The perfect day in Grand Lake

Ryan and I woke to sunlight flooding in our condo’s bedroom window. Outside, Grand Lake, Colorado’s largest and deepest natural lake, was so still it appeared that I could walk across the glassy surface.

The perfect day in Grand Lake. lake reflections

Our search for breakfast didn’t take us far. Blue Water Bakery is mere steps away from Eagles Spirit Condo. We ate eggs and toast at a patio table with lake views while hummingbirds buzzed around us, and dog walkers passed on their way to the lake.

Refilling our coffee cups, we walked the short distance to the town-owned docks. We sat, enjoying the gentle rocking of the docks as we sipped our coffee.

This would have been the perfect time to try out stand up paddle boarding on Grand Lake, but I already had a full day planned so I’ll save that next time.

We were booked on a 10:30 a.m. boat tour of Grand Lake with Headwaters Marina, a two-minute walk from our Western Riviera condo.  

The perfect day in Grand Lake. Headwaters Marina sign.

I didn’t know what to expect from a boat tour, but our boat captain and guide, Rick, was fantastic.

The day before, we’d paddled around the lake in a rented canoe and had lots of questions about the different homes and unique boat houses that line the lake’s shores. Rick’s tour offered answers to nearly all of these questions and more.

A perfect day in Grand Lake. Boat tour with Headwaters Marina.

We learned that only 11 homes on the lake are occupied year round, and when a boathouse lantern is glowing green there’s a party going on and when it’s red it’s time to boat home.

After this informative and entertaining tour I was ready to buy a house on Grand Lake, I just need to find that $1.2 million in change that’s hiding out in my couch cushions.

After our one-hour boat tour, we returned to our condo for some out-of-the-sun time. I worship the sun, but an hour on a lake in the relentless sunshine meant we were in need of a nap, but not before stopping for ice cream.

The perfect day in Grand Lake. Ice cream at Miyauchi's Snack Bar.

For lunch, we met a friend at Rapids Lodge & Restaurant, a riverside dining establishment with a long history in Grand Lake. We usually avoid eating here because it doesn’t fit into our budget, but lunch is an affordable way to experience this restaurant’s fine cuisine. And dining next to the roaring Tonahutu River can’t be beat.

The perfect day in Grand Lake. Lunch at Rapids Restaurant.

That afternoon, we decided to go for a hike at Adams Falls. Just a five minute drive from Grand Lake, it’s a short 0.3 mile hike from the trailhead to the falls, and because the trail is suitable for nearly anyone it gets busy.

The perfect day in Grand Lake. Rainbow in Adams Falls.

While exploring the falls area, I suddenly heard Ryan whispering to me loudly. He’d spotted a moose below us in the trees. We watched as the moose turned towards the trail and then to our dismay started walking towards the hordes of people in the falls viewing area.

We captured what followed in photos, and while this story has a happy ending – after startling hikers and onlookers the moose continued on its way up the trail – the story could have been different.

A moose story, Grand Lake, Colorado. HeidiTown (3)

If you should see a moose while visiting Grand Lake, and there’s a high likelihood that you will, please follow this moose encounter advice from the National Parks Service.

Our day ended with takeout pizza from Grand Pizza. We ate on our condo patio while watching the still snow-covered Mount Craig (aka Mount Baldy) turn pink in the evening light. I turned to Ryan and said, “This was the perfect day in Grand Lake.” And I think I was right.

The perfect day in Grand Lake. Mount Baldy turning pink from the Western Riviera Lakeside Lodging condo.

Thank you to Western Riviera Lakeside Lodging & Events for providing our lodging during our stay and to the Grand Lake Resort Chamber for the boat tour. And thank you to Visit Grand County for your longtime support of HeidiTown.



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