Practice Social Distancing at the 100-Year-Old Grand Lake Lodge

I spent one night at Grand Lake Lodge in July. I have been to Grand Lake many times but this was only my second stay at the lodge. The first stay was for a wedding six years ago. Since that time, Highway West Vacations bought the property and things have changed.

Practice Social Distancing at the 100-Year-Old Grand Lake Lodge. HeidiTown (8)
The view from the Grand Lake Lodge. That is Grand Lake on the left and Shadow Mountain Lake on the right.

The most visible change is that the cabins have been updated. They managed to keep the old-fashioned ambiance while bringing the cabins into this decade. It’s a beautiful upgrade.

The bathrooms are still tiny, but this is because it was important for Highway West Vacations to retain the historic integrity of the Grand Lake Lodge. After all, it wasn’t built yesterday.

Practice Social Distancing at the 100-Year-Old Grand Lake Lodge. HeidiTown (2)
I could see Grand Lake from my cabin room, C8.

The lodge is celebrating its 100th birthday this year. That’s right, what started as one man’s dream became a reality and thousands of families have gotten to experience the beauty of the Colorado Rocky Mountains and hundreds have said “I do” in this iconic spot. 

Here is a brief history of the lodge: https://highwaywestvacations.com/hwv/grand-lake-lodge-history

Practice Social Distancing at the 100-Year-Old Grand Lake Lodge. HeidiTown (1)

My one-night stay was a whirlwind, and I am going to write about what I did in Grand Lake in an upcoming post. 

For now, I want to tell you about the lodge and why it should be on your road trip bucket list. 

Practice Social Distancing at the 100-Year-Old Grand Lake Lodge. HeidiTown (5)

First, it feels like the kind of place you’d stay during a road trip tour of Colorado. It has a sort of updated “Dirty Dancing” appeal. In fact, much of the staff stay onsite (an ode to old traditions and a reminder of how much work goes into a place like this). 

Practice Social Distancing at the 100-Year-Old Grand Lake Lodge. HeidiTown (9)
The sunrises at Grand Lake Lodge are spectacular.

The lodge sits on an overlook of Grand Lake, the town and the lake, and Shadow Mountain Lake. Behind the lodge are rows of cabins, 70 in all. There are even big cabins available for family reunions and such.

Practice Social Distancing at the 100-Year-Old Grand Lake Lodge. HeidiTown (10)
The path to Nuptial Knoll at Grand Lake Lodge. Don’t wear high heels to this wedding!
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Lisa and Matt Kral tie the knot on Nuptial Knoll. It was the “You Might See a Moose” wedding. Thank you, Lisa, for this use of this amazing photo. The wedding was equally amazing. I feel lucky to have been a witness. Photo by Elevate Photography.
RELATED: The Perfect Day in Grand Lake, Colorado

This year, things are a little different everywhere, including at the Grand Lake Lodge. With COVID-19 upon us, the lodge is full of masked staff and visitors. The swimming pool with the best view in Colorado is closed (for now). However, the restaurant and mountainside deck are open.

Practice Social Distancing at the 100-Year-Old Grand Lake Lodge. HeidiTown (7)
A pool with a view. You can’t get this in very many destinations.

Huntington House Tavern is open for lunch and a prefixed dinner that requires reservations. The view alone is worth coming here for a meal, whether you are staying or not. The $49 dinner comes with a salad or charcuterie platter, entree and dessert. Eating a filet Mignon while watching the sunset on the lake is a magical experience that’s hard to beat. 

Practice Social Distancing at the 100-Year-Old Grand Lake Lodge. HeidiTown (6)

Grand Lake Lodge’s longtime appeal is that it literally sits on the edge of Rocky Mountain National Park. At the end of the lodge’s road, turn right, and five minutes later you’ll enter the park. A reservation to enter Rocky Mountain National Park is now required and you can book it here

Practice Social Distancing at the 100-Year-Old Grand Lake Lodge. HeidiTown (11)

Practice Social Distancing at the 100-Year-Old Grand Lake Lodge. HeidiTown (13)

While things are different right now (and let’s face it, masks are hot during the Colorado summer), Grand Lake Lodge offers a respite from real life. With your own cabin, it’s easy to play the social distancing game. The staff is clean and meticulously careful. 

Practice Social Distancing at the 100-Year-Old Grand Lake Lodge. HeidiTown (12)
Knock & Drop Breakfast at the Grand Lake Lodge.

Lastly, breakfast is safe and smart. It’s a Knock and Drop Breakfast and you order directly from your room or cabin. My breakfast burrito arrived within 10 minutes of my call and it was delicious. The coffee was good although I wanted a second cup, but was off to an adventure in a kayak.

Thank you to the Grand Lake Lodge for hosting this overnight experience.

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