Trip Planning Stories & Guides

Experience Grand County like a local. From hidden gems to area favorites, let us help you create your own unforgettable story in the Rocky Mountains. Grand County. No matter what you choose, the end of one adventure is just the beginning of another.

10 Best Scenic Views in Grand County

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With our northern, eastern and most of our southern boundary defined by the Continental Divide, it comes as no surprise that we have hundreds of scenic vistas to enjoy. But our terrain is more varied than just yodel-worthy summits and rocky mountain highs. Here are 10 of the best scenic views in Grand County, and — for that matter — in all of Colorado.

10 Best Skiing and Snowboarding Trails in Grand County

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Make no mistake about it: being nestled against the Continental Divide has its advantages — like unbelievable amounts of snow. What to do with all that powder? Well, ski and snowboard of course. Grand County is home to two of Colorado's favorite ski resorts. Near Berthoud Pass lies the massive Winter Park Resort, which includes the mountains of Winter Park, Mary Jane, Parsenn Bowl, Vasquez Cirque…

100 Reasons to Love RMNP

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In 2015, our beloved Rocky Mountain National Park turned 100 years old. We wanted to celebrate in our own way, celebrating 100 activities and things to do as the reasons we love this side of the park and its surroundings. 1. Stopping by the Kawuneeche Visitors Center inside the western entrance to the park to get your bearings with their three-dimensional map.2. Driving from Grand Lake over Trail Ridge…

11 Reasons to Mountain Bike in Grand County

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Need more reasons to come to Grand County to mountain bike? Here are eleven of them: trails and networks that you’ve gotta ride this summer and fall.

15 Grand Summer Adventures

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As the snow melts and the rivers swell in Grand County, our thoughts turn to the simple pleasures of summer... like these 15 things you ought to try before the snow returns in late fall.

2017 Grand County Hunting Season Preview

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Grand County's public lands offer hunters some of the best opportunities in the state to pursue big game, turkey and even big cats. But it is important to know the basics and regulations on hunting first. Explore our hunting preview here!

4 Best Horseback Riding Trails in Colorado

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Looking for a new way to experience the beautiful Rocky Mountain backcountry? View our top 4 horseback riding trails to get some of the best views around at a pace that's perfect for soaking it all in.

5 Can't-Miss Towns in the Rocky Mountains

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Some of the best-kept secrets of the Rocky Mountains lie just outside the Western Gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park. Each with distinct personalities and unique grand adventures, these towns should jump to the top of your Rocky Mountain bucket list. With signature events including the Three Lakes Ice Fishing Contest in January, Ride the Rockies in June, and the "Largest Small Town Parade" in July,…

5 Grand Facts about RMNP

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Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the best things about Grand County. Just five minutes from Grand Lake, the Park is like our 265,000-acre backyard. We're so proud of the park that we wanted to share some of the grand facts about our pride and joy. It's well-known that elk can be found elegantly striding through the entirety of Rocky Mountain National Park, but it's a lesser-known fact that moose…

5 Majestic Things to Do on the Lakes of Grand County

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If the Rocky Mountains are the soul of Grand County, than the lakes are certainly the heart. With their pristine deep waters and seemingly endless miles of shore, the "big three" located in the center of the county — Grand Lake, Shadow Mountain Reservoir and Lake Granby — garner most of the attention, and rightfully so. Their facilities for boaters, lurking trophy trout and endless potential for…

5 Things to do in The Spring Off Season

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Ahh, April and May. As the ski areas close for the season and the rivers swell with snowmelt, Grand County transforms from a winter playground into a hidden-gem destination for solitude seekers. Those in-the-know can still enjoy the national forest on snowshoe or hook a massive lake trout from the waters of our reservoirs, all while cashing in on the lowest lodging rates of the season. While the middle…

5 Ways to Unwind in Grand County

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Up here in Grand County, we've mastered the art of relaxation. It would only seem natural, given our spectacular surroundings and the away-from-it-all tranquility of our valleys. But our setting is only one reason we're so good at unwinding. Our penchant for outdoor activity means that most of us have a talent for restoring sore muscles with the right dose of hot springs soaking, spa treatment, and…

6 Secret Places of RMNP

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Rocky Mountain National Park is a popular tourist destination, but visiting from the Western Gateway is much less crowded, and you can even access some quieter, secret places in the park.

