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Traveling to Grand Lake Via Denver Airport

San Antonio, Texas...
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Traveling to Grand Lake Via Denver Airport

My husband and our two children (ages 5 and 2) will be staying in Grand Lake, Colorado. June 1-4th of 2012. I've read the forum and I'd like to go on a boat ride with the kids, and see Rocky Mountain NP. We are staying at the Gateway INN. What are some other activities that would be family friendly? Also, we are willing to drive to see a Railroad museum or ride a train in the area. My oldest son is in love with anything train related. Thanks for your help.

Windsor, Colorado
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1. Re: Traveling to Grand Lake Via Denver Airport

Melissa, over to the right click on the link under Top Questions. There is a wonderful trip report from July of last year.

The closest train ride is in Georgetown. http://www.georgetownlooprr.com/

This can be done as a day trip from Grand Lake.

I will give you more ideas later---have to go.

San Antonio, Texas...
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2. Re: Traveling to Grand Lake Via Denver Airport

Thank you and can't wait to hear the rest of your ideas. We are in San Antonio so let me know if you ever need any ideas for visiting SA, TX.

WestSlope,CO
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3. Re: Traveling to Grand Lake Via Denver Airport

You could visit the Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden when you arrive in Denver before going to Grand Lake, or upon your return before you depart. Lots of trains for kids to explore and climb on and there are train rides on some days.

coloradorailroadmuseum.org/train-rides-home/…

Windsor, Colorado
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4. Re: Traveling to Grand Lake Via Denver Airport

More ideas and helpful links

Float trip on the upper Colorado--yes 2 year olds who weigh 30 lbs. can go on some trips. This is a little more than an hour from Grand Lake. summitactivities.com/grand_grandLake/whitewa…

Winter Park summer activities-- winterparkresort.com/events-and-activities/…

Horseback riding--the 2 year old rides double with you and the 5 year old can either ride double or on a horse alone www.sombrero.com at either the Grand Lake or Snow Mountain Ranch location (23 miles from Grand Lake)

Snow Mountain Ranch--This is a YMCA resort. You can get day passes for $15 since you are not lodging there unless you are "Y" members. www.ymcarockies.org Click on Snow Mountain Ranch and then the activities link. You will be amazed. They put out a program bulletin each week so you can check that for details during your visit.

Boat trip you mentioned-- http://www.glmarina.com/

www.townofgrandlake.com/headwaters-marina.htm

http://www.trailridgemarina.com/tours.php

Rocky Mountain National Park--The park newspaper that covers the time of your visit is already available for download. nps.gov/romo/parknews/upload/2012-RMNP-Sprin…

Check out the ranger programs available in the paper. Skins and things, Adams Falls, Coyote Valley Trail, Colorado River Trailhead. Even if you do not do the ranger programs, you want to visit these areas.

Pick up the free activity booklet for your 5 year old (they will let the 2 year old do it, too) at the Kawuneeche Visitor Center and become a junior ranger. You get a badge after completing parts of the book and meeting with a ranger.

Some helpful hints--

If you do not own a child carrier for hiking, rent one. You do not want to carry a 2 year old in your arms for safety reasons.

Bring crocs or flops and towels for wading in lakes, streams and rivers. The water is frigid but kids want to do this anyway. Be aware that those crystal clear waters are deeper and swifter than they appear.

Create a travel diary or scrapbook. Have paper, child scissors, markers, glue, tape, etc. Document each day of your trip at the end of the day. Look for postcards that reflect that day's activities. At town visitor centers, there are lots of free brochures and you can cut out the pictures that apply to your trip. Your child can draw pictures. You can even cut out the picture from the hotel's brochure. Save a spot for the pictures you take. Your junior ranger booklet can go in the scrapbook.

Bring ziploc bags for collecting treasures. Note, you can not collect treasures in RMNP. The rocks, pine cones, tree leaves, bird feathers, etc. here are all different from Texas. Rocks, in particular, are amazing.

Get a child's map of the U.S. and stickers. You will see so many out of state tags. On my great niece's last trip from Texas, in less than a week she had 46 states, 4 provinces in Canada plus Mexico.

Are you planning any time in Estes Park or the eastern side of RMNP? If so, I have ideas for there, too. You really do need to tour and explore Trail Ridge Road as many consider it the highlight of RMNP. The most dramatic views are on the eastern side and there are more beautiful and family friendly walks on that side. There are $2 guides available for TRR at the RMNP visitor centers.

Edited: 1:15 pm, March 30, 2012
Illinois
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5. Re: Traveling to Grand Lake Via Denver Airport

Wow-lots of great ideas! We'll be staying in Grand Lake the end of July-family of 4 with 2 teen girls, 15 and 17, first trip to Colorado. Considering rafting and also horseback riding. Had looked at this same horseback riding outfit earlier today-do you think we're better off riding in the park or out? Mostly interested in scenery and hopefully some wildlife. Not complete novices at riding but far from experts if that makes any difference.

Windsor, Colorado
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6. Re: Traveling to Grand Lake Via Denver Airport

Librarychick, I have not done these rides but I can give you some information that should help you decide. The ride from the Grand Lake stables uses the Tonahutu Trail. resourceanalysis.com/rmnp/tonahutu_creek_tr/…

The ride leaves from the stables in town. Your ride includes getting to the trailhead as described in the link above.

Snow Mountain Ranch is in the Fraser Valley surrounded by mountain vistas. You can go to www.ymcarockies.org and click on Snow Mountain Ranch and look at the live webcams and photo galleries. When I passed by there last fall, the rides were going through the meadows--great expansive views. This location is open year round. The one in Grand Lake is seasonal. Families love Snow Mountain Ranch and it may be busier than the Grand Lake location.

I hope this helps. While there are some reviews for Sombrero out of the Grand Lake location here on TA, I did not find much on the Snow Mountain Ranch location which is in Granby.

Windsor, Colorado
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7. Re: Traveling to Grand Lake Via Denver Airport

Melissa and Librarychick, do note in the trip report I referenced in reply #1 that be;;erophon took the Sombrero breakfast ride from Grand Lake. You are more likely to see wildlife in the early morning or late evening. Also note in that trip report the Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre in Grand Lake. Their season does not start in time for Melissa's visit. http://www.rockymountainrep.com

Edited: 1:01 pm, April 04, 2012
Overland Park
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8. Re: Traveling to Grand Lake Via Denver Airport

Hey librarychick we are the family that took the breakfast ride thru Sombrero last summer in Grand Lake. My son was 12 at the time and I didn't know how he'd do, since he hadn't been on a horse since he was 5. It was a fantastic experience... the guide was so knowledgeable and the time just flew by. Lovely scenary.

Overland Park
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9. Re: Traveling to Grand Lake Via Denver Airport

Melissa R you are going to love the town of Grand Lake... it is simply charming. We visited last summer over the fourth of July week (our littlest ones were 2 and 4 at the time). They have a wonderful playground and the town itself is so beautiful, just to stroll along the boardwalk. RMNP has some lovely hikes your little ones should enjoy. Ours got a big kick out of Adams Falls, among others. Have a fantastic time!

Illinois
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10. Re: Traveling to Grand Lake Via Denver Airport

My husband is all over the breakfast ride. He LOVES breakfast! And early is good-gives us the rest of the day to squeeze something else in or maybe just hang out that day. Do you remember how far ahead you booked? I'm also glad to hear it was no problem for your 12 year old-my 15 year old daughter is a little nervous about riding (and me too-although I'm sure these horses are designed for novices). Thanks for the input everyone!