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Winter in Grand Lake is a great time for viewing wildlife. The snow makes it easier to spot and track many animals, especially moose, fox, elk, and deer. Although the Osprey leave town when the temps drop, the bald eagles swoop in to set up shop for the winter and fish the frigid waters of the Colorado River. The best place to see them is near the Green Ridge campground on Shadow Mountain Reservoir where a designated viewing platform provides a picture-perfect spot to observe these majestic birds in their nests from a safe distance.
Grand Lake is the “Snowmobiling Capital of Colorado.”From December through April, snowmobiling enthusiasts from across Colorado and around the world come to Grand Lake, Colorado to enjoy more than 300 miles of snowmobiling trails, including 150 miles of groomed trails. The town itself is very supportive of snowmobiling – to the extent roads are left snow-packed so people can drive to shops, bars, and restaurants on their snowmobiles.
The trout don’t stop biting when the ice freezes over Grand Lakes. Winter is a great time to fish here. Trying your hand at this unique lake town tradition is a must-do for visitors. Granby, Kremmling, and Grand Lake all host annual ice fishing contests that offer big prizes and bigger bragging rights.
The Grand Lake Nordic Center is one of the top spots in Grand County for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing featuring 35km of meticulously groomed trails, a rental center, and lesson programs. Across the Colorado River before it gained any size and enjoy the scenic views of Rocky Mountain National Park, the Arapaho National Forest, and the beauty and peace as you ski through groves of aspen and pine. A lucky few might see a moose on the trail.
A Winter Wonderland isn’t complete without an Ice Rink. The town of Grand Lake provides a free skating rink outdoors at their new location at the Town Park on Grand Avenue from December through February.
Herds of elk bugling down mountainsides. Wildflowers carpeting valley floors. Rivers meandering through spruce-lined meadows. No trip to Grand Lake is complete without a visit to Rocky Mountain National Park. And with stunning scenic drives, you don’t even have to get out of the car to find breathtaking beauty. Must have a reservation to enter the park.
Grand Lake is Colorado’s largest and deepest natural lake. Keep your gaze up and you’ll get a clear view of the Never Summer range. Cast a line below and you’re likely to encounter all kinds of fish, including rainbow trout. With a scenic lake tour or a private boat rental, you’ll have a front-row view of one of the most stunning glacial lakes in the country.
Hiking is hands-down the most popular way to experience Rocky Mountain National Park. And when you’re perched on the top of Mount Ida and feeling like you’re on top of the world, it’s easy to see why. With options ranging from half-mile lakeside walks to eight-mile mountain-summiting trails, you can find incredible scenery and a sense of accomplishment, no matter your ability level.
The waters of Grand Lake are nothing short of serene. But 45 minutes down the road in Kremlin, Colorado, you’ll find something a bit more exciting. Whitewater rafting trips on the upper Colorado River offer jaw-dropping canyon scenery and some heart-pounding whitewater. With easy-to-navigate rapids and experienced guides, the upper Colorado River is a great choice for first-time rafters and families alike.
With gentle horses and gorgeous terrain, the Winding River Trail Resort takes you on whimsical tours of Rocky Mountain National Park. Seeing marmots scampering through the brush or mountain irises soaking in the sun, it’s easy to feel like you’re buried deep in the pages of a fairytale—even though you’re just a 10-minute drive from Grand Lake Lodge.
The Arapaho National Forrest has over 130 miles of dirt roads. And with Polaris ATVs and RZR side-by-sides, Spirit Lake Rentals has some pretty exhilarating ways to explore them. Their trips are unguided, letting you chart your own course. And their staff is top notch. So if you run out of gas or wind up with a flat, they’ll be there to help in no time.