you have a choice.
To the right (North), the road will take you up North Supply. The views back over Grand Lake, Shadow Mountain and into the Rocky Mountain National Park are strikingly beautiful. A regular sedan can go most of the way and a four wheel drive vehicle will take you further.
The Bowen Gulch Interpretive Trail is located approximately 9.1 miles from the fork and is a mile long trail leading through one of Colorado’s largest Spruce-Fir old growth forests. A Sedan can reach 7.6 miles followed by a scenic walk along the 4×4 road to the trail head. If you are in a high clearance vehicle you can reach the trail head easily. Moose are common among the fir and spruce trees and although the trees are large but not massive, the forest is exquisite in its untouched state (part of the Never Summer Wilderness). From 1988 to 1990 the area was designated for a logging sale but public outcry stopped the process and preserved it forever. Pick up the interpretive trail guide at the USFS office in Granby.
If you want to climb a peak with a good head start in elevation, try Cascade Mountain from a little further up the road at Blue Ridge. The views are breathtaking along the 11 mile trail.
For those of you who prefer a scenic drive, consider traveling over Stillwater Pass. This loop will take you from the Idleglenn parking area, over the ridge of mountains to CO 125. Follow 125 south to US 40 and head East to Granby. Return to Grand Lake by heading North on US 34. The road offers excellent views and wildlife viewing. Travel through dense lodge-pole forest, spruce-fir forest, glades of towering aspen, areas of sage and valley bottoms filled with willows, beavers and moose. The entire loop is accessible by sedan car (a few rough spots) and is a very well worthwhile trip. Don’t miss out on the 2 mile round trip Lost Lake Trail on the East side!
The Rapids Lodge is the perfect base from which to explore the area. The Arapahoe National Forest is pet-friendly as are some of our cabins and Rapids Suites, so bring your family four-legged member along! When not exploring, relax riverside with a delicious lunch or dinner at the Rapids Restaurant.
Colorado Mountain Weddings and more in Grand Lake Colorado
Are you looking for a beautiful spot for your wedding ceremony, rehearsal dinner and wedding! The Rapids Lodge and Restaurant is a unique location right along the banks of the Tonahutu River which comes rushing out of Rocky Mountain National Park. The historic lodge was built in 1915 and this year is our Centennial. The rich ambiance with two fireplaces and a view earns us the title “Hidden Gem in Grand Lake Colorado.”
The Rapids restaurant managers are standing by to help you plan the perfect day. Max and Tatyana Ludwig are experts in hosting weddings up to 100 people and as small as 20 people for a truly intimate experience. Our outdoor gazebo next to the river adds charm.
No matter where you choose to have your events, the Rapids Lodge is a prime choice for your guest accommodations. We offer the widest variety of accommodation in Grand Lake Colorado so there is something for everybody’s taste. If you want your family dog to be included as well, we offer pet friendly accommodations as well. Your guests can walk to the Grand Lake beach or down the main street right from their room so all the activities, shops and restaurants are easily accessible.
Likewise, we are very popular for family reunions, engagements, anniversary celebrations, graduations, birthdays, Mothers Day and Father’s Day, New Year’s Eve celebrations and just about any other reason you may want to make an evening special and memorable.
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
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!
Since Moose were re-introduced to North Park in 1978, they have proliferated and are frequently seen throughout the Kawuneechee Valley in Rocky Mountain National Park and the Grand Lake Area. Some are so comfortable that 9 News recently visited Grand Lake to get some footage of a young bull moose who has taken a fancy to a moose statue right here in town!
Our current common sightings include a moose mother and 2 yearlings and a moose bull, still growing his velvet covered antlers. It seems that recently, I can’t walk into work without seeing Moose, Elk, Mule Deer and even red fox kits. Black Bears have been sighted in Grand Lake too.
Grand Lake has some fun events coming up. Enjoy a afternoon concert in the town park Gazebo, play Bingo (every Friday and Saturday night), shop our Grand Lake Arts and Crafts Fair, sing Karaoke, get ideas from the Art and Architecture Home Tour and be entertained by our famous Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre!
Trail Ridge Road (US 34 through Rocky Mountain National Park) is spectacular right now with huge walls of snow in some sections. All that snow also means that our Tonahutu River is full of rapids and quite something to see. Make a reservation for June and select your perfect room from our range of Grand Lake accommodations: a River View Condo overlooking the river, a pet-friendly cabin or Rapids Suite, or a romantic Lodge Guest Room. The Rapids Restaurant is open 7 days a week and offers outdoor seating next to the river. The Historic Rapids Lodge is truly a memorable experience!
This first month of summer offers great opportunities for wild life viewing and birding in Rocky Mountain national Park, the Arapahoe National Forest and surrounds. Our wild animals are found wandering through Grand Lake Village, local subdivisions and all around the Rapids Lodge property.
Nothing beats the sight of twin baby moose suckling or the spotted deer or elk fawn gamboling in a green meadow. Fox kits play outside culverts and baby squirrels and chipmunks are everywhere. Our Cordilleran Flycatcher will be back soon to raise a family just outside the Lodge “after hours guest entrance” where she can be observed at her nest from just a few feet away.
