Colorado’s high country has a lot of territory to cover. But even if you don’t have much time, a Grand County three-day summer or fall getaway can introduce you to the best of the Rocky Mountains.
If you’ve arrived from the lowlands, be smart and take a day to acclimate while getting an introduction to the area. Remember to drink plenty of water and take it easy—you are on vacation, after all.
Use your first day to take a drive on the Colorado Headwaters Scenic and Historic Byway. Begin on U.S. Highway 34 in Grand Lake. Follow the Colorado River south for 80 miles, through the towns of Granby, Hot Sulphur Springs, Parshall and Kremmling.
After your day of exploration, use the evening to relax at Hot Sulphur Springs Resort. Kick back with a soak in the ancient area hot springs, and enjoy your beautiful surroundings.
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. Use the day to get the full western experience!
Start off at the Pioneer Village Museum in Hot Sulphur Springs – See the town's original courthouse, a blacksmith shop, a 150-year-old ranch house, and several antique rail cars. Other local historical sites and museums are open for visitors in Fraser, Grand Lake, and Kremmling.
If you’re lucky to be here during rodeo season, come on down to experience the traditional cowboy skills like roping, barrel racing, and bull riding. Watch the West come alive on Saturdays during the summer at Fraser’s High-Country Stampede Rodeo and Granby’s Flying Heels Arena.
Continue your western experience with a horseback ride into the sunset. For a true hands-on western experience, contact one of the local outfitters who offer half- and full-day horseback rides.
The Rockies are what it’s all about up here! Although Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the top 10 most visited national parks in the United States, its Western side is less frequented, less crowded, and much quieter.
First stop? The Kawuneeche Visitor Center. Just a short drive from the town of Grand Lake, Kawuneeche Visitor Center is located just past the entrance to the park. Start here for an unforgettable drive through pine meadows, up rugged slopes, and out into the open alpine highlands.
Plan ahead and pack a picnic. With 35 trailheads in the park and several picnic spots, your family can spend all day in the wilderness, getting up close and personal with the wildlife.
When you’re getting a little tired, head back to town and into Grand Lake. Take a stroll along the boardwalk for some last-minute shopping and a leisurely dinner.
After your three days come to a close, you’ll already want to plan your next trip back to the area—there’s so much more adventure to be had in Grand County!
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In 2014, the Grand County Tourism Board, Visit Fort Collins, The Cache La Poudre River National Heritage Area and Visit Estes Park collaborated to create a map, brochure and webpage encouraging visitors to explore this unique part of north central Colorado.Read More
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