Grand Lake Area

· Grand Lake

Grand Lake Area

Aliases: Shadow Mountain Reservoir, Lake Granby, Adams Falls

The town of Grand Lake is the western gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park. Its namesake is the largest natural lake in Colorado, but that’s not saying much – it’s dwarfed by the adjacent Shadow Mountain Reservoir and Lake Granby. All three of these lakes are good places to see Osprey in summer and Barrow’s Goldeneye in fall before the water freezes. Once the lakes freeze, the Barrow’s usually move into the canal between Grand Lake and Shadow Mountain Reservoir, often in the company of other ducks, American Dipper, and rarely a Trumpeter or Tundra Swan.

In summer the wildlife viewing opportunities near Grand Lake are tremendous. This area is one of the best in Colorado for seeing moose, not to mention mule deer and elk. The hummingbird feeders in town are abuzz with Broad-taileds in May and June, with Rufous and Calliope Hummingbirds joining the fray in July and August. The North Inlet and East Inlet trails provide some of the best hiking in the area.

County: Grand

Habitat: Pond/Lake/Reservoir; Stream; Lodgepole Forest; Urban/Suburban; Streamside Willow; Wet Meadow; Mountain Meadow

Directions: The town of Grand Lake, the lake and the two reservoirs are all found along US 34 just outside the western boundary of Rocky Mountain National Park, about six miles north and east of the town of Granby. Adams Falls is accessed via the East Inlet Trail, which is at the eastern end of West Portal Road, on the east end of Grand Lake.

Delorme: 28 C4
Roads of Colorado: 55 D1-E2

Dates of Access: Open all year
Hours: Any
Ownership: Municipal/Private/US Forest Service
Admission: Free

Restrictions: Please respect private property

Parking: Many options
Lodging: Hotels, cabins, campgrounds

Handicapped: No
Handicapped Access: Various accessible parks along the lakeshores

Elevation: 8380

Latitude: 40.24611639
Longitude: -105.8261624


Drinking FountainYes
Gravel TrailsYes
Paved TrailsYes
Visitor CenterYes
Gift ShopYes

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