Grand Lake Colorado Fishing, Camping, Boating

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Grand Lake

Grand Lake, Colorado is both a large natural lake and a town on its shores, just outside the west entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park and offering year-round recreation opportunities.

  • Grand Lake is located at the west entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park
  • Find year-round recreation opportunities around this town and lake
  • Grand Lake is accessible all year
  • Fish the lakes and rivers in the area
  • Take the Trail Ridge Road from Grand Lake to Estes Park for incredible scenery


Grand Lake, CO is surrounded by snow-covered mountains with amazing views from all angles. The historic mountain town sits on Grand Lake with an elevation of 8,367 feet. Since both the lake and town are in such close proximity to Rocky Mountain National Park, the area is a premiere vacation destination.


Grand Lake is located at the western entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. To reach the lake from Interstate 70 coming from the east, take US Highway 40 over the Continental Divide and then Highway 34 right into town.


Grand Lake is accessible all year.


With so many activities to keep the whole family busy around Grand Lake, you’ll never have downtime on vacation. Here are only a few:

  • Visiting Rocky Mountain National Park
    Located just outside of the town of Grand Lake, this national park is a Colorado wonder, with more than 265,000 acres and some of the highest peaks in the state. Outdoor activities are in almost endless supply, including hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, camping and fishing.
  • Fishing
    Grand Lake and other lakes and rivers in the region are ideal for making trophy catches of cutthroat, rainbow, brown and brook trout. You’ll find kokonee salmon, too!
  • Hiking
    Along with numerous trails within Rocky Mountain National Park, there are others all around Grand Lake. Two trails will take you from town right into the park. These are Tonahutu Creek Trail and East Inlet Trail. Explore three separate trails from Monarch Lake into the backcountry.
  • Touring Downtown Grand Lake
    On the Grand Lake Boardwalk you’ll stroll through the town of Grand Lake and experience the Old West flavor of Colorado. Visit the shops and galleries that line this marvelous boardwalk.
  • Water Sports
    On the beach at Grand Lake you can fish, swim, paddle or just relax and enjoy the sun and do some people watching.
  • Scenic Driving
    The Trail Ridge Road takes you from Grand Lake to Estes Park with some of the most gorgeous scenery in the United States.

Additional Info

The area was originally home to the Arapaho, Cheyenne and Ute Native American tribes. Later the trappers and explorers came into this section of the Rockies to make their living. The lake itself was officially discovered by European hunting parties. When silver was discovered near Grand Lake in the 1870s, the town of Grand Lake became a bustling community. It was also a supply point for nearby mining settlements. Many who came to visit this lovely area came back year after year. Hotels sprang up and thus Grand Lake became a famous tourist destination.

Other Grand Lake Resources

Grand Lake

Grand Lake information on our Winter Park website.