Spring sprung early in the Rockies. We have had unusual weather for May. Days were often sunny and 65F to 70F. As a result, flowers have bloomed and the Aspen Trees are well leafed out. Unfortunately, we are already wishing for more frequent rains although we experience a good soaking storm on May 29th. As far as playing outside or on the lakes, however, this weather is awesome! The elk and moose are dropping their calves and when they are all still scrunched up from the womb and wobbly on their spindly legs, such a sight is truly moving. You can see them as they cross the road near the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park in the very early morning and at dusk.
The first hummingbird was seen at the Rapids on May 1st!
Grand Lake Colorado
The Tonahutu flowed well all month and was just below peak for most of the latter part of the month. Our flow indicator is a big boulder and we only saw the water lap over it on one day. Often, when there is a lot of snow and a quick melt, the boulder becomes completely covered with water. Peak flow is at 10 am….it takes that long for melt from the higher elevations to reach us!
Memorial Day Weekend brought regular visitation from a bull moose much to the delight of our guests. He appeared nightly over the long weekend at the water’s edge, sometimes forging the river. The parking lot seemed to be on his habitual route too. Perhaps he will stick around all summer. If he does, hopefully, he won’t munch on all our flowers when we get them into the pots!
Boy, bookings are fast and furious this year! Many weekends are already sold out in the summer. Be advised, make your plans for getaways and vacations, reunions and weddings as soon as possible so you can snag your spot! If you missed it this year, remember we open bookings one year in advance!
Community – by Faith Zak, Rapids Lodge Front Desk
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.
Be kind, kindness goes a long way.
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
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!
This summer has flown by and it’s been a wet one for the Colorado Mountains. Nights have been, on average, a little cooler. Perhaps this will bring a fabulous, dry fall bursting with color! Colors have already started to change here and there, the odd willow, a few Aspen Trees, the grass in the meadows …. it won’t be long before the scenery is bursting with color.
Fall in Colorado
Perhaps you have made your fall vacation plans and perhaps some of you are waiting to see when peak color will be. Either way, we encourage you to book soon for fall accommodation at the Rapids. A River View Condo at the Rapids is always the prime spot but there is charm in every room whether it is Lodge Guest Room 6 “Treehouse Suite” or a Rapids Cabins with a fireplace. Our Rapids Suites are spacious and some a dog-friendly too. We invite you to explore our website and enjoy all the wonderful photos of the rooms, property, and area.Trail Ridge Road through Rocky Mountain National Park is a fantastic drive to Estes Park. Plan an evening for spending in the park, watching the Bull Elk round up their harems of females, all the while filling the valley with their haunting “
Trail Ridge Road through Rocky Mountain National Park is a fantastic drive to Estes Park. Plan an evening for spending in the park, watching the Bull Elk round up their harems of females, all the while filling the valley with their haunting “bugling”. Fall days on the lakes are often warm and still, with the water reflecting blue skies and golden Aspen leaf reflections dance on the water. Try a Starlight soak in Hot Sulphur Springs after a stunning hike. You will likely see Moose around too and the bulls sport really impressive racks in Grand County. We can direct you to some breathtaking fall dives in the area.
A Colorado Fall is just not to be missed, it’s that spectacular!
A fall lunch outside by the river with startlingly blue skies and golden Aspen Leaves is not to be missed. On chilly nights, you may enjoy a fireside table with a view for a sumptuous dinner.
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.
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.
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!
Fall Foliage Tours …..
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.
Do you love ice fishing? Have you ever fished Lake Granby or Grand Lake? Ice fishing is a very popular activity in the Three Lakes area every weekend of the winter. Expect to always see gatherings of warmly dressed figures out on the ice every day. Success stories are shared on facebook all the time, and attract the interest of fishermen country wide.
Our area is great for beginners too. If you want some guidance or need to rent your equipment, contact Rocky Mountain Outfitters right here in Grand Lake. They will share their love of ice-fishing with you as well as their skills and tips. We have two ice-fishing contests coming up in the next 2 months and all skill levels are welcome. Try your hand at it!
The Rapids Lodge is a great place to stay for these occasions, especially for the Grand Lake contest where you can walk just 2 very short blocks down to the ice. We have condos and suites that accommodate 3 fishing buddies or more very comfortably. Your dogs are welcome in Rapids Suites 1+2+3+4. Follow up a day on the ice with a great meal at the Rapids Restaurant, next to the fire and overlooking the frozen Tonahutu Creek.
The 28th Annual 3 Lake Ice Fishing Tournament: January 29th, 30th and 31st, 2016
Fish one, two or all three days. Win cash and prizes. Over $15,000 in cash prizes will be awarded! Cash prizes to 8th place in four categories and a “Big Fish” drawing category. Over $3000 in products will be given away. Your entry fee includes a commemorative hat and one entry in a prize drawing. $35 for one day, $45 for two days, only $50 for all three days! Sunday’s Tournament now ends at 11 am and prize money will be smaller.
