Weekend Trips from Denver: Grand County Weekend Getaways

A group of people in kayaks on Grand Lake.

Planning a weekend trip from Denver? Only 90 minutes from the Mile High City, over the stunning mountain drive of Berthoud Pass, you’ll find Grand County, Colorado. Along Hwy. 40 into Winter Park, it’s all about powdery ski hills and wildflower-lined mountain-biking paths. Downtown Fraser and Granby will welcome you to Wild West rodeos and wide-ranging restaurants. Then, as you make your way to Grand Lake and Hot Sulphur Springs, you’ll uncover massive alpine lakes, snowcapped peak views and steaming hot springs. Check out these year-round weekend getaway ideas for some trip inspiration. 

Weekend Trips in Colorado from Denver

Grand Lake

Distance From Denver: ~100 miles (2.25-hour drive)

Summer: Summer in Grand Lake is a laid-back affair, perfect for strolling along the historic boardwalk and paddleboarding on bright blue water. With over 60 shops, restaurants and art galleries to explore, there's something for everyone. And the town’s location at the Western edge of Rocky Mountain National Park makes for craggy vista views, wildlife-filled hikes and Trail Ridge Road adventures. Fancy a round of golf or a horseback ride? You're in the right place.

Winter: Come winter, Grand Lake becomes the ultimate playground for snow-lovers. It's not just about snowmobiling (though it is considered the Snowmobile Capital of Colorado); there's also snowshoeing and cross-country skiing at the Grand Lake Nordic Center. And if you want a tranquil day in the park, you can still head to Rocky Mountain for some guided snowshoeing and wildlife viewing without the warm-weather crowds. 

Stay: Colorado Cabin Adventures, Columbine Cabins, Elk Creek Campground & RV Park, Grand Lake Lodge, Lemmon Lodge, Lupine Village, North Shore Lodge, Shadowcliff Lodge & CC, Spirit Lake Lodge, The Rapids Lodge, MORE

Dine: Blue Water Bakery, Cy’s Deli, El Pacifico Pho, Grand Lake Lodge Restaurant, Grand Pizza, Roadhouse Bar and Grill, Sagebrush BBQ & Grill, The Rapids Lodge and Restaurant, White Buffalo Pizza, MORE

A group of people walking in downtown Grand Lake.

Winter Park

Distance From Denver: ~65 miles (1.5-hour drive)

Summer: People make weekend getaways to Winter Park all winter long, but few know just how awesome this spot is in summer. As the weather warms up, the world-renowned ski resort transforms into the thrill-filled Trestle Bike Park. The gondolas continue running, now whisking visitors up to some of the best two-wheeled descents in the state. Spot soaring views of the Continental Divide along the tree-lined trails, then head into town for drinks and live music at Devil’s Craft. Cheers to a Fire on the Mountain cocktail with three-pepper-infused tequila, zesty ginger liqueur and lime.

Winter: When the snow starts falling, the town transforms into a cold-weather haven for winter-sports enthusiasts. From expert-level powder skiing on Mary Jane to challenging backcountry climbs on Berthoud Pass, there is so much to explore. Get out on guided snowmobile tours up the Continental Divide, snowshoeing expeditions to Broome Hut, and giggle-filled days of tubing on the local hills. 

Stay: Arapahoe Ski Lodge, Best Western Alpenglo Lodge, Fraser Crossing & Founders Pointe, Gravity Haus, Zephyr Mountain Lodge, Winter Park Chateau, Winter Park Mountain Lodge, MORE

Dine: Deno’s Mountain Bistro, Doc’s Roadhouse, Hernando’s Pizza & Pasta Pub, Namaste India, Pepperoni’s Pizza and Sports Bar, Pizza Pedal’r, Randi’s Pub and Grill, Rudi’s Deli, The Ditch on 40, Vertical Bistro & Tap, MORE

Hot Sulphur Springs

Distance From Denver: ~95 miles (2-hour drive)

Summer Activities: Hot Sulphur Springs adopts a different pace as the ice melts, with verdant landscapes and warm natural springs. Whether you’re enjoying the healing waters surrounded by candy-colored flowers or catching fireworks at the Hot Sulphur Days celebration in mid-June, summer is when things heat up in town. The area’s remote, unpretentious vibes make an ideal destination for those seeking a quiet Colorado mountain retreat.

Winter: In winter, the hot springs present the perfect place to soak after a long day carving down the mountainsides. Hot Sulphur Springs Resort features 22 steamy pools and private baths, just a short walk from their rustic cabins. As snow blankets the landscape, guests can unwind and soak in the therapeutic waters, which historically were a resting place for passing Native American tribes who called it “Big Medicine.” And to get a little more history, go to the Pioneer Village Museum, where you can learn all about the region’s past, stepping into old blacksmith shops, schoolhouses and government buildings. 

