Itinerary: Grand County, Colorado Summer Trip

A group of people riding horses on a trail in the mountains.

Whether you dream of mountain meadows laden with summer wildflowers, or a scenic autumn drive surrounded by golden aspen, Grand County is quite simply heaven on earth. This itinerary is a great starting point for creating a memorable journey.

Day 1 - Arrival at Altitude 

If you've arrived from the lowlands, it's not wise to rush into things up here.  Use this day to acclimate yourself while getting an introduction to the area.

How about a drive? The Colorado Headwaters Scenic and Historic Byway begins on Highway 34 in Grand Lake and follows the Colorado River south for 80 miles, through the towns of Granby, Hot Sulphur Springs, Parshall, and Kremmling. The drive ends with a spectacular view of the rugged Upper Gore Canyon.

Along the way, you'll get a preview of the fun to come, as you pass Grand Lake, Shadow Mountain Reservoir, and Lake Granby – all well-known destinations for great fishing and boating.

In the evening, kick back with a relaxing soak in the waters at Hot Sulphur Springs Resort, followed by dinner at one of many restaurants offering everything from casual family-style to upscale resort dining.

Day 2 - The Western Experience 

 First settled in the 1880s as a ranching, farming, and lumber center, Grand County has maintained many of its original buildings and sites as museums.

The Grand County Museum in Hot Sulphur Springs includes on its site the town's original courthouse, a blacksmith shop, a 150-year-old ranch house, and several antique rail cars. Looking for more? Find additional local historical sites and museums open for visitors in Fraser, Grand Lake, and Kremmling.

For a true hands-on Western experience, contact one of the local outfitters who offer half- and full-day horseback rides. More of a watcher than a do-er? On Saturdays during the summer, the traditional cowboy skills of roping, barrel racing, and bull riding come alive at Fraser's High Country Stampede Rodeo and Granby's Flying Heels Arena. Learn more about area rodeos!

Day 3 - Outdoor Adventure 

You've got some choices to make! For starters, we've got more than 600 miles of trails for hikers and bikers of all abilities and interests, from an easy hike to Adams Falls near Grand Lake to a longer hike into the Indian Peaks Wilderness, to the high-adrenaline rush of biking the slopes of one of our ski resorts.

Those into water adventures can book a half- or full-day rafting trip on the Colorado River, or bring a kayak and make your own fun.

Day 4 - Rocky Mountain Memories

The Rockies are what it's all about up here! Although Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the top ten most visited national parks in the U.S., its western side is the "quiet" side of the park.

Just a short drive from the town of Grand Lake, you can enter the park at the Kawuneeche Visitor Center for an unforgettable drive through pine meadows, up rugged slopes, and out into the open alpine highlands.

Along the way, you'll find hiking trails, picnic areas, scenic overlooks, and wildlife – without the crowds. Head back down to Grand Lake for a stroll along the boardwalk for some last-minute shopping and a leisurely lunch or dinner.

Discover Grand County, Colorado

Grand County, Colorado is the perfect year-round destination with activities ranging from a family ski adventure to a real Western trail ride. Check out our trip-planning resources to start building your ideal Colorado summer itinerary.