7 Fall Activities and Things to Do in Grand County

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As much as we love summer, many of us love the fall a little bit more. In the autumn, there is a certain magic in the air — aspens and willows turn brilliant colors (seemingly overnight), and our wildlife is more visible, as they actively gear up for a snowy winter. Best of all, all of our favorite activities and things to do — mountain biking, hiking, golfing, hot springing and more — can still…

7 Reasons to Spend the Holidays in Grand County

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Looking to create an unforgettable holiday experience for your family? Consider this: when you transport everybody to a real "winter wonderland" (and actually go "dashing through the snow" on a sleigh), your usual holiday moments will become indelible holiday memories. Grand County is such a place. By mid-November, the snow begins to pile up on our mountains and valleys, creating a magical backdrop…

A Romantic Getaway to Grand County

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No matter what stage your relationship is in, there is always room for a little more romance. And what great news! Grand County offers some of the best romantic activities for all types of couples—and we're only 67 miles from Denver. Let us help you plan your next spontaneous getaway; our activities are sure to take your breath away.

Beginners Guide to Snowmobiling

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Unlike snowshoeing, cross-country skiing or off-piste backcountry skiing, snowmobiling affords almost anyone the opportunity to access truly remote backcountry. In Grand County, that means accessing more than 1,000 miles of trails in the heart of Colorado's Rocky Mountains. 

While snowmobiling does not require years of practice or training, it does require proper preparation and awareness. Here are our tips on what to wear, how to prepare, and links to helpful resources and outfitters in Grand County to make your snowmobiling trip a success.

Elk Bugling

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Elk Bugling is one of the top fall sights in Grand County's corner of Rocky Mountain National Park. From mid-September through mid-October and sometimes into November, it is elk breeding season. During this time, visitors can see up to hundreds of elk at a time gather amidst the unbeatable Rocky Mountain scenery for an unforgettable sight. Elk are the largest, most abundant animals in Rocky Mountain…

Fall on the West Side of RMNP

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Rocky Mountain National Park is a remarkable place year round, but its beauty is exceptionally radiant in the fall months. From August through October (always weather-dependant in unpredictable Colorado), the changing of the season becomes visually apparent as the colors transition in the aspen trees and some of the 900 other plant species that thrive in the Park. Another sight and sound of nature is…

Geocaching Across the Divide

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The Across the Divide GeoTour features Rocky Mountain National Park and the mountain villages of Estes Park & Grand Lake.

Grand Lake to Monarch Lake

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From Grand Lake to Monarch Lake, tour the abundant water flowing in beautiful Grand County. Hike to Adams Falls or go boating at Lake Granby, there is a water activity that everyone can enjoy here in the heart of the Rocky Mountains.

 

 

Guide to Boating on Grand County's Lakes

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Is there anything better in summertime than boating on a mountain lake? If you ask us, the answer is "no, not really." While Colorado has dozens of great reservoirs and lakes to set sail on, few destinations offer so many choices in one place as Grand County. To help you navigate our five mountain lakes, we've compiled a guide to boating them:

Guide to Food, Wine and Beer in Grand County, Colorado

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Grand County has over 100 restaurants and bars spread throughout the area, but don't fret; we have compiled a guide to food, wine, and beer in the county to help you eat and drink your way through our 5 major towns (and a few quaint towns in-between). Whether you want to sample local microbrews, try Rocky Mountain cuisine like elk or venison, sip regional wine, or indulge in gourmet cuisine, there…

Guide to Grand County's Backcountry Huts and Yurts

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Enjoying the rustic adventure of a backcountry hut is not limited to one season. In winter, cross-country skiers and snowshoe trekkers seek their solitude and warmth after a full day of traversing the mountains. Once the snow melts, hikers and mountain bikers use these facilities as a cozier substitute for wilderness camping.

Guide to Grand County's Rivers

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While Grand County's lakes and reservoirs serve up enough recreational options to keep any summertime vacation busy, our rivers are just as enticing. Review our quick guide to Grand County's four major rivers and how to enjoy them.

Guide to Sledding and Tubing

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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…

Hidden Gems

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Get the low down on Grand County and experience the best of our five towns like the locals do. From quaint resturants to favorite retails stores, we will let you in on some insider's hot spots.

