M is for Moose!
We stumbled upon Grand Lake, Colorado when we were on our first trip to Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) and Estes Park. The town of Grand Lake is located at the headwaters of the Colorado River, and adjacent to the actual lake called Grand Lake (Colorado’s largest natural body of water).
This is a fun little town with one main street that is lined with mostly restaurants and shops. The Town Hall and Library are located in the middle of everything, and are adjacent to Town Square Park that has a playground and a few picnic tables. We always plan to picnic there, and sometimes have local ice cream for dessert. The town is vibrant all year long, as it has the world’s highest registered yacht club and the nation’s highest altitude golf course (with grass greens). Since Grand Lake is also adjacent to Arapaho National Recreation Area, the town has become the “Snowmobile Capital of Colorado”, with the state’s largest network of groomed snowmobile trails. Just like my earlier post about Carbondale, Colorado, this is a year-round recreational jackpot!
We love Grand Lake because it is a haven for moose. I can guarantee every single time we go that we will see at least one moose. You have to be patient and know where to look, of course. The exact number of moose population in RMNP is unknown, as they tend to wander in and out of the park – mostly into Grand Lake and the surrounding areas.
Always use caution when near wild animals; moose don’t have great eyesight, so that makes them even more of a hazard besides the fact that they are wild. Moose are not territorial, but they usually return to their favorite feeding areas, and can possibly stay in that area for days or weeks, depending on the available food and if they are harassed or not. This means that if you’re searching to see a moose, you should always return to the same area, as it will hopefully increase your odds of finding one.
Let me tell you about the best fried chicken in Grand County, Colorado! As you might have realized by now, we enjoy taking mini day trips from wherever we’re at. One of our favorite day trips from Estes Park is to drive through RMNP and then take Highway 34 to Granby (about 15 miles from Grand Lake). From Granby, we turn and take Highway 40 for about 28 miles over to Kremmling. We love the scenic drive; and now we always stop at Kremmling Mercantile for a break.
The first time we took this drive, was on about day four of our Estes Park vacation, and I think we were both sick of PB&J sandwiches for lunch. We stopped at the mercantile for a gas-up and went in to explore their food options. They have a deli counter, and several tables, so we jumped on the opportunity! I’m not a food critic, lol, but they have great fried chicken and coleslaw! If you’re quirky like us, then you might enjoy eating here vs. one of the seven restaurants in town.
Be Round Trip Ready: Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park are home to a variety of animals. To date, we have seen elk, deer, bighorn sheep and moose. If you love seeing these particular creatures, then this is the road trip destination for you! Be sure to have your camera, telephoto lens and extra batteries in tow.