Rocky Mountain National Park Offer Summer Ranger Programs at Kawuneechee Visitor Center
– Town of Grand Lake serves as host for park’s quieter western entrance –
Grand Lake, Colo. – Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) is the most popular attraction in Colorado, drawing three million annual visitors. But intrepid travelers know that the secret to visiting the 416 square miles of beauty lay in the programs, activities and lifestyle on the quieter western side of the park.
This summer, National Park Service rangers will host walking, hiking and educational programs throughout the season on the west side of the park, where the headquarters are located at the Kawuneechee Visitor Center (1.5 miles north of the Town of Grand Lake, Colo., on U.S. Route 34). Among the programs:
- Timber Creek Campground Program – Rangers present one-hour talks around a campfire at the Timber Creek Campground amphitheater nightly, June 19-Sept. 5. Programs begin at 9 p.m. through Aug. 13, and at 8:45 p.m. after that. Visitors can check-in at the campground or the Kawuneeche Visitor Center for topics.
- Beyond the Falls – Rangers will lead one-mile walks to scenic Adams Falls from the park’s East Inlet trailhead. Walks begin nightly at 6:30 p.m., June 20-Aug. 15.
- Coyote Valley River Walk – Rangers will discuss the valley ecology and history on the easy walk along the Colorado River. Walks leave from the Coyote Valley trailhead nightly at 7 p.m. between June 21 and Aug. 16.
The historic Town of Grand Lake, nestled beneath craggy, snow-capped mountain peaks, offers visitors the chance to continue their Rocky Mountain adventure with a mix of cultural, recreational and historical activities. Sitting at the edge of Colorado’s largest natural lake, and bordering two large reservoirs, the town sports a historic boardwalk with authentic Wild West architecture and hitching posts. Beyond the boardwalk, visitors will find attractions ranging from regattas to repertory theater:
- Rocky Mountain Repertory Theater – Summer performances in the theater’s new 12,000-square-foot complex include “Beauty and the Beast,” “Guys and Dolls,” “Chess,” and “Almost Heaven: The Songs of John Denver.”
- · Bingo in the Town Park – The town hosts outdoor bingo in the town park pavilion every Friday and Saturday night through Labor Day, beginning at 7:30 p.m.
- Wednesday Music in the Park: Free concerts take place every Wednesday, 5-7 p.m., through August, at the gazebo in Town Park.
- · Colorado State Chili Cook-Off – The official red, green and salsa championships for the State of Colorado take place in Town Park on June 25.
- Fireworks – Grand Lake puts on the largest 4th of July fireworks display in Colorado, with colors exploding over, and reflecting in, the lakes.
- Buffalo BBQ Weekend – Taking place at Town Park and along the Grand Lake waterfront, the July 16-17 event features a 5K walk/run, parade, food and beverage stands, live music and children’s games.
- Regatta Week – Between June 30 and Aug. 7, the Grand Lake Yacht Club – one of the highest-altitude yacht anchorages in the world – hosts its annual week of racing.
- Kauffman House Museum – The museum comes alive as local colorful figures, in costume and in character, re-enact Colorado pioneer life in the 1800s and 1900s. Historic walking tours through town give an up-close and personal look at the area.
- Grand Lake Lodge – Few visitors to Grand Lake can resist a visit to the stately, rustic lodge for a rest or drink on the porch. Occupying a spot on the National Registry of Historic Places, the lodge has 56 cabins and is surrounded on three sides by Rocky Mountain National Park
The Grand Lake Chamber of Commerce maintains an up-to-date listing of lodging specials, available during all events, at www.grandlakechamber.com/specials.html.
Grand Lake, Colo. (www.grandlakechamber.com)
Grand Lake, Colo., is a historic mountain town nestled beneath craggy, snow-capped mountain peaks in the heart of the Colorado Rockies. Located just 100 miles west of Denver, Grand Lake sits at the edge of Colorado’s largest natural lake, and is the western gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park.
Grand Lake’s extensive outdoor recreation activities include fly fishing, boating, sailing, horseback riding, golfing, hiking, mountain biking, camping in the summer, and snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, sledding, tubing and ice fishing in the winter. The town is home to the acclaimed Rocky Mountain Repertory Theater, and its famous Old West boardwalk, lined with 60 shops, restaurants and galleries.