We invite you to come enjoy the Historic Rapids Lodge and Restaurant and the Rocky Mountain National Park in early June before the crowds descend and school holidays are in full swing. Savor the quiet, revel in the spring array of flowers and the fresh greens of majestic mountains painted by spring.
Spring flowers at the Rapids Lodge
Chickadee Cabin is on its own little piece of land and is pet-friendly. The River View Condos provide the background of rushing water and are perfect for sitting on the couch, gas fireplace lit and watching the river hurry by. Perhaps you would like a simple room with a special Victorian flair yet still be lulled by the sounds of the river. We have something for everyone so enjoy choosing your special room and planning ahead for a wonderful dinner in our AAA approved restaurant (three diamond rated).
The first holiday weekend of summer 2013 is just days away. Many of you have probably been wondering where to go, will the weather be good, will Trail Ridge Road through Rocky Mountain National Park be open and will there be enough to keep us entertained?
The answer is yes to all those questions! So what are you waiting for? The Rapids Lodge still has some great mountain lodging available: Rapids Suites (some Pet-Friendly), Lodge Rooms and Condos. There are perfect options for just two, or the whole gang. As of now, the forecast for the holiday weekend is “mostly sunny” to “sunny” with temperatures in the high 60’s, even 70 degrees! This means the lakes will be a beautiful azure blue and provide a stunning playground for your boating desires. Kayaks, pontoons, outboards are all available for rent. The fish are biting like mad and the Osprey are great fun to watch as they swoop down to pluck fish from our clear lake waters.
Beach at Grand Lake Colorado
Sombrero Stables will be back with their family of gentle horses, ready to take you on an adventure into the Rocky Mountain National Park. Have you experienced a ranger program yet? The Park Service offers West Side programs like “Skins and Things” and guided hikes “Beyond the Falls”. Moose are everywhere.
Grand Lake Village will be bustling with activity. The stores are packed with new and exciting wares for the summer and wandering our board walk may just end with you taking home a local painting from the Grand Lake Art Gallery. Imagine sitting in the sun and savoring an ice-cream on our Grand Lake beach! Well, I could get you excited about a lot more….but why don’t you come see for yourself. Call us today so we can assist you as you plan for your Memorial Day Weekend adventure!
Spring is here and Grand Lake, Colorado is a great place to visit in all seasons. The Rapids Lodge and Restaurant is a perfect place to bring your Mom or the special lady in your life, for a terrific get-a-way. A beautifully decorated room and sumptuous dinner will show your appreciation for all they do.
Spring run-off – Tonahutu River at the Rapids Lodge
Memorial Day Weekend is next. The ice on the three lakes will have melted off and the Aspen trees will be painting the hillsides a glowing spring green. This weekend still offers quiet and solitude if you choose, as the crowds have not yet descended on the town of Grand Lake. Start your summer fun with a bang and rent a condo on the roaring Tonahutu River, fully swollen with spring run-off. This is a sight to see!
Summers in Grand Lake and the Rocky Mountains are spectacular. Escape the heat! Days are in the 70’s and nights are cool. The Rocky Mountain wildflowers are astonishing in their variety and in the thick fields of color they lay across the landscape. With water-sports, boat rentals, sailing, water-skiing, horse-riding, hiking, touring by car, wildlife viewing, bird-watching and so much more….this is surely the place to be.
The Rapids Lodge has the most variety in Grand Lake Lodging options: Lodge Guest Rooms for two, pet-friendly cabins and suites sleeping up to 6 people, and condominiums that sleep up to 8 people.
We hope to contribute to making your summer vacation in Colorado a truly memorable trip!
There are lots of activities as the snow begins to melt! I have already seen fishermen out in the channel between Grand Lake and Shadow Mountain Reservoir and the fishing is good! The water in the channel never freezes due to the flow of water created as the Big Thompson Project pumps water through the Adams Tunnel to the East side of the Continental Divide, and the lake ice is receding everyday.
Grand Lake as seen from Point Park on Easter Sunday
Trails in Rocky Mountain National Park are good for snow shoeing and folks are still out there ice-fishing (check the ice conditions first) and snowmobiling (check the Grand Lake Trailgroomer’s website for up to date trail conditions). A good soak under the stars at Hot Sulphur Springs Resort is always a treat. Bird watching is getting more exciting with raptors arriving from the south, and Mountain Bluebirds plus American Robins are a true harbinger of Spring.
Temperatures at night seem to be hovering around 25 degrees and the days can reach 50 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have never star-gazed on a winter’s night, now is the time. Our skies are devoid of pollution and will bowl you over with their clarity and the myriad stars against the mountain silhouettes!
So what are you waiting for….the perfect room is awaiting you, cozy and peaceful with the great outdoors all around!
— The Historic Rapids Lodge and Restaurant
P. O. Box 1400 / 209 Rapids Lane
970-627-3707 www.rapidslodge.com [email protected]