 

History Itinerary

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Situated on the western edge of the Continental Divide with the headwaters of the Colorado River within its border, Grand County has served as a vital railroad corridor, an unlikely high-altitude bastion for ranching, and most recently, a playground for lovers of the outdoors. On your next visit, be sure to stop by these fascinating heritage sites and history museums. You'll gain a deeper perspective…

Insider's Guide to Snowboarding Grand County

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Just 90 minutes outside of Denver, snowboarders find a certain kind of nirvana in the slopes of Grand County. At Winter Park Resort, seven distinct areas of terrain offer the full gamut of options, from deep stashes of untouched powder to long and wide groomers to several terrain parks scattered across the slopes. Meanwhile, down the valley a bit, riders can find a completely different experience at…

North Central Colorado Scenic Loop

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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.

Rafting, Fishing & Hot Springs

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Water is everywhere in Grand County, and there are lots of exciting activities for you and your family to explore! Come make a splash in the beautiful Rocky Mountains.

Spring Break for Non-Skiers

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Skiing and snowboarding may be the favorite spring break pastime in Grand County, but there are plenty of fun things to do beyond the slopes for non-skiers. Whether your family is outdoor active or just hopelessly romantic, this list of activities will make sure you have a great spring break. While it is open year-round, Hot Sulphur Springs Resort and Spa really does the trick over spring break. With…

Terrain Guide to Snowmobiling in Grand County

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Grand County boasts more than 1,000 miles of snowmobiling trails throughout the county, centered on these towns: Grand Lake, Granby, Kremmling and Winter Park/Fraser. We've created a quick guide to these snowmobiling hotspots.

The Best Rafting and Kayaking Close to Denver

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When it comes to rafting and kayaking close to Denver, you have got to head to the source. And by that, we mean the source of one of North America's greatest rivers, the Colorado. Originating in Grand County, the Colorado River has been thrilling rafters and kayakers for its entire course ever since these endeavors became recreational sports. And the stretches around Hot Sulphur Springs, Kremmling and…

Top 5 Places for Fall Color in Grand County

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Whether it is a long weekend escape to enjoy the mild weather before winter sets in or a long-awaited vacation during the peace and quiet of fall, autumn is a reliably gorgeous time to visit Grand County. Here, the scenic highlight comes in the form of aspens, cottonwoods and willows, which add dashes of vibrant color to our hillsides and valleys. For the best foliage viewing, we recommend the following…

Top Budget-Friendly Activities in Grand County

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With incredible mid-week specials and packages throughout the county, it's easy to get away to Grand County for a week-long family trip. But did you know that there are even more ways to save? View our top budget- and family-friendly things to do on your next Grand County getaway!

Top Hikes for Wildflower Viewing

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Grand County is home to incredible wildflower hikes at every turn, but we have some favorite spots. Take a look at our top wildflower hikes in Grand County and on the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park.

Top Things to Do This Spring

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When the Rocky Mountains start to defrost in the springtime, it's prime time to enjoy some of the unique adventures available in Grand County. But what are the best things to do in the area between the winter and summer months? Here are some of our favorite things to do this spring!

Where to Cross Country Ski: Top Trails

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Ask any cross-country skier what they like most about their sport, and they'll tell you one of two things: that its an exhilarating workout unlike any other exercise, or that it's the ultimate experience in serenity. But press the issue a little further and you'll find out that every skier pursues the sport for both reasons. Get into a rhythm, and you're likely to find a zone where its just you, your…

Where to Learn: Ski and Snowboard Schools

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For all the reasons to take a skiing or snowboarding lesson, there always seems to be twice as many reasons — or rather, excuses — not to take one. This is often more true for adults who already know how to ski or ride. If you already know, why bother? The answer is simple: because you'll have more fun.

Winter Activities in RMNP

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As the first flakes of snow start to fall in the high country, Rocky Mountain National Park turns into a winter wonderland. The chilly conditions drive many casual tourists away, leaving ample room for the real winter enthusiasts to roam around the park and take advantage of the open space and fresh packs. There's so much to do this winter in Rocky Mountain National Park, so make sure you check off…

Winter Family Fun

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Here's a quick guide to the best family-friendly winter activities in our corner of mountain paradise.