15 Best Things To Do in Grand Lake, Colorado

8 mins read
Image-Don Graham @ Flickr

The Grand Lake of Colorado is a natural lake of Grand County, and it offers thrilling recreational activities, beautiful getaway spots, and delicious restaurants to dine at.

The Pinedale glaciation led to the formation of this gushing Grand Lake. This largest natural lake in Colorado receives its source from the Colorado River.

There are three lakes stream in Colorado: the Grand Lake, Shadow Mountain Lake, and Granby Lake.

Grand Lake Colorado
Image- Don Graham@ Flickr

Top Attractions

1. Adam Falls

Grand lake colorado
Image- Donahuem@ Flickr

Colorado’s famous attraction, located on the east, is the beautiful Adam Falls.

All hikers get a breathtaking view of the falls after a long hiking trail. The trail zigzags through the woods of aspens and pines, and wildflowers rule this area.

The trail on the mountain peak overlooks the mesmerizing Adam Falls and the natural glistening beauty of the Grand Lake.

2. The Beach at Grand Lake

A small beach resides at Grand Lake, Colorado, which is a perfect getaway for families.

The beach often bustles with nature enthusiasts who lay on the vast trim patches of green, savoring the fine weather.

Picnic tables are set for lunch alongside the blue-waters. Restaurants are also open near the beach.

3. Rocky Mountain Repertory Theater

Music fan or not, visitors should make a trip to this musical live performance at Rocky Mountain Repertory Theater.

It features professionals from Broadway-calibre productions to give the best performance.

It produces three musicals every day in summer nightly repertory, whereas it’s only one every weekend during the fall season.

This premier summer musical company stages live theatres, musicals, events, and concerts.

4. Trail Ridge Road

grand lake colorado
Image- adifferentbrian@Flickr

A stretch that travels from the Rocky Mountains National Park of Estes Park to the Grand Lake is Trail Ridge Road.

Beaver Meadow National Scenic Byway is another name for this trail. The high alpine roads are closed in winters and early springs as snow lathers the road.

It crosses the continental divides and therefore is known as Highway to the Sky. It is the highest longest paved road in the United States.

5. Kauffman House Museum

GRand Lake Colorado
Image- Lukas Koster@Flickr

The only log hotel in Grand Lake is the Kauffman House Museum, built in the 1800s. It is located towards the entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park and Lake Avenue of Grand Lake.

The hotel, which Kauffman Family owned till 1946, is now restored as a museum by the Grand Lake Area Historical Society.

The Museum exhibits historic kitchen appliances, clothing, dolls, furniture, quilts, sports equipment used for skiing, and many more.

In short, it gives the overall insight into the historic lifestyle in Grand Lake.

The intriguing log architecture of the museum got it recorded on the National Register of Historic Places.

6. Grand Lake Nordic Center

The displays of the beautiful vista of the Rocky Mountain National Park and the Arapaho National Forest make Grand Lake one of Colorado’s best destinations.

That is not it. A visit to Grand Lake is pointless without skiing. Ski and Snowshoe are the main reasons why Nordic Center is amongst the most visited places.

The 35 km long trail is specially allotted for Traditional Classic Skiing and Skate Skiing. Beginners are offered ski lessons too.

The trails and terrains, such as the dog loop and kid’s tubing hill, are solely for a snowshoe. Grand Lake, Colorado, this perfect winter destination, has all the amenities along with ski and snowshoe rentals.

7. Grand Lake Marina

Since 1972, Grand Lake Marina and Boater’s Choice has been the center of water activities.

As it is situated to the shore of Grand Lake, rental boats are its specialty. Boaters rent a boat of their choice and set off to explore the wonderful lake.

There are a variety of boats to rent. If you want to explore the marina area, a paddleboat or kayak is suitable.

Pontoon boats are convenient to explore the entirety of the lake and the stunning view of the wooden mountains.

8. Kawuneeche Valley

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Image- Kimon Berlin@ Flickr

Towards the west end of Rocky Mountain National Park is located a swampy valley called the Kaweneeche Valley. This valley near the Colorado River is also called Coyote Valley. In the Arapaho language, the meaning of Kawuneeche is the valley of Coyote.

The Coyote Valley Trail ahead rounds up to one mile from US Highway 34. It inhabits a variety of wildlife and blooms with wildflowers.

Elk, mountain lions, moose, mule deer, and coyotes can be spotted as you hike past the valley. Along the coyote valley trail, there are benches, and the trail is wheelchair accessible.

9. Shadow Mountain Lake

grand lake Colorado
Image- Don Graham@ Flickr

The best place to view the sunrise without waking up early is Shadow Mountain town tucked below the Shadow Mountains along with the lake.

The Shadow Mountain Lake is human-made as it is formed from the Shadow Mountain Dam. It forms a continuous flow at Grand Lake, and these two lakes are separated using gates as a division.

It is an ideal vacation destination as it offers thrilling recreational activities and breathtaking beauty.

Families and friends can enjoy their picnic meal on the aligned benches, stay overnight, and even organize special events like weddings.

Hike or go horseback riding on the Mountain, and it will reward you with the overlooking scenic beauty.

10. Bowen Gulch Trail

If you plan to go hiking in Grand Lake, Colorado, then Bowen Gulch Trail must be on your top list.

This 25.6 km long back trail bustles with beautiful wildflowers, and it offers a wide range of activities.

The trail is open for the public from June to November. Dogs are permitted, but they are to be kept on leash.

11. On the Trail Rentals

Grand Lake is full of adventures, and winters are double fun with the various snowmobile and ATV rides that move past the snow-covered mountains.

