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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Langhals

Discovering the Beauty of Grand Lake Colorado: Your Ultimate Summer Destination

Grand Lake, Colorado is a beautiful destination that offers visitors an unforgettable summer experience. Located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Grand Lake boasts stunning natural beauty, abundant outdoor activities, and a vibrant local culture.

The Water:

One of the highlights of summer in Grand Lake is spending time on the lake itself. Visitors can rent boats, kayaks, or paddleboards and enjoy a peaceful afternoon on the crystal-clear water. Boating on Grand Lake is an unforgettable experience. With crystal-clear water surrounded by towering mountains, the lake offers stunning views and plenty of space to explore. Expect to see waterskiing, sailing lessons, kayakers, paddleboarders, fishing, waders, and even wildlife soaring above, or trekking along the shore.

Shadow Mountain Waterway:

Through a narrow waterway, Grand Lake is connected to Shadow Mountain Lake, which is another vast high elevation lake offering beautiful mountain views while enjoying all the lake has to offer. This lake holds unique islands ready to be explored. Amongst the islands are a few protected nesting habitats for ospreys, great blue herons, Canada geese and, occasionally, bald eagles.

Both Grand and Shadow Mountain Lakes are a popular spot for fishing, with rainbow, brown, and lake trout being common catches.

Shops & Dining:

While spending the day on the water, boaters can plan to dock at one of the lake's numerous marinas and enjoy a meal or a drink while taking in the scenic surroundings. One of our favorites is Miyauchis Snack Bar. This walk-up timber outpost serves hot snacks and treats, featuring the best vegan ice cream we've tasted! They also serve a variety of snack food including french fries and hot sandwiches. Just a few steps up from Miyauchis is the historic boardwalk and downtown area of Grand Lake. Take a break from the water and explore the variety of specialty shops, art galleries, and restaurants serving up delicious local cuisine.


Hiking is another popular summer activity in Grand Lake, with the surrounding mountains offering numerous trails to explore. The East Inlet Trail, located in Rocky Mountain National Park, is a favorite among visitors, offering stunning views of waterfalls, meadows, and wildlife. The trailhead starts out relatively flat and easy with a steady incline until you reach Adams Falls. This trail is located within the National Park, so doggies have to sit this one out.

Adams Falls is a strong and beautiful waterfall named after Jay E. Adams, an early settler in the Grand Lake area who arrived in the late 1800s. The Adams Falls overlook looks over the falls which drops 55 feet and includes views of Grand Lake.

Hikers can journey onward and climb steadily up through the valley. Columbine, Glacier lily, and Ponderosa pine are scattered about this trail as it winds with the inlet through meadows as it meets Lone Pine Lake, Lake Verna, Spirit Lake. Beyond here, hikers can follow Fourth Lake to reach Fifth Lake, which creates the meltwater of the entire Inlet river the trail follows.

In addition to outdoor activities, Grand Lake is home to a variety of cultural events and festivals throughout the summer months. The Grand Lake Art Fest, held in August, showcases the works of local artists and is a great opportunity to pick up a unique souvenir or gift. The Grand Lake Nordic Festival, held in July, celebrates the area's Scandinavian heritage with events such as a 5k race and a pancake breakfast.

Grand Lake, Colorado is the perfect summer destination for those seeking natural beauty, outdoor adventure, cultural events, and local charm. Whether you're looking for a peaceful retreat or an action-packed vacation, Grand Lake has something to offer everyone.

For more tips and inspiration be sure to like this post, subscribe to her on social media, and follow Jennifer Langhals, Realtor with eXp Realty in Denver Colorado.


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