Grand Lake

Area Info

Western Riviera

Outdoor Recreation

Camping

Sites Bordering Rocky Mountain National Park

Winding River Resort Village can be found 3 miles northwest in Grand Lake. It is on the border of the Rocky Mountain National Park.  There are 150 campsites, cabin camper rentals, cabin and lodge room rentals that can be reserved online. There is a dumping station and RV hookups available.  RV sites can accommodate up at a 49’ vehicle. Flush toilets, showers and drinking water are available in addition to a laundry facility, camp store and horse corrals. Chuck wagon breakfasts are available Saturday and Sundays.  Other on-site activities include horseback rides, ATV rental, snowmobile rental, animal farm, carriage & sleigh museum, playground and more. Site fees start around $37/night and go up according to chosen accommodations. Winding River Resort Village is pet friendly though the cabins and lodge rooms are not pet friendly.

 

Elk Creek Campground & RV Resort can be found a half mile northwest of Grand Lake. It is on the border of the Rocky Mountain National Park.  There are over 60 campsites, 14 camping cabins, and 1 Tipi that can be reserved online. There is a dumping station and RV hookups available.  RV sites can accommodate up at a 40’ vehicle. Flush toilets, showers and drinking water are available in addition to a laundry facility, and general store. Other on-site activities include fishing in the trout pond, playground, arcade, recreation room and more. Site fees start around $36/night and go up according to chosen accommodations. Elk Creek Campground & RV Resort is pet friendly though the cabins are not pet friendly.

Camping 

Sites in Arapaho National Forest

Camping in Arapaho National Forest offers activities such as fishing in Willow Creek, bird and wildlife watching, scenic driving and hiking. 

Denver Creek Campground is 16 miles northwest of Granby in the Arapaho National Forest (29 miles from Grand Lake). The west loop of the campground is located on the beautiful Willow Creek.  There are 22 campsites, little to no shade, available on a non-reservable, first come, first serve basis. Dumping station and RV hookups are NOT available. RV sites can accommodate up to a 45’ vehicle. Vault toilets and drinking water are available. Site fees are around $19/night.  Denver Creek Campground is pet friendly.​​

Camping

Sites in the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area

The over 76,000 acre Indian Peaks Wilderness area is bordered on the on the north by Rocky Mountain National Park. Elevations in this area range from 8,300 to over 13,500 feet. Indian Peaks is one of the most visited U.S. wilderness areas due to it’s wide variety of backpacking and hiking trails amongst a multitude of lakes and waterfalls.

Camping in the Indian Peaks Wilderness requires an overnight permits which are limited and must be obtained in advance.  Permits and instructions can be found here on the USDA website.   Day hikes do NOT require a permit. Call (970) 887-4100 for more information.

For more information about the trails in the Indian Peaks Wilderness including previous hiker’s hints and reviews a great resource can be found here on www.alltrails.com

Camping

Camping in and around Grand Lake, Colorado offers extraordinary options!  Many campgrounds offer online reservations while others are on a first come, first serve basis with many options that are on or near a water source.   Links and pertinent information below will help you find your perfect Grand County camping getaway.  

Camping 

Sites in Rocky Mountain National Park

Timber Creek Campground can be found 7 miles north of Grand Lake along the Colorado River and is the only campground near the west entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park. There are 98 campsites, no shade, and available on a non-reservable, first come, first serve basis. There is a dumping station but RV hookups are NOT available. RV sites can accommodate up to a 30’ vehicle. Flushing toilets and drinking water are available. Site fees are around $26/night.  Timber Creek Campground is pet friendly but Rocky Mountain National Park trails and back country are NOT pet friendly.  Pets are permitted only in areas accessed by vehicles, including roadsides, parking areas, picnic areas and campgrounds.  Please click here for the RMNP Pet Guidelines.

Camping 

Sites in Arapaho National

Recreation Area

The Arapaho Recreation Area boasts 350 campsites in 6 different campgrounds situated around Lake Granby and only a few munites from Grand Lake. Recreations on Lake Granby include boating, sailing, swimming, fishing, kayaking and SUP boarding.  Land activates include hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, bird and wildlife watching, and picnics.

Green Ridge Campground can be found 4 miles south of Grand Lake. It is on the shore of Shadow Mountain Lake with an on-site boat ramp and dock.  There are 75 campsites, little to no shade, and can be reserved online. There is a dumping station but RV hookups are NOT available. RV sites can accommodate up at a 46’ vehicle. Flush toilets, vault toilets, and drinking water are available. Site fees are around $21 - $63/night. Green Ridge Campground is pet friendly.