Towards the northwest side of Grand Lake, three miles away, is the On the Trail Rentals. It is located in the Winding River Resort.

Rent your favorite ride, the snowmobile and ATV’s and set off on 130 miles trails that lead to the Arapahoe National Forest.

The guided snowmobile tours usually are from December to April.

Recreational Activities

12. Camping

Grand lake Colorado
Image- Scott Goodwill@Unsplash

Grand Lake is an ideal setting to set up a camp as mountains and lakes engulf it.

The nature-orientated peculiarities of this place make it accessible for camping. People pile up on the Great Lakes of Colorado, nestled between the two lakes, Granby and Grand Lake.

Stillwater Campground across from Highway 34 is near the lake and charges for a campsite as it is a part of Arapaho National Forest.

Willow Creek Reservoir has another campground, the Arapaho National Recreational Area.

Most of the campgrounds are found near the second largest reservoir of Grand County and Granby Lake.

Various recreational activities are always happening here due to the Arapaho National Forest setting and the lakes around.

13. Hiking

Grand lake Colorado
Image- John Mayer@Flickr

Numerous scenic trails line up in Grand County miles, providing the best experience to the enthusiast hikers.

The gorgeous peaks of luscious green mountains, the glistening lakes, and the gushing gorges are worth exploring on foot. It is a first-hand experience to get in close touch with the serene nature of Grand Lake, Colorado.

A stroll past the wildflowers while spotting wildlife in the valleys and the mountain is indeed a sight to behold.

Best Grand County Hiking Trails

  • Adam Falls hiking trail
  • Snow Mountain Ranch Waterfall Trail
  • Fraser Valley Trail
  • Monarch Lake Trail
  • East Inlet Trail to Lake Verna
  • Baker Gulch to Bower Gulch Trail (difficult trail of Grand Lake)

14. Mountain Biking

copper mountain colorado
Image- Pixabay.com

Want to go mountain biking? Grand Lake Colorado has many biking trails for mountain biker lovers. The dirt roads of the Arapaho Mountains are solely for biking.

Biking trails in Rocky Mountain National Park are dedicated to mountain bikers only. The trails from the mountain peak to the valleys, single roads to country roads, give an exhilarating experience.

E-biking is also available.

15. Fishing

Grand Lake Colorado
Image-Cottonbro@ Pexels

Grand County seeps with three lakes and streams that flow through the mountains and other small reservoirs making fishing in Grand Lake Colorado more convenient.

Fishing is allowed in all the water bodies, making it a fishing hub, full of various fish like salmon, trout, mackinaw, and the likes.

Fishing with a license is free; otherwise, a day charge is to be paid.

Various other recreational activities await the visitors. Visit Grand lake and discover other outdoor adventures it has in store.

Best Places to go Shopping in Grand Lake

When you visit a new place, shopping becomes a priority after exploring the area. Locally produced products grab the attention of visitors, and so do the shopping stores in Grand Lake.

While enjoying the alpine lakes of Grand Lake, Colorado, tour the wooden historic boardwalks that will invite you to the impressive stores full of new stuff.

Explore the market that brims with boutiques, jewelry, fashionable clothes, antique shops, outdoor sellers, and art galleries.

Look out for ice-cream parlors that serve tasty ice-creams after a long shopping.

All the money you spent purchasing any article goes to families in Grand Lake as the shops along the boardwalk are locally owned.

Skiing, as well as hiking gears and equipment, are also available here.

Comfortable Lodging in Grand Lake

1. Colorado Cabin Adventures

Have a delightful stay in Colorado Cabin Adventures. They offer the most authentic and comfortable stay.

The cabins recently underwent two years of renovation, so it is new. It fulfills all the needs of the visitors giving it a luxurious feel.

These rustic log cabins are located three miles away, south of Grand Lake, and are available all year round.

Its ideal setting makes it the best place for adventurers to explore the recreational activities the Grand Lake has to offer.

2. Western Riviera Lakeside Lodging

Western Riviera Lakeside Lodging is the only hotel and cabin that you will find close to Grand Lake.

It is situated alongside the naturally gushing lake of Colorado and is surrounded by the scenic beauty of the chain of mountains and nature. The continuously flowing river evokes the need to go fishing and boating, exploring the entirety of the Grand Lake.

The Rocky Mountain National Park is minutes away from the lakeside lodging, and it, in turn, provides a great opportunity to go strolling on the trails or ski on the snow-covered mountains.

All the rooms of this cabin offer a spectacular view from all the windows.

Popular Restaurants in Grand Lake

1. White Buffalo Pizza Co.

Satiate your cravings for pizza at Grand Lake Colorado’s most famous pizza house, the White Buffalo Pizza Co.

It serves the best pizzas, panini, salads, and calzones. Hop on the saddle stool and enjoy the handmade cocktails and beers along with it.

The scenic view and hot sizzling pizza are a great combo!

2. O-a Bistro

O-a Bistro is the best restaurant with its affordable dining and casual experiences.

The peaceful settings amongst the mountains make you fully savor the food. The cuisine features a mix of Europe, Asia, and the US and local specialty dishes.

The rustic but calming restaurant makes your dinner enjoyable.

3. Cy’s Deli

The restaurants in Grand Lake Colorado are famous for their Homemade Classics and Originals.

All freshly baked items topped with delicious ingredients, homemade soups, breakfast burritos, and sweets are available. It is well-known for its sandwiches!

It is the perfect place to have breakfast or lunch.

Grand Lake, Colorado, is a perfect destination to enjoy your blissful summer and winter holidays exploring the Grand Lake and experiencing all the adventurous things it has to offer.

Suggested Read: Moving to Colorado? 9 Pros You Should Know


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