Grand Lake, Colorado

Photo by Amy Aletheia Cahill

Where in the West Should I Go? • 52 Places to Visit in 2022

At 400 feet deep, Grand Lake is Colorado’s deepest lake and perhaps its most beautiful. Dubbed the “Gateway to the Rockies,” it’s a must-visit for anyone heading to that famous national park. 

Formed by glaciers some 12,000 years ago, it covers more than 500 acres and is fed by the Colorado River headwaters. The town it’s in (also named Grand Lake) gets roughly 129 inches of snowfall in a year, making the area ideal for snowmobiling and other winter activities. In fact, it’s known as the “Snowmobiling Capital of Colorado.”

Ice skating the frozen lake (usually iced over by mid-December) is a favorite along with snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. 

However, once summer hits, it’s also an exceptional destination for swimming, boating or fishing – or better yet a combination of all three. 

With mostly private residences surrounding the lake, the town beach is the best place to put a vessel in the water. Or you can make a friend or find a waterfront rental with a boat launch!

If you’re a sailor, you’re not going to want to miss the annual regatta held in August and hosted by the Grand Lake Yacht Club (formed in 1902 – one of the oldest in the West). 

From picturesque blue waters to equally picturesque white winters, there’s one absolutely must-see no matter what time of year you’re in Grand Lake – go find a moose!