Stay: Hot Sulphur Springs Resort & Spa, Canyon Motel, Ute Trail Motel, MORE

Dine: The Dean Public House, MORE

A man in a cowboy hat is petting a horse in Hot Sulphur Springs

Granby

Distance From Denver: ~85 miles (2-hour drive)

Summer: From misty waterfall hikes to ranch stays and rootin’ tootin’ rodeos, Granby is a true Western town with plenty of fun to go around. Known for its Gold Medal Waters, anglers come from far and wide to set out on a fishing boat and catch cutthroat trout. The best homebase for your trip? A cabin or campsite at a local guest ranch like C Lazy U, where you can step outside and soak up the sun on trails, learn all about Colorado beekeeping or saddle up for some horseback riding. 

Winter: When you’re ready for some powder, head to Granby Ranch’s less-crowded slopes for family-friendly ski runs and heart-racing black-diamond descents. “Mush” through snow-blanketed trails on a husky-led dog sled, drop a line ice fishing on Lake Granby or dash through the snow on a horse-drawn sleigh ride. In winter, Granby has everything you need to make the season magical. And with so many backcountry trails, there are plenty of spots to explore the frosty forests on a pair of snowshoes or cross-country skis

Stay: Snow Mountain Ranch/YMCA of the Rockies, Sun Outdoors Rocky Mountains, Arapaho Valley Ranch, C Lazy U Ranch, Drowsy Water Ranch, Homestead Motel, Littletree Inn, The Inn at Silvercreek, Trail Riders Motel, MORE

Dine: Brickhouse 40, Bluebird Bistro, Buckboard Grill, Fat Cat Café, Java Lava, Maverick’s Grille, Mid Town Café, Pearl Dragon Restaurants, Showboat Drive By Pie, The Grille at Grand Elk, MORE

A group of horses pulling a cart in the snow in Granby Colorado at C Lazy U Ranch

Fraser

Distance From Denver: ~70 miles (1.5-hour drive)

Summer: In the summer, Fraser becomes a magnet for outdoor enthusiasts rearing for mountain biking, fishing and hiking through the Fraser Experimental Forest. The Creekside and Flume Loop is an easy, 4-mile trail that leads to rushing water and sun-covered peak scenery. For a rest day, immerse yourself in Western history at the Cozens Ranch Museum, which showcases one of the oldest homesteads in the Fraser Valley, complete with a restored main house, post office and a full-size replica of a stagecoach that operated between Georgetown and Hot Sulphur Springs from 1876 to 1905.

Winter: Embrace the winter season with guided dog sled rides and snowmobiling tours, venturing into the national forest and up the Continental Divide. If you prefer a more relaxed winter escapade, enjoy a cozy sleigh ride through the snowy landscape or simply unwind amidst the stunning alpine scenery. And don’t forget to stay awhile for signature events like the Fraser Fire and Ice Festival, where a sparkling ice-sculpture contest culminates with a massive evening bonfire.

Stay: Alderwood Colorado Management, Endorphin Resorts, Hideaway Mountain Lodge, Holiday Inn Express & Suites Fraser, Indian Peaks Resort, MORE

Dine: Elevation Pizza, Fuego Azteca Mexican Restaurant & Cantina, Julio’s Mexican Grill and Cantina, Rocky Mountain Roastery Café, Sharky’s Eatery, Shreddy’s Tacos, Vicious Cycle Brewing Company, MORE

Kremmling

Distance From Denver: ~105 miles (2-hour drive)

Summer: In Kremmling, summer’s pine-scented trails lead you to columbine-covered peaks and riverside spots perfect for dropping a line. And some of the most adrenaline-pumping rafting can be found on those same waters; Gore Creek’s rushing rapids draw expert rafters and kayakers from around the world. If you’re more of a landlubber, explore the rugged terrain on an ATV tour along Trough Road for wide-open views of our region’s summits. As the sun sets, gather around a warm lakeside campfire at Wolford Campground, and stare up at a sky full of twinkling stars.

Winter: Come winter, Kremmling turns into a peaceful, snow-covered hamlet. Picture yourself zooming through untouched landscapes or tracking elk in the quiet woods. Explore Rabbit Ears Pass, where white-dusted trees create a stunning scene for some of the best snowmobiling. Along the pass, you’ll see two large basalt-rock formations that look like a pair of rabbit ears which gave the area its name. If you continue through quietly, you just might spot a moose or elk wandering through the snow. 

Stay: Allington Inn & Suites, Hotel Eastin, Latigo Ranch, Melody Lodge Cabins, Muddy Creek Cabins, Red Mountain RV Park, Wolford Campground, MORE

Dine: Big Shooter Coffee, Moose Café, MORE

Stand Grand: Leave No Trace 

As you’re exploring Grand County’s alpine landscapes and camping in the Rocky Mountain outdoors, remember to follow Care for Colorado Leave No Trace Principles:

  1. Know Before You Go
  2. Stick to Trails
  3. Leave It as You Find It
  4. Trash the Trash
  5. Be Careful with Fire
  6. Keep Wildlife Wild
  7. Share Our Trails and Parks 

Learn More

More Inspiration for Your Weekend Getaway