Grand Lake town is in Grand County, Colorado and was established on the shores of the Grand Lake in 1881. Grand Lake sits at an elevation of 8,369 feet and is the largest natural body of water in Colorado. The town of Grand Lake was originally an outfitting and supply point for the mining settlements of Lulu City, Teller City, and Gaskill.
Today the town is a major tourist destination in the Rocky Mountain National Park, which surrounds the lake and the town on three sides. Originally, Grand Lake was the Grand County seat of government from 1882-1888 and was later incorporated on June 23, 1944.
Grand Lake is Colorado’s largest and deepest natural lake, and is part of the headwaters of the Colorado River. The lake became a component in the Colorado-Big Thompson Project (C-BT) in 1937, when it was recruited as a conduit for C-BT project water. The C-BT project diverts water from the Colorado River Basin east via the Alva B. Adams Tunnel under the Continental Divide and Rocky Mountain National Park to the Big Thompson River watershed, thence the South Platte River and ultimately the Mississippi River basin.
There is much to do on the water via the publicly and privately operated marinas, a public boat ramp, and public boat docks which are on the lake. The Yacht Club, which is a private club, also hosts sailing races on the lake. Grand Lake is also great for fishing and you can check out the fish reports in Grand County’s Gold Medal Waters. You’ll find an awesome spot to angle for brown, rainbow and cutthroat trout in the Colorado River or our many lakes and reservoirs. There are also available fishing reports for Grand Lake and surrounding waters to keep you updated.
You can visit The Kauffman House, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NHRP). It is a rustic log house that functioned as a hotel from its construction in 1892 until 1946. The Grand Lake Area Historical Society purchased the house in 1973 and converted it into a museum as the only pre-20th century log hotel remaining in Grand Lake. The Kauffman House Museum features historic house displays, clothing, furniture, dolls, iron kitchen ware, books, quilts, skis and winter sports equipment, stereopticon photos and more from Grand Lake past.
The house had several other owners until 1973 when the Grand Lake Area Historical Society purchased the house and restored it as a museum. This hotel, the only remaining log hotel built in Grand Lake prior to 1900, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places because of its log architecture and because its first owner was a typical example of the men who joined the westward movement, drawn by the mining, trapping, fishing and tourist phase of the Grand Lake community and Grand County, Colorado.
Grand Lake is also home to the Rocky Mountain Repertory Theater. This summer stock theater company produces three Broadway musicals during the summer months from June through August and one musical in September.
The Grand Lake Boardwalk contains more than 60 shops, restaurants, bars, and galleries. You can walk to Point Park, a unique place to fish from the dock. You can also enjoy nonmotorized water crafts, and picnics at the park.
Grand Lake is just 15 minutes of the Rocky Moun
tain National Park (RMNP) west entrance and the Kawuneeche Visitor Center. Rocky Mountain National Park is a very popular Colorado vacation destination and during the winter season backcountry skiing and snowboarding is a popular winter activity for residents and visitors to Grand Lake which also come from the RMNP. You can ride a snowmobile on more than 300 miles of trails or right down Main Street (which is really fun) during the winter season.
There is so much to do, you can also go camping near Grand Lake. You can camp close to town and enjoy the great outdoors. Pitch a tent, rent a 5-person tipi or cabin, hook-up your RV at Elk Creek Campground. For something a bit more gritty, try Green Ridge Campground, which offers lakeside campsites and access to the Colorado River. You can find more information about camping at Grand Lake on the campground website or through Colorado Parks & Wildlife.
Grand lake is also home of the world’s highest registered yacht club, the nation’s highest altitude golf course with grass greens, and Colorado’s premiere summer musical company, Grand Lake offers a unique getaway for all visitors and residents. Also adjacent to Arapaho National Recreation Area, Grand Lake has been dubbed the Snowmobile Capital of Colorado due to its access from Town to Colorado’s largest network of groomed snowmobile trails. It has been a well known year-round vacationer’s paradise for more than one hundred years.
Also located nearby, the Grand Lake Yacht Club is a popular attraction for boaters. Located at 8,367 feet in elevation, Grand Lake Yacht Club is one of the highest yacht anchorages in the world. Since the club was founded in 1901, it also claims the title as one of the oldest clubs in the west. The Yacht Club sponsors an annual Regatta Week in mid-August, an incredible fun-filled event that is great for visitors and locals alike.
You can also visit Point Park near the lake which can be a perfect place to enjoy a family-friendly picnic or for the perfect boating launch point. The park is located at the edge of Grand Lake, and it offers an incredible view of Mt. Baldy, also known as Mt. Craig. The park is also a popular location for beautiful Grand Lake weddings.