Fall is showtime in Rocky Mountain National Park as the mountains come alive with the sounds of the elk rut. Witness firsthand this incredible show of dominance, power, and control as these magnificent animals battle for matting rights. This is the best time of year for photographers to get stunning pictures as the moose and elk antlers are at their largest. Fall colors and cool temperatures make it a great time to explore the many hiking trails nearby. You can rent a boat at Beacon Landing or Indian Peaks Marina or launch your own at Stillwater boat ramp through the end of November. Top off the day by gathering with friends and family around a campfire as you watch the beautiful sunsets before the stars fill the dark sky.
With 25% of Colorado's Gold Medal Waters being in Grand County, North Shore Lodge is a fishing paradise. There are several local guides who are very knowledgeable about when, where and what to fish for and can help you catch what you want.. Fish Lake Granby from our back lawn or walk to the nearby marina and rent a boat. Grand Lake, Shadow Mountain Lake, Monarch Lake, Willow Creek Reservoir and a Gold Medal Water section of the Colorado River are all within a 15 minute drive from North Shore Lodge. With nearly a thousand miles of rivers and streams, 1000 acres of high mountain lakes, and 11,000 acres of reservoirs Grand County has some of the best fishing in the state and North Shore Lodge is central to it all.
With 40 miles of shoreline, numerous islands, stunning scenery, and abundant wildlife, Lake Granby and Shadow Mountain Lake are very popular for recreational boating. Bring your own boat or rent at one of the several local marinas, one within walking distance of North Shore Lodge. Several boat rental choices are available with pontoon boats that will hold up to 12 people.
Guests can access parts of the Arapaho National Recreation Area within walking distance of our lodge. Explore the East shoreline of Lake Granby with great views of Rainbow Island, Shelter Island, Harvey Island, and Deer Island. Surprise Beach is just before where the Colorado River enters Lake Granby at Grand Bay, just across the river is Rocky Point. An easy hike up to Green Ridge will give you a great view of the Colorado River between Shadow Mountain Lake and Lake Granby. Your view past the Colorado River is Rocky Mountain National Park. With over twenty trailheads being within a 15 minute drive, there are hikes to suit and please every skill level. High alpine lakes, jagged peaks, beautiful waterfalls, spring wildflowers and abundant wildlife are all just a hike away. Hike Rocky Mountain National Park, the Indian Peaks Wilderness, Arapaho National Forest, and Routt National Forest.
A short six mile drive and you are into one of the most scenic parks in the country. The Continental Divide runs through the center of this 414 square mile national treasure. With big meadows, wooded forests, and alpine tundra it is home to nearly 70 mammals and almost 300 species of birds. Trail Ridge Road is the highest paved through-road in the country, reaching an elevation of 12,183’. There are several glaciers in the park including Andrews, Sprague, Tyndall, Taylor, Rowe, Mills, and Moomaw Glaciers. There are over 300 miles of scenic hiking trails in the park. The highest point in the park is Longs Peak at an elevation of 14,259’. The park offers year-round ranger-led programs on a wide variety of awesome topics including several just for kids.
Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the best drives but there is much more to see in this area. The drive along the South shore of Lake Granby leads to Monarch Lake, offering beautiful scenery of the lake, several islands, mountain peaks, and a great chance at spotting moose. The Colorado River Headwaters Scenic Byway is 80 miles, it runs from just above Grand Lake and follows the Colorado River to State Bridge. To extend the drive continue west on the Colorado River Road through Burns to Interstate 70. For an easy off-road drive nearby try the Stillwater Pass drive. Check with us in the office for many more scenic drive recommendations and maps.
Bring some binoculars and your camera because there is an abundance of wildlife in Grand County. Some of the most popular are moose, elk, bighorn sheep, black bears, mountain lions, mountain goats, pronghorn, bald eagles, bobcats, lynx and fox. There are many species of birds and waterfowl as well as little creatures like weasels, minks, chipmunks, marmots, beavers and river otters. Come watch some of the best fishing in the world as the osprey plunge feet first into the water, a nesting pole can be viewed from our balcony. They have a 71” wing span, can fly at speeds near 80mph, can detect objects underwater from 130 feet in the air and are very entertaining to watch.
With hundreds of miles of scenic backcountry terrain ranging from easy trails to adrenalin pumping challenges there is an abundance of fun for every level of experience. Bring your own toys or rent from one of the local outfitters less than 10 miles from North Shore Lodge. They offer guided and unguided tours and provide you with all of the protective gear you will need and you don’t even need a trailer. The Stillwater Trailhead, part of the Idleglen OHV Recreation Area, also known as the Grand Lake Trail System, is only 3.5 miles from our lodge. Come get away from the crowds, breathe some clean mountain air, and experience some of the most amazing scenery and wildlife Colorado has to offer.