 

Stillwater Campground can be found 6 miles south of Grand Lake just off U.S. 34. It is on the shores of Lake Granby with an on-site boat ramp and dock.  There are 129 campsites, little to no shade, some waterfront sites, and can be reserved online. There is a dumping station and RV hookups available.  RV sites can accommodate up at a 40’ vehicle. Flush toilets, vault toilets, showers and drinking water are available. Site fees are around $24 - $48/night. Accessible sites are available. Stillwater Campground is pet friendly.

Sunset Point Campground is 10 miles south of Grand Lake. It is on the southern shores of Lake Granby on Rainbow Bay with an on-site boat ramp.  There are 25 campsites, shady and lakeside options, and available on a non-reservable, first come, first serve basis. Dumping station and RV hookups are NOT available.   RV sites can accommodate up to a 46’ vehicle. Vault toilets and drinking water are available. Site fees are around $21 - $48/night.  Sunset Point Campground is pet friendly.

 

Arapaho Bay Campground can be found 18 miles southeast from Grand Lake. It is on the shores of the eastern tip of Lake Granby on the Arapaho Bay with an on-site boat ramp.  There are 84 campsites, little to no shade, and can be reserved online. Dumping station and RV hookups are NOT available.  RV sites can accommodate up at a 45’ vehicle. Vault toilets and drinking water are available. Site fees are around $21 - $42/night. Accessible sites are available. Arapaho Bay Campground is pet friendly.

PLEASE NOTE: Boaters camping in Arapaho Bay must stop at the Sunset Boat ramp for State inspection before they will be allowed to launch at any ramp on Arapaho Bay.

Cutthroat Bay Group Campground can be found 5 miles south of Grand Lake. It is on the shores of the eastern tip of Lake Granby on Cutthroat Trout Bay with a nearby boat ramp and dock.  There are only 2 large campsites for groups, no shade, and can be reserved online.  This campsite is good for groups accommodating 30 people and 6 cars or 2-4 RVs each. Dumping station and RV hookups are NOT available.  RV sites can accommodate up at a 36’ vehicle. Vault toilets and drinking water are available.  Also on-site is a volleyball court, sheltered picnic areas, and horseshoe pits. Site fees are around $105/night. Accessible sites are available. Cutthroat Bay Group Campground is pet friendly.

Willow Creek Campground can be found 13 miles southwest of Grand Lake. It is on the southern shore of the Willow Creek Reservoir and is a NO-WAKE lake.  There is one large, tent only, group site that can be reserved online, as well as, 35 campsites with no shade that are available on a non-reservable, first come, first served basis.  The group, tent only, campsite is good for groups accommodating 20 people. Dumping station and RV hookups are NOT available.  RV sites can accommodate up at a 25’ vehicle. Vault toilets and drinking water are available.  Canoes, kayaks, SUP boards and other non-motorized boats only on Willow Creek Resevoir. Site fees are around $24 - $83/night. Willow Greek Group Campground is pet friendly.

 

Backcountry travelers are urged to visit the local forest service office or the National Park for maps and information about local trails. The Sulphur Ranger District Office, (970) 887-4100, will provide maps and information on trails in the national forest. While you are there, plan on picking up an excellent recreation guide published by Grand County.

Hiking and Backpacking

Trails - Indian Peaks

Wilderness Area

The trailheads for three excellent trails into the wilderness area can be found at Monarch Lake. The first is the Arapaho Pass Trail which follows Arapaho Creek for 10 miles to the top of the pass at 11,900 feet. Another is the Buchanan Creek Trail, which is a more difficult hike along Buchanan and Cascade creeks to Crater Lake. A third, and longer, alternative is the Pawnee Pass Trail, which goes east instead of south to Crater Lake. It is a difficult 3-mile climb to the top of the 12,541-foot pass. To reach Monarch Lake take US Highway 34 south to County Road 6, turn left and go 10 miles to Monarch Lake.

Trails - Rocky Mountain

National Park

  • Maps and information on trails in the National Park can be obtained at the Kawuneeche Visitor Center, (970) 627-3471. Just a few miles into the park are several trailheads, including Green Mountain, Onahu Creek, Timber Lake, and the Colorado River Trail. The Green Mountain and Onahu Creek trails are short day hikes of a mile or so to an intersection with Tonahutu Creek Trail, which takes the experienced backpacker farther into the remote reaches of the park. The latter two are more challenging, with the Timber Lake trail being the more difficult of the two.

