Horseback riding has always been more than a recreational pursuit in Grand County — it's a way of life. In fact, it's not uncommon to see horseback riders riding into towns such as Grand Lake.
Once summer rolls around, locals and visitors alike can access hundreds of miles of trails ranging from lonesome saunters through the sage to epic climbs into the rugged Rockies.
For a little guidance, we've provided you with four of the best horseback riding trails in the county — and truly — in all of Colorado.
Located on the eastern side of Grand Lake, the East Inlet trailhead for this popular trail is easy to find, and has a quick reward: less than a quarter mile in, you'll find the tumbling Adams Falls. But after the falls, the trail offers more solitude as it passes several more waterfalls, and eventually climbs past Lone Pine Lake to the spectacular, forested shoreline of Lake Verna. Note: Horses are prohibited beyond Lake Verna.
Saddle up at the Monarch Lake Trailhead and then ride around this beautiful lake, keeping an eye open for nesting osprey in the tall pines that line the shore. At the lake's inlet, you can cast a line for brook, brown, cutthroat and rainbow trout, or stay in the saddle and climb into a high-alpine cirque in the rugged Indian Peaks Wilderness, just below Caribou Pass.
Looking for genuine solitude? Odds are good you'll find it in the Byers Peak Wilderness, a little-known protected area southwest of Fraser. The Byers Peak Trail is a great day ride, climbing through tall stands of forest to the high elevations of Byers Peak, where views of the Indian Peaks and Rocky Mountain National Park cap off a spectacular ride.
Want in on a little secret? The Never Summer Wilderness. Hugging the western boundary of the national park, this lightly used area is home to some of Colorado's largest trees, a healthy population of moose and elk, and a unique perspective of Rocky Mountain National Park's signature peaks. Aptly named, the area is often locked in with snow late into the summer, but once clear in late June, the trail to Parika Lake via the Baker Gulch Trail is a true gem. The trailhead is in the national park, which you exit on the trail.
If you are new to the horseback riding, we strongly urge that you learn the basics in Grand County with a qualified outfitter or dude ranch.
Winter in Grand County brings countless delights: the quiet of Rocky Mountain National Park, excellent skiing at two classic Colorado resorts, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing at Nordic centers, snowmobiling and excellent shopping. We've put it all together for you with our winter itineraryRead More
With all due respect to your local park — you know, the one your kids rush to at the first sign of snow — you haven't experienced the ultimate thrills of sledding and tubing until you've done it in the Rocky Mountains. And of all the places in Colorado, Grand County ranks highest for sledding and tubing fun. It's accessible, the sledding hills are big but not too intimidating, and we even have several facilities offering lights (night tubing!) as well as surface lifts and tow ropes, just in case you want to take the lugging and trudging out the equation. So grab your toboggan and your snow saucer and check out these prime spots for Colorado's "other downhill pastime."Read More
For families with children, no matter their age, it can be difficult to find a trip that everyone agrees upon. But in Grand County, there are plenty of ways to make sure everyone enjoys the perfect family-friendly escape, with just the right amount of adventure sprinkled in. Here’s our favorite way to spend a winter week in Grand County, and it’s sure to keep the whole family happy!Read More