Attention anyone searching for a real-life heaven on earth: the hunt is over. Heaven on earth has been located. It is just as magical as we’d hoped, it’s five thousand million zillion times more beautiful, and it’s right here in our very own United States. Heaven on earth can be found in the tiny little town of Grand Lake, Colorado.
I happened upon Grand Lake after my end-of-summer morning along Trail Ridge Road and before I hiked the East Trail Inlet in Rocky Mountain National Park. The fact that I was so fortunate to have laid eyes on this mountain town for the first time in late September – when the weather is still warm and the leaves are changing colors but there’s still life bursting from the mountains and the majority of the summer crowds have gone back to their homes for another year of school and work – may have played a significant part in my deeming Grand Lake a version of heaven.
But as long as Septembers in Colorado continue to be the depiction of absolute natural earthly perfection, drama queens such as myself will continue to regard them as a divine existence.
Grand Lake Lodge
My first stop in my Grand Lake meandering was the Grand Lake Lodge. The road that leads to the entrance of the lodge is actually within the limits of Rocky Mountain National Park, so when I stumbled upon this place I was still doing my thing on Trail Ridge Road. I just realized I never took an actual photos of the lodge itself, but with views from the decks and grounds overlooking Grand Lake and the surrounding mountains, I barely took a passing glance at the building at all. It was historic and rustic and pretty, but nothing too spectacular. On this particular Sunday morning, a wedding was about to take place (what a perfect damn place to get married!!!! sigh), so I snapped some photos and snuck out of the bride & groom’s way.
I headed down to the main touristy drag of Grand Lake to find it essentially a ghost town. I didn’t mind – it was quiet and kitschy and a classic wild west old frontier town and it. was. so. damn. cute. This stretch of town was just a block or so in from the lake and had the phrase “no bad days” written all over the place. I’m not sure what that was all about, but it was. so. damn. cute.
Eventually I found myself down by Grand Lake itself. I’m sure this place is bumpin’ in the summer, but it was pretty empty aside from a few dogs and a PDA-loving teenage couple that were also #sodamncute that I creepily took a picture of them while they canoodled on the dock. I should have sent it to them. The grandkids would love it someday.
Colorado or Switzerland amirite???
As I drove away from town, I made my way to the East Inlet Trailhead for a few hours of hiking in the sunshine. Grand Lake was such a pretty little unexpected treat that could only have been better had I had someone there to share it with! I could see Grand Lake & the surrounding area being a place I’d like to visit time after time for some peace & quiet. Maybe I’ll go get a cabin there someday. Hmm.
What was your favorite photo from Grand Lake?