If the Rocky Mountains are the soul of Grand County, than the lakes are certainly the heart. With their pristine deep waters and seemingly endless miles of shore, the "big three" located in the center of the county — Grand Lake, Shadow Mountain Reservoir and Lake Granby — garner most of the attention, and rightfully so. Their facilities for boaters, lurking trophy trout and endless potential for escape make them a vacation favorite for many.
But don't be fooled. Scattered across the county you'll find several other lakes offering solitude and your own slice of summer majesty.
Here are the top things to experience on the lakes of Grand County.
Location: 1128 Lake Ave, Grand Lake, CO 80447
Grand Lake holds a unique distinction. It is home to the Grand Lake Yacht Club, the highest yacht anchorage in the world. At 8,366 feet in altitude, the idyllic lake's winds range from strident to as mellow as a John Denver song. Sailors enjoy both sides of the lake's personality; one look at the views of Mount Craig from the water and you'll see why. The Grand Lake Yatch Club is only available for home owners, but even if you are not a member you can still drop anchor in Grand Lake.
Few lakes in Colorado are more conducive to lounging on a pontoon boat than Lake Granby. As the second-largest body of water in Colorado, it affords several bays and inlets to explore, and stunning scenery to boot. But perhaps its best attribute for boaters comes after sunset, when a banner of stars emerges. Lie on the deck and count shooting stars as long as you like.
As you watch the annual fireworks burst over Grand Lake, you'll notice that you are watching two shows: one in the sky, the other reflected in the waters. Take a boat out onto the lake or watch the display from the shore. You can't go wrong.
While the big three lakes of Grand County offer ample solitude in quiet corners, several other lakes in the county offer exceptional kayaking and canoeing. Monarch Lake tops that list, with osprey and moose sightings a regular occurrence. From here, you can also pair your kayaking adventure with a day of hiking on National Forest Trails. Other hot spots for lake kayakers and canoeists include Willow Creek Reservoir, Grand Lake and Wolfold Mountain Reservoir.
The deep waters of Lake Granby harbor some monster lake trout. Anglers in recent years have reported an increase in lake trout catches, and the Division of Wildlife encourages a four-fish bag limit (especially trout under 19-inches in size). Other lakes in the county boast productive brown and rainbow trout fisheries.