Rau: Grand Lake Nordic Center – The gem next to Rocky Mountain National Park
The Grand Nordic Corner
Recently voted the best Nordic Center in Grand County for the 2012-13 ski season, Grand Lake Nordic Center sits on over 500 acres below the Rocky Mountain National Park and next to the Colorado River. It feels like the River flows through your soul as you stand looking down on the Colorado River flowing under one of the two new bridges built by the touring center. The other bridge takes you over the Red Top Valley Ditch. The Winding River Trail is delightful to ski, very user friendly. The new piston bully adds that touch of perfection to good snow that makes for a perfectly groomed trail system. Weather permitting the Nordic Center hopes to be open by Thanksgiving. Remember they are dog friendly and have designated trails for your faithful companion. Skiing and Snowshoeing are both enjoyed equally.
The lodge was recently remodeled and the ski shop has a good selection of classic and skate equipment this year. New trails on easier terrain make the link to the Colorado River very user friendly. The dog loop has again been expanded in size and the picnic tables and benches make you feel welcome and invite you to relax. It just feels good as the 35km of trails wind in and out of the Rec District property to the neighboring private land where owners have allowed ski and snowshoe access for over 35 years greatly expanding the terrain.
Enjoy soup, chili and libations while relaxing in front of a warm cozy fire in the recently renovated lodge. Play inside game boards, not just for kids. The recently improved tubing hill visible from the lodge is free and tubes are available or bring your own! Kids of all ages love it!
Don’t miss out – the early bird season pass is available until Dec 10 for $1250. After Dec 10 the cost goes up to $150. Children can get a season pass for just $20 which is discounted to $15 if purchased with an adult. Kids 16 and under ski free on Fridays except holidays. What a deal.
Trail fees are $16 daily for adults and $5 for kids 16 and under. Five day punch cards and half day rates are also available. The rental shop has new boots and new skate skis added to their ski and snowshoe equipment to rent plus equipment, clothes and other gear and accessories for sale.
The first event of the season will be Locals Appreciation Day (all locals ski free!) scheduled for Dec 12. Grand Nordic free ski lessons are offered Dec 20 to everyone with free trail passes and rental equipment to all Grand Nordic Club members. Pre-registration is required thru the Nordic Center to reserve your lesson space and if you need to reserve equipment. The first full moon ski is Dec 26 from 5-9 p.m. weather permitting with chili served in the main lodge. The Nordic Center each month has a campfire with complimentary hot chocolate and marshmallows but please call ahead for weather conditions.
In February, Grand Lake celebrates Valentine’s Day with a 2-for-1 Trail Pass deal and the Romp and Stomp for Grand County Pet Pals and their mission toward promoting responsible pet ownership and spay/neuter campaign. The Foxy Freestyle Nordic Race at the end of February benefits the National Sports Center for the Disabled.
For information on these events and for dates on guided Nature Snowshoe hikes, call the Nordic Center at 970-627-8008 or visit the Rec District website http://www.grandlakerecreation.com .
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