One of the highlights of our July trip to Colorado was renting a kayak on Grand Lake. We were staying at our cabin in Estes Park, Colorado so we drove over Trail Ridge Road through Rocky Mountain National Park to get to Grand Lake. A national park pass as well as a timed-entry reservation are required to drive this route. We stopped along the way to do a short hike up on the Tundra Communities Trail. The drive would take about an hour and a half without stops. On our drive to Grand Lake we spotted a couple of moose which is common in this area of the national park.
renting a kayak on grand lake in Colorado
We rented a 15 foot tandem kayak for our family of four from Mountain Paddlers Kayak Shak. The kayak had enough room for two adults and our two small children.
Mountain Paddlers is located right on the lake. Rentals are first come, first served. We rented our kayak for one hour, which was a good amount of time for our first ride with the kids.
best time to go kayaking in grand lake
Mountain Paddlers is open from 8:00 am until 7:00 pm seven days a week from Memorial Day through Labor Day unless the weather is bad.
The rental came with floatation devices for everyone in the kayak as well as a safety whistle and dry bag.
kayaking lake estes vs. grand lake
Last summer we went kayaking on Lake Estes in Estes Park, Colorado. We enjoyed our time on the water. I wrote about our experience in this post.
Grand Lake is a bigger lake which means that there are more boats and some faster boats on the water with you. I enjoyed the natural landscape. As a HGTV fan, it was also fun to see the lake homes. Some of them are dream homes! Grand Lake is the largest natural lake in Colorado while Estes Park is man-made. Grand Lake also connects to Shadow Mountain Lake. We didn’t get that far, but I would like to extend our rental time in the future so we can explore Shadow Mountain Lake as well.
things to do in grand lake, Colorado
We worked up an appetite paddling, so once we were back on land, we ate lunch outdoors at a Mexican restaurant. We enjoyed dessert at an ice cream shop. Then we went on another quick hike before heading back towards Estes Park. I could not have asked for a better day trip. Want more ideas for things to do in Grand Lake? I wrote this post about Great Reasons to Visit Grand Lake, Colorado with Kids.