Explore Grand County in a hot air balloon only 25 miles from North Shore Lodge. As you gently lift-off and gracefully ascend you become one with the wind, losing sensations of movement and height perception, and begin to feel the peacefulness and tranquility of ballooning. Floating over this beautiful landscape and taking in the mesmerizing views of snow-covered peaks, alpine lakes, and abundant wildlife is something you will always remember.
Come broaden your horizons as you sit high on your horse, taking in the expansive panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains. Ride through meadows of wildflowers, crossing streams into hills covered with aspen and pine, breathe the clean mountain air and experience a unique feeling of freedom that comes from being on a horse. Horses are big, strong, majestic animals that are very sensitive and social in nature. Spending time with a horse can be very therapeutic and is known to lower stress and anxiety levels. Include a chuck wagon breakfast, a cowboy lunch or a steak dinner. Pony rides, petting farms, hay rides and wagon rides are also available. You can even take your family or group on cattle drives. A scenic eight mile drive from North Shore Lodge will get you to one of the many outfitters in the area that will help you and your family have an experience of a lifetime.
Bring your bikes and explore the backcountry trails in the neighboring Arapaho National Forest. Access the Gilsonite and Wolverine mountain bike trails that climb to an elevation of 11,000’ just six miles from the lodge. Learn all about mountain biking from one of the many knowledgeable outfitters in the area. They can tell you about different types of trails as well as the differences between downhill, freestyle, cross-country, and all-mountain bikes. With over 600 miles of user-friendly trails that are marked and mapped it is easy to understand why Winter Park is called Mountain Bike Capital, USA. Fun for all ages and skill levels, they have the largest rental/demo fleet in the country and several biking events, races and festivals. The Colorado Freeride Festival in July is the largest of its kind in the US and is held less than 18 miles from North Shore Lodge.
Scenic flight tours are available less than twelve miles from North Shore Lodge. Photograph the magnificent beauty of the Rocky Mountains and Continental Divide from above. Fly over Byers Peak, Longs Peak, Parry Peak, Indian Peaks, and several high alpine lakes. Flights are available for 20, 40 and 60-minute tours.
Access the Indian Peaks Wilderness from the South side of Lake Granby just 15 miles from the lodge. Climb Apache Peak to 13,441’ or one of the many other picturesque peaks in this area. Boulder right from the center of town in Grand Lake with five climbs ranging from V1 to V4. There is variety of notable peaks and granite rock formations in Rocky Mountain National Park just six miles from North Shore Lodge.
Play a round with views of Rocky Mountain National Park at Grand Lake Golf Course, only 6 miles from North Shore Lodge. Practice on a driving range or putting green or get in another 18 holes at one of five other courses within 20 miles
Hot springs may be just what you need after a day of fun. Just 20 miles away is one of the nation’s oldest, largest and finest natural hot mineral springs. There are over 200,000 gallons of natural hot mineral-rich water flowing through their 21 pools and baths every day. Treat yourself with raindrop therapy, hot rock massage, Swedish relaxation massage, deep tissue massage or one of many other massage techniques
Downhill skiing and snowboarding are available at two locations near North Shore Lodge, both offer lessons and equipment rental. Granby Ranch is only 15 miles and has 406 skiable acres with 1000 vertical feet, 6 lifts, and a top elevation of 9202’. An easy 30-mile drive will get you to Winter Park Resort. Winter Park will begin lift operations for the season on October 31st 2022. They have been voted the #1 ski resort in North America for three years by readers of USA Today. See for yourself as you explore the 3081 skiable acres with 3060 vertical feet, 21 lifts, and a top elevation of 12060’.
Nordic Skiing options in this area offer some of the most secluded and quiet places with amazing scenery and wildlife. If you are an experienced racer or just wanting to learn, there are trails and terrain to match your ability. Come take an easy one hour lesson and learn classic or skate skiing, or go into the backcountry with a six-hour lesson in alpine touring. Once the lake is frozen you can ski out onto the lake from North Shore Lodge.
Grand County is a hunters paradise with plenty of public and private lands to hunt on. Big game hunts for moose, elk, deer, pronghorn, bear, mountain goat and bighorn sheep. Hunt for duck and Canada geese within walking distance from North Shore Lodge in the Arapaho National Recreation Area. For hunting licenses, maps, and season dates visit Colorado Parks & Wildlife.