Grand Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park Hiking

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Grand Lake

Grand Lake, on the western edge of Rocky Mountain National Park, is a wonderful place for families to hike during their Colorado vacation, with many interesting sights to see. Read More

  • Grand Lake East Shore Trail takes you to historic spots in the Rocky Mountains
  • A 6-mile hike taking about 2.5 hours
  • This out-and-back hike is moderately easy with minimal elevation gain
  • Trailhead is close to Grand Lake, Colorado
  • Enjoy the forests, lakes and other scenery along the way


Grand Lake East Shore hiking, at an elevation of 8,390 feet, is something you have to experience to believe. The forested landscape provides the perfect backdrop. The lack of other hikers gives the feeling that you are on your own in the wilderness. View Shadow Mountain Lake, the Colorado River and plenty of wildlife on this 6-mile trek in the Rocky Mountains. You can even hike up to the Shadow Mountain Lookout to see a fire lookout constructed during the Great Depression that was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Driving into Grand Lake, and turn right on Center Drive, take a left at Marina Drive, then a right on Shadow Mountain Drive. This will turn into Lakeside Drive and you go to Jericho Road and make a right turn, cross a bridge and drive past the Marina. Where this road dead-ends, you will find the trailhead parking.


  • Distance – 6 miles
  • Average Time of Hike – 2.5 hours
  • Elevation Gain – Minimal
  • Difficulty – Moderately easy
  • Trail Type – Out and back

Plan & Prepare

Be ready for the thin air of the high elevation by taking it slowly on your hike. It can get very cold in the winter, so be sure to take warm clothes, and layer them for extra warmth.