A Getaway to Grand Lake, Day 2 Boating and Hiking

Let's Go Boating!

On our second day in Grand Lake, we started off with a boat ride on the lake with our Lincoln friends, Dan and Laurie.  With Laurie at the helm, we cruised around sipping freshly brewed coffee and catching up from our busy lives. I couldn’t imagine a more relaxing morning!  Laurie is taking part in the music camp and is one of our musically-talented friends. Laurie regular day job is managing the Nebraska Film Office which always adds to our conversations.  Dan is a fellow architect, was my best man at our wedding and is a classmate from college.

O.K., TMI, but if you are going to travel with friends, my best advice is to travel with some that are always good for for interesting conversation, enjoy similar things in life and like to laugh like these two do.

Captain Laurie and First Mate Dan
Shelley and Myself

and Pontooning!

Next on the “fun” agenda, we took a guided pontoon tour ride around the lake.  The tour guide provided historical and entertaining anecdotes about how the lake was developed and grew into today’s family oriented tourist haven.  

Historical Context

The town got its origins in the 1881 and sits at an elevation of 8,369 feet above sea level. The lake is the deepest (400′) and the largest (46,000 + acres) natural lake in Colorado. It also has the distinction to be part of the headwaters of the Colorado River.   The town of Grand Lake was originally developed as a mining supply point for the gold and silver mines in the area but now is almost entirely surviving from tourism.

Hiking Around Grand Lake

To complete the day’s activities, Shelley and I along with our friends Patti and Nan took a short hike into Estes Park up to Adams Falls. The trail head is just a short drive from downtown Grand Lake. It was a good “starter” hike to see how the thin air would affect us.  At roughly a mile (round trip) the incline is fairly steep as you start out but as you go along the grades level out and before long you’ll find yourself in a beautiful meadow with spectacular views of the mountains.  

There is something about the sounds of a rushing river that soothes the mind so stop frequently to catch your breath and take in the splendors of the forest along your journey. 

One pointer for the novices out there…wear good hiking shoes or boots as the terrain is rocky for most of the trail and slipping or twisting an ankle would be BAD! Also, take water and some oxygen-in-a-can if you aren’t used to the higher elevations.

Here are few photos of our hike to Adams Falls.  Enjoy! 

Foodie Fun, Too!

At the end of the day, after all this boating and hiking, we satisfied our appetites with dinner at one of the oldest Lodges in Grand Lake–The Rapids Lodge.  By the way, reservations are highly recommended!  The Lodge was constructed in 1915 by a man named John Lapsley Ish. 

The Lodge was pretty fancy for the time with running water (toilets!) and electric lights.  The electricity was provided by a small creek powering a water wheel just a few feet away.  Constructed of Lodgepole Pine logs harvested and milled on the site, the Lodge still has a local rustic appearance.  

John Lapsley Ish and his wife, Alice, had very interesting lives as entrepreneurs and outdoors-men.  Their story is worth looking up on Google

Oh, and the food is very good at the restaurant, too! With beautiful views of the Tonahutu/North Inlet Creek, after dinner, it’s a good spot to get your feet wet and cool down the tired feet if you’re steady enough to climb over the strategically placed boulders strewn across the creek.

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