The West's BEST LAKES

Colorado and Wyoming Lakes

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Grand Lake is on the southwestern edge of Rocky Mountain National Park, about 70 miles northwest of Denver. For information, contact the Grand Lake Area Chamber of Commerce (800/531-1019, 970/627-3372, or www.grandlakechamber.com) and Grand County Tourism (800/729-5821 or www.grand-county.com).

Area code is 970 unless noted.

BOATING. SolVista Marina. Pontoon-boat lake tour; boat rentals. $10 tour. 627-8158 or www.solvista.com. Grand Lake Marina & Boater's Choice. Narrated 45-minute lake cruise; boat rentals. $9 cruises. 627-9273.

FISHING. Focus on East and North Inlets for rainbow trout; go farther out into the lake for mackinaws. Colorado fishing license required.

SWIMMING. A small public beach is next to the marina, but water temperature is chilly; no lifeguard.

DINING.  E.G.'s Garden Grill. Casual but good restaurant part of E.G.'s Country Inn (see "Lodging"). Grand Lake Lodge. Restaurant in lodge (see "Lodging"), serves all meals on the front porch or in the log dining room. Rapids Restaurant. Historic Rapids Lodge's dining room (see "Lodging") serves excellent dinners, ranging from fettuccine to filet mignon.

LODGING.  E.G.'s Country Inn. Luxurious rooms with lake views. From $155. 1000 Grand Ave.; 627-8404 or www.egscountryinn.com. Grand Lake Lodge. This 1920 log lodge sits on a hillside above town. From $70; 15500 State 34; 627-3967 or www.grandlakelodge.com. Historic Rapids Lodge. Rooms, condos, and cabins for rent on the Tonahutu River. From $75. 209 Rapids Lane; 627-3707 or www.rapidslodge.com. Lemmon Lodge. Cabins range from older, basic units to newer, grander ones. From $95. 1224 Lake Ave.; 627-3314 or www.lemmonlodge.com.

CAMPING: You'll find camping along Grand Lake's north and east shores. $12. 887-4100 or (877) 444-6777.

This small, jewel-like lake - set in a high valley beneath the Continental Divide - is the centerpiece of the Brainard Lake Recreation Area and gateway to the Indian Peaks Wilderness. You can take a scenic drive around the lake, stop for a picnic, or fish for brown and rainbow trout from nonmotorized craft (bring your own; no rentals).

 

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