Grand Lake, Colorado, is one of the best gateways to spectacular Rocky Mountain National Park, but it's not just a gateway -- it has its own attractions too.
Rocky Mountain Park's west side is a glory of lush meadows and waterfalls and wooded trails. Then the climb begins, to rocky alpine stretches of low growth inhabited by marmots and herds of elk. Trails up here will take your breath away -- not just for the views, but for the extreme altitudes. Trail Ridge Road is so high, it's usually not open until May or June, but earlier in the season you can drive partway into the park. This is not a place to miss if you have even the faintest appreciation for nature.
The tiny center of Grand Lake is quite touristy, with a fun frontier feel and wooden boardwalk. Restaurants have personality, and charge accordingly. Dozens of shops sell art, handicrafts, outdoor supplies, homemade treats, and Colorado souvenirs. There's also a mini-golf course and open-air bingo on the weekends in summer. The Rocky Mountain Repertory Theater runs productions during the summer, and comes highly recommended. Tickets are fairly affordable for live theatre.
Outdoor pursuits are huge in Grand Lake. You can boat on the lake, fish, watch for wildlife, or go horseback riding. Many trails allow hikers of all abilities to enjoy the area. One easy trail, to Adam's Falls, leaves right from downtown. Your hostel in Grand Lake can recommend other trails, both here and in the national park. Winter sports are also popular.
Hostels in Grand Lake, within walking distance of the center, give you perfect access to the natural wonders of Rocky Mountain National Park and its surroundings while also letting you enjoy the cute frontier town.
Hi, I'm Melinda Brasher,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Grand Lake hostels. Welcome.