There will be 8 tagged fish released into Lake Granby. Each is worth $1000! Register with Rocky Mountain Outfitters.Contact the Granby Chamber of Commerce for more information: 970-887-2311
5th Annual Grand Lake Catch & Release Ice Fishing Contest
on Colorado’s largest natural lake March 5th & 6th.
Prizes will be awarded in three categories: Lake Trout, Brown Trout and Rainbow Trout.
$40 entry fee, kids under 14 yrs FREE. Along with the contest, there will be a Friday Night Welcome Party and “A Fisherman’s Feast” on Saturday after the contest with food and door prizes. For more information call: (970) 798-8021 and register at www.rkymtnoutfitters.com
Grand Lake, Colorado is glowing with festive Christmas lights and is always magical and open for the winter and during the holiday season. We received great snow in early November and are expecting more this coming weekend to freshen us up. Shadow Mountain Reservoir is frozen but Lake Granby and Grand Lake are still open so if you are brave enough to do some last minute boating and fishing, now is the time!The snowmobile trail to the Arapahoe National Forest from the Town of Grand Lake is not yet open but you can still trailer to Idle Glen just 10 minutes down the road and have a great time on the groomed snowmobile trails. Check out the the Grand Lake Trailgroomers site for up to date conditions.
The Rapids Lodge is hard to beat among Grand Lake Rentals with our winter hotel specials starting at just $60 per person. Book on-line right here on our website to get the best rates. Dogs are just $15 per night additional in some pet-friendly units and they love to play in the snow!
The Rapids Restaurant has some of the best food in Grand Lake and a new winter menu (available for you to look at here on our website). The Restaurant has been festively decorated with highlights of blue and lots of fun details. We have already hosted a few very successful holiday parties and if you haven’t booked yours yet, give us a call! The Tonahutu River is almost frozen solid with just a few patches of flowing water. The blanket of white with the odd fox trotting by, is always beautiful especially when you are toasty warm nest to the fireplace! A few moose have been seen about town recently as well.
The Grand Lake Nordic Center is open for the winter. Enjoy snowshoeing and cross country skiing and if you prefer the wilder side, the Rocky Mountain National Park offers easy trails for both winter activities.
Check out the Grand Lake Events listings on the Grand Lake Chamber website and on the Visit Grand County website. There is so much to do!
Mark your calendar because a new Grand Lake event is coming in late August!
The “Spirit Lake Blues Festival at Grand Lake” will be held on Saturday August 22 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Ana Popovic, Jimmy Hall with My Blue Sky, Austin Young with Michaela Rae, John Weeks Band, The Symbols, and Cary Morin will all be performing. The concert’s VIP tickets will go on sale June 20th. General Admission tickets will go on sale July 1 through the Grand County Blues Society website.
Grand Lake, Colorado’s largest natural lake, is the perfect venue for this event. The concert will be lakeside, offering fantastic scenery in all directions. Savor BBQ and refreshments during the show.
Located just two half-blocks from where the Blues Festival is being held, The Rapids Lodge is the perfect location for your weekend base! When you’re not enjoying the music, Grand Lake and the surrounding areas will offer a wide variety of activities to keep you busy for the rest of the time. Consider a boat ride on the lake in the morning when the water is peaceful and reflective, followed by a riverside lunch at the Rapids Restaurant, some great shopping in town and then a nap on the beach before the show!
Rocky Mountain National Park is our backyard and offers fantastic scenery, hiking, horse riding, quiet moments, bird, and wildlife watching. The Rapids Lodge and Rocky Mountain National Park celebrate their Centennial this year and a drive over Trail Ridge Road (the highest “highway” in the country) will be unforgettable.
Play The Mountain Golf Courses
If you are looking for things to do in Grand Lake you should play game of golf in the Rocky Mountain High Country! Temperatures are comfortable, usually in the 70’s, sunshine abounds and the scenery is breathtaking. Wildlife such as moose, elk, deer, and fox abound and are often sighted during a game. Grand County Colorado has four, 18 hole golf courses you can play day after day.
The Grand Lake Golf Course was designed by Dick Phelps and offers rolling fairways, Lodgepole Pines, and Aspen tree groves. The course is just five minutes away from the Rapids Lodge where you could enjoy a riverside Condo, vintage Cabin, or romantic Lodge Guest Room. If you make a reservation for a tee time at Grand Lake Golf Course and present your lodging receipt to the golf course, you can receive a special “Stay and Play” rate. Lessons and a driving range are also available.
Grand Elk and Granby Ranch golf courses are just 20 minutes away and Pole Creek Golf Course is about 40 minutes away from Grand Lake. If you want variety, this valley is where to get it. After a good day out on the course, nothing beats a delicious dinner with a view at the Rapids Restaurant, “Grand Lake’s Hidden Gem”.