Where to see Moose?
Why, the Historic Rapids Lodge and Restaurant in Grand Lake, Colorado of course.
Moose love our river ….. the cool water and the willows that line the shore. July brought an impressively large bull moose to the opposite banks quite regularly. Our lunch and dinner guests got to watch him at leisure and took home some great photographs. He would nonchalantly munch on willows and now and again, take a long drink at the river’s edge. On occasion he would also wade the river, coming to our side of the riverbank, just south of the Rapids. His antlers grew larger and larger each week. One morning during check out, he wandered right through the middle of the parking lot and then his immense size was really evident. He towered over parked cars and even the dumpsters and so on.
Moose in Grand Lake Colorado
Each season brings different regular visitors. Sometimes its a fox that hangs around, sometimes a black bear includes the Rapids property in his regular nightly patrol, or perhaps we have a few deer that frequent our flower beds. Some summers we have had a mama moose with a single youngster or even twins, meander past our flower pots for a little extra greenery.
Even if you don’t see the wildlife in town, Rocky Mountain National Park will certainly offer up some great sightings. Early mornings and late evening are the best time for wildlife viewing. Elk, Mule Deer, Red Fox, Coyotes, Yellow Bellied Marmots, Ground Squirrels, Chickaree Squirrels, Chipmunks and more.
Don’t forget about birding Rocky Mountain National Park!
All this significant snowfall we have been having is making it hard for our local moose to move around in the high country and as a result, they are frequently seen in town and housing developments. Our water catchment area is classified as the “Upper Colorado Basin, ” and as of mid-January, our snowpack was measured at being 161% of average! That is a lot of snow!
One of the most commonly sighted moose has been a mother and baby: eating flower remains at the Rapids, wandering down Grand Avenue on the town boardwalk, at bird feeders and nosing around homes. Of course, our nicely shoveled walkways and plowed streets are a great way for them to get around! If you haven’t seen a moose yet, or just love watching them, we invite you to stay at the Rapids Lodge where we will keep you up to date on recent sightings! Always be careful and do not approach moose, especially with young.
There is so much more to do at the West Entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park, especially with these astounding snow conditions. Snowmobiling is at its best right now, and you can get up to date groomed trail information from the Grand Lake Trail Groomers website. Ride right from your room at the Rapids Lodge.
The Nordic Center will get you set up with gear and lessons for snowshoeing and cross country skiing. If you are still planning your Valentine’s Day weekend, consider a romantic room at the Rapids Lodge (starting at just $60 for 2 people), a special dinner at the Rapids Restaurant (voted Grand County’s most romantic), and two for one passes at the Grand Lake Nordic Center! The Grand Lake Nordic Center also hosts full moon skis with a bonfire and hot chocolate – it’s magical. There is even a special full moon/eclipse ski on February 10th.
The Rapids Lodge has some dog-friendly rooms and your four-legged family member can join you on some trails at the Grand Lake Nordic Center. A favorite dog-friendly trail at this time of the year is the Monarch Lake loop at the southeast end of Lake Granby. Our three frozen lakes really open up terrain for you as well, either with snowmobiles or on skis and snowshoes. It’s great to hike on the ice along the shore of Grand Lake and get a different perspective on all the wonderful homes. Never Summer Mountain Products can also rent you gear for nordic skiing and snowshoeing in the area and Rocky Mountain National Park. Forgot something? Need a hat or gloves – they have everything you need for a great winter vacation in the Rockies!
Interested in Ice-Fishing? Rocky Mountain Outfitters can get you set up with gear and teach you how to do it! They always have the latest information on what is biting and where! The Three Lakes Annual Ice-Fishing Contest is coming up in January with great prizes and lots to offer for kids, a fun winter family activity. The Grand Lake Ice Fishing Contest is in early March.
The Kauffman House has a fabulous collection of dolls through the ages on exhibit at the moment, perfect for the little girl in your family and those interested in history. The Grand Lake Ice-Skating Rink is located at the Grand Lake Center just past the Post Office, and there are free skates available – hard to beat an afternoon on the ice. Shop and dine in Grand Lake!
Don’t forget the Grand Lake Winter Carnival on February 11th. Serious family fun. Watch the antique snowmobile races. The next three day weekend is President’s Day Weekend, don’t miss out. Stay and play at the Rapids Lodge, we can keep you busy: soak in the hot springs at Hot Sulphur Springs, sleigh rides at Winding River Resort, enjoy a winter hot air balloon ride, experience the exhilaration of a dog sled ride….and much more!