 

  • Two trails which leave from the town of Grand Lake and venture into the park are the aforementioned Tonahutu Creek/North Inlet Loop and the shorter, easier East Inlet Trail. The latter is perfect for day hikes which can vary from an easy 3/4 mile walk to beautiful Adams Falls to a 5.25 mile hike to Lake Verna. The Tonahutu Creek/North Inlet Loop is a 27-mile, three day loop for experienced backpackers only.

Golf & Tennis

  • Grand Lake Golf Course, (970) 627-8008, lies at 8,420 feet above sea level, select your club accordingly. If your ball goes astray, chances are you will not find it, so don't be distracted by the gorgeous scenery. It can be chilly, and afternoon showers are common so bring your rain gear.

 

  • Pole Creek Golf Course, (970) 726-8847, located just off Highway 40 between Tabernash and Granby, is another award-winning public course. Approximately half of the course is laid out in the meadows along Pole Creek, the other half is in the trees above, making this 18-hole, par 72 layout uniquely challenging.

 

  • Public tennis courts are located at Grand Lake Golf course (small fee) and in town (free).

Fishing

Whether you like "flat water" or stream fishing there is plenty of angling action in the area. Lake fishing enthusiasts can choose from Grand Lake, Lake Granby, Shadow Mountain Reservoir, and Monarch Lake. The Colorado River and Willow Creek are among the many streams in the area that offer good fishing. Fishing licenses are required for anglers 15 years of age and above.

  • Sombrero Stables, (970) 627-3514, offers everything from pony rides for kids to steak-fry rides for adults to pack trips into the Park for several days. Prices vary for rides with meals. Call for reservations.Winding River Resort Village, (970) 627-3215, also offers guided rides.

  • To reach Sawmill Gulch Campground go 3 miles northwest of Granby on U.S. 40, turn right on CO 125 for ten miles. This campground has 5 sites. Denver Creek Campground is 2 miles farther, has 25 sites, and charges no fee.

Horseback Riding

Water Sports

Water sports are the bread-and-butter of the Arapaho National Recreation Area, and watersport rental shops are everywhere. Bumper boats (like bumper cars) are also available to rent.

Cross-Country Skiing

  • The Green Mountain Trail makes a nice one-way tour in the national park if you have two cars. Leave one car at the Tonahutu Creek/North Inlet Trailhead and drive the other back to the Green Mountain Trailhead. Starting at the Green Mountain Trail, 3 miles north of Grand Lake on US Highway 34, the trail goes uphill for 2 miles then turns right on the Tonahutu Creek trail. From there it's a pleasant 4-mile downhill run to your second car.

 

  • In the winter, the Grand Lake Golf Course is magically transformed into the Grand Lake Touring Center. It boasts 25 kilometers of groomed ski trails, as well as connecting trails to Soda Springs Ranch and other trails. To reach the course, turn left on County Road 48 a quarter-mile north of town and drive for one mile.

 

  • Two additional areas are YMCA Snow Mountain Ranch Nordic Center, (303) 887-2152, which offers a variety of other activities, and Devil's Thumb Ranch, 726-8231, which offers more than 100 kilometers of nice rolling terrain as well as more challenging tracks. In addition to being able to rent equipment at all of the areas listed above, one can rent at Never Summer Mountain Products, (970) 627-3642.

Snowmobiling

Snowmobiling Grand Lake is the "Official Snowmobile capital of Colorado" according to Snow West magazine, with more than 300 miles of groomed and ungroomed trails. It's also one of the few places where you can snowmobile right into town.

Downhill Skiing

  • Winter Park Ski Resort is forty miles from Grand Lake and offers some of the state's best skiing. For central reservations, call 726-5514 or (800) 453-2525.

 

  • Ski Granby Ranch is smaller and quieter and only fifteen miles from Grand Lake. It is geared more towards families and is a great place for beginning and intermediate skiers. They can be reached at (303) 629-1020, (970) 887-3384, or (800) 448-9458.

Indoor Recreation

Library

The Juniper Library is located on Pitkin St. in town. The phone number is (970) 627-8353.

Concerts

Concerts in the Pines are held four times a year in February, March, September and October in the Grand Lake Community House.

Museum

The Kauffman House museum is located at the end of Pitkin St. (towards the lake) and is open daily 11-5pm Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Theater

There are no movie theaters in Grand Lake. Cinema buffs will need to travel to Granby or Winter Park for their celluloid fix, but Grand Lake features live stage productions throughout the summer and fall. These are presented by the Rocky Mountain Repertory Theater and take place at the Grand Lake Community House in town.

 
 
 

Grand Lake, CO

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