3 Ways to Have a Winter Adventure in Grand Lake
There are some destinations in Colorado that defy two-dimensional description. Grand Lake is one of those places; jagged peaks surround a glistening lake and the quaint town will charm anyone in need of a dose of Colorado mountain town life. In addition to the beauty of the surrounding landscape, this winter wonderland also offers endless opportunity for outdoor recreation perfect for the whole family. From cross-country skiing and snowshoeing to high adrenaline snowmobile rides, you’ll never be bored exploring the area around the west entrance to the unparalleled Rocky Mountain National Park.
1. Cross Country Ski to the perfect spot for a selfie spot at the Grand Lake Nordic Center.
The Grand Lake Nordic Center has over 35 kilometers of groomed trails for all levels of skier. If the amazing views of the Never Summer Range in Rocky Mountain National Park aren’t enough to convince you to make the trip, the terrain ranging from beginner to advanced classic and skate skiing tracks will have you hooked. You can also bring your favorite furry friend on a ski on the dedicated dog-friendly ski and snowshoe loop.
The Nordic Center also holds events throughout the season, including a Full Moon Ski. For a $10 trail pass and $10 rentals, skiers can explore the trails by the light of the moon, enjoy a bonfire, hot chocolate, and adult beverages. They are also hosting the Grand Lake Classic at the end of January, a classic ski race as part of the “Classic January” races series at all three Grand County Nordic centers. For more information, visit grandlakerecreation.com.
2. If you’re into hiking, then you’ve got to try snowshoeing.
If you like to explore the mountains on foot in hiking boots, snowshoeing is probably going to be your new favorite activity. Rent snowshoes from the Nordic Center and a grab a trail map that will lead you through pine forests, up and over hills, and ultimately to stunning mountain views.
Snowshoeing is the perfect activity for the whole family to enjoy. If you’re interested in the local alpine flora and fauna, call the Nordic Center to set up a free guided nature hike to learn about the winter ecology and wildlife in the Grand Lake region. For more information, visit grandlakerecreation.com.
If you’re ready to venture off into and explore Rocky Mountain National Park (the west entrance of the park is located just north of Grand Lake), you can rent snowshoes from Never Summer Mountain Products in the town of Grand Lake. All of the trails that are open during the summer are also open for snowshoeing in the winter. A favorite is the Adams Falls Trail, a 1.6-mile easy out-and-back trail that ends at beautiful frozen waterfalls in winter.
3. Get your adrenaline pumping with a snowmobile tour in the backcountry.
If it’s adrenaline you’re after, snowmobiling might be for you. On the Trail Rentals rents snowmobiles as well as provides guided tours on nearby trails. One favorite route takes riders past Gravel Mountain at over 11,000 feet above sea level.
Expect amazing views into Rocky Mountain National Park as well as routes through narrow aspen groves on a 30-mile, two hour trail ride tour. Or if you’re a more advanced rider, you can reserve a two-hour advanced tour on a high performance snowmobile. This 40-mile tour will take you above tree line at 12,000 feet for panoramic views of the surrounding peaks.