11 Reasons to Mountain Bike in Grand County
Where can you find easy access to 600 miles of mountain biking trails just 90 minutes from Denver? From nice and mellow to pure...read more
Grand County is a nature lover's paradise, that much is for certain. With mountains for climbing and skiing, rivers for canoeing and rafting, and forests for camping and hiking, an outdoorsperson won't have a dull moment on a trip to this slice of Colorado. You can even find some more unique outdoor experiences here, like ziplines, alpine slides, and summer tubing! Even the accommodations can highlight the Great Outdoors; dude ranches, yurts, and backcountry camping are all popular here and can work for everyone, from the experienced to the newbie.
For a stunning example of the natural beauty Colorado is capable of, head to State Forest State Park. Just outside Granby, this 71,000-acre swath of land is loaded with rugged peaks, alpine lakes, and serene woodland. It's known for fishing, hunting, and moose-spotting, and has trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding, four-wheeling, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, ski-boarding, and more. There are developed campsites and a yurt, and backcountry camping is also allowed.
Colorado has some world-class rafting, and the best way to experience it is to take a tour. Mad Adventures has half-day trips for beginners and more advanced rafters, along both Clear Creek and the Colorado River. They also rent out side-by-side, 4-seat ATVs for a tour around the Continental Divide, up Corona Pass and through Arapahoe National Forest. The tour passes a historic train trestle and features a hike up to the Continental Divide, in addition to one-of-a-kind views of the Rocky Mountains and Fraser Valley.
Stretching across the foothills of the Rockies and the Continental Divide, the Arapaho National Forest is over 700,000 acres of pure alpine bliss. The wildlife refuges and wilderness areas within the forest house ducks, eagles, beavers, pronghorn, elk, and more. Hiking trails and scenic drives allow you to explore, but it's a lot less developed than other parks, so you really will feel at one with nature. Also, this is where a lot of the movie "Red Dawn" is set. Wolverines!
Get the unique experience of life on the frontier with a stay at a guest ranch like C Lazy U. Beautifully appointed cabins, gourmet dining on site (plus a bar and various cookout events), and a wonderful spa mean you won't miss any amenity while staying on the ranch, and the activities hosted by C Lazy U only add to the fun. They have almost 200 horses, and pair each guest with an animal befitting your style and skill level... you ride the same horse throughout your stay so you can bond with it! Fly fishing, archery, shooting, hiking, yoga, boating, and other activities mean every day here will be an unforgettable and exciting adventure!
Grand Lake has some pretty stellar facilities for outdoor recreation. Play a round of golf on their awesome mountain course for a unique experience. The Nordic Center also has plenty of hiking and biking trails-- there are about 15 miles of trails to explore. They vary in length, and some are awesome for mountain bikes and are pet-friendly! Watch for wildlife, visit the Colorado River, and enjoy the natural beauty here. If you're visiting in the winter, they offer ski and snowshoe rentals for exploring the terrain, a free tubing/sledding hill, and lessons for anyone who wants to improve their skills.
Canoeing, camp fires, swimming, horseback riding, and more are offered here in the summer, and you can ride snowmobiles, sleighs, and skis in the winter, but the coolest thing about the Snow Mountain Ranch YMCA is that they offer tubing year-round. Snow tubing is a popular activity in the winter, but they also have a summer tubing hill made of a material called Snowflex. It's the third of its kind in the country and the first in the state! Imagine whizzing up and down the hills of the track, enjoying the fresh air and cool breezes, without having to worry about bundling up against the elements, or slipping on ice!
Another great stay for those looking to fully immerse themselves in nature, Devil's Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa is a luxurious retreat. The 6,000-acre ranch has private cabins and comfy lodge rooms, with features like stone fireplaces and porches, along with pools (including one pond-inspired pool warmed with geothermal heat), hot tubs, a fitness center, a spa, and some awesome planned activities. The Adventure Zipline Tour is an extra-special and totally epic excursion that takes full advantage of the resort's stunning natural setting.
The Winter Park Resort is the perfect place to stay for skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts. With endless accommodation options, from campsites to luxury suites, plus dining and shopping nearby, everyone will enjoy a stay here. Plus, there are more activities than you can shake a ski pole at; guided mountain tours, broomball, yoga, campfire sing-a-longs, snowcat rides, ski bikes, an alpine slide, and plenty more mean fun for the whole family year-round.
With its mountains, rivers, and forests, Grand County is perfect for outdoor fun. From essential activities like hiking and horseback riding, to whitewater rafting and summer snow tubing, you could spend a lifetime exploring and adventuring around, without spending a dull moment. Whatever kind of excitement gets you revved up, you'll find something here!