Make sure outdoor apparel, gear, and accessories dominate your luggage for a vacation in Granby, Colorado.
Your leisure trip to this town in Grand County will take you to the north-central Rocky Mountains, where the wonders of Mother Nature are the main points of interest.
Granby is located in Colorado’s Middle Park region, an elevated basin in the Rocky Mountains with an elevation of 8,000 feet above sea level.
Founded in 1904 and incorporated in 1905, the town draws visitors for its array of exciting outdoor activities and spectacular mountain sceneries.
This same nature’s bounty sparked the development of Granby and Grand County, which grew out of homesteads and ranches at the turn of the 20th century.
You, too, can still enjoy much of the lifestyle of those days tied with the joys of the outdoors, as can be gleaned from the following list of things to do in Granby.
Go Camping at Lake Granby
This lake namesake to the town is located just off US Highway 34, straddling the boundary between Granby and the Town of Great Lake.
Lake Granby, the third-largest lake in Colorado at over 7,000 acres, is just a 10-minute drive from the Granby town proper.
On the lake’s eastern shore, the Sunset Point Campground offers campsites on a first-come, first-served basis.
This campground has 25 shaded, non-electric sites for RVs, trailers, and tents.
Each campsite provides a fire grate, tent pad, and picnic table.
Other camp facilities include a drinking water supply, restrooms, trash service, and a boat ramp.
Both non-motorized and motorized boating is permitted on Lake Granby.
The lake’s waters are fine for swimming in summer, while fishing year-round can yield trout, Brown trout, Rainbow trout, or Sockeye salmon.
Ski at Granby Ranch
Located on Village Road, Granby Ranch is a family-friendly mountain resort nestled in the Rocky Mountains.
Skiing is the prime attraction of Granby Ranch, which offers 406 acres of skiable slopes.
Skiers in Granby Ranch will have a choice on 38 ski trails served by five ski lifts with a total passenger capacity of 7,000 passengers per hour.
The trails start from a base elevation of 8,202 feet above sea level and top at a 9,202-feet summit, resulting in a run from 1,000 feet of vertical elevation.
The ski area of Granby Ranch receives 120 inches of snow each year, providing ideal conditions not only for skiing but also snowboarding and snowshoeing.
Two mountains flank Granby Ranch east and west, each offering different types of terrain and levels of difficulties.
Aim for the Par 71 of Grand Elk Golf Club
This golf course, located on Mile Drive, was developed in 2002 and immediately got high accolades from the golf community.
A public golf course, its “Heathland-style” golf course is the only one of its kind in Grand County.
The design of this course was inspired by the inland courses of the British Isles.
The layout features low-lying vegetation and rolling terrain backdropped by marvelous vistas of the Colorado Rockies.
This 18-hole, par 71 layout has earned praises from Golf Digest, Colorado Golf, and Golfweek Magazine.
A round of play in the Grand Elk Golf Club runs for 7,144 yards from the longest tees of this course which has a 72.2 rating and a 135 slope rating.
The club’s restaurant, Grand Elk Grille, offers great “golf casual” food such as sandwiches, salads, and burgers.
Visit the Moffat Railroad Museum
Granby, which was along the route of the Denver, Northwestern & Pacific Railway, takes pride in the Moffat Railroad Museum on Park Lane just off Highway 40.
This museum features an Interpretive Center with a circa 1906 caboose and a 1923 all-wood passenger car among its displays.
A 1913 steam derrick and a 1922 steam locomotive are also on exhibit at the Moffat Railroad Museum.
It also holds the railroad hand-cart shed of 1915 vintage that served Hot Sulphur Springs.
The museum also has a model train masterpiece in its “Christmas Train” layout which is regarded as the largest in a Colorado museum.
This display spreads over 1,100 square feet and boasts interactive features for kids to play with.
In this remarkable museum tableaux, five trains run around a village and a ski mountain festooned with working ski lifts.
Book a Stay at Mountainside at Silver Creek
This condo resort is located just off east of US Highway 40, nestled in the picturesque foothills of the Silver Creek ski area.
The guests of Mountainside at Silver Creek have a choice on one-bedroom condos with 960 square feet or two-bedroom lofts with 1,560 square feet.
These spacious accommodations provide a private balcony, a full kitchen, a gas fireplace, and a washer/dryer.
Most of these units also offer for relaxation a full-size hot tub.
In the summer months, the Mountainside at Silver Creek opens its outdoor amenities to guests, including its tennis courts, heated pool, swing set, horseshoe pit, and picnic areas with grills.
The resort’s guests can also access the amenities at the Inn at Silver Creek on Village Road, about 2 miles north of Mountainside at Silver Creek.
These amenities include outdoor/indoor pools and hot tubs open year-round, a fitness center, a sauna, and a racquetball court.
Explore Monarch Lake
This lake is one of Colorado’s prettiest lakes and offers a convenient parking area.
Monarch Lake, just six miles northwest of the town center of Granby, is also easily accessible via US Highway 34.
Visitors of this lake can enjoy an easy hike on its 4.2-mile trail looping around the picturesque lakeshore.
The Monarch Lake Trailhead also opens access to a trail network in the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area, including the extensive Continental Divide Trail.
Monarch Lake is likewise open to non-motorized boating, such as canoeing, kayaking, and standup paddle-boarding.
With a license purchased, you can also fish in this lake, where the catch is most promising in the lake’s northwest corner.
A river feeds into this section of Monarch Lake, thus creating a nutrient-rich area for fish to thrive on.
Discover the Charms of Granby’s Doe Creek Trail
The US Forest Service operates this trail along with other trail networks in the Arapaho National Recreation Area.
The Doe Creek Trailhead can be accessed from the Monarch Lake parking area.
It is a moderate, split loop trail that runs for 7.3 miles round trip and is open to hiking, biking, and snowshoeing during winter.
Snowmobiles are also allowed when there is a six-inch show on the trail.
The Doe Creek Trail is mostly flat till it rises into the woodland just past the meadow.
From this point, the incline steepens considerably before reaching the trail’s crest with fantastic views of Lake Granby.
The trail offers beautiful vistas, especially during spring, summer, and early autumn.
Tour the Emily Warner Field Aviation Museum
Opened in July 2015, this museum is a repository of some fascinating items retelling the Grand County’s aviation history.
The former terminal of the Rocky Mountain Airways at the Grand County Airport houses the Emily Warner Field Aviation Museum.
The museum’s exhibits include a local military aviation section with memorabilia about the famed aviator Charles Lindberg and the Knight Ranch airfield in Granby.
Interesting documents about President Eisenhower, a pilot who visited Fraser frequently, are also displayed in the museum.
The main highlight of the museum is the Granby Airport Pioneers Wall of Fame, honoring the citizen volunteers who worked tirelessly for the development of the town’s airport.
Stop at the Windy Gap Wildlife Viewing Area
This site is one of the points of interest at the Windy Gap Reservoir on the western side of Granby.
The Windy Gap Wildlife Viewing Area offers convenient parking along Highway 40 and provides a quarter-mile trail.
Along this trail, you will find a row of informative interpretive signage about the wildlife species around the reservoir and its nearby wetlands.
These animals include shorebirds, songbirds, beavers, deer, muskrats, rabbits, elk, and coyotes.
In summer, over 100 bird species inhabit the Wind Gap Reservoir, including mallards, Canadian goose, cormorants, cranes, pelicans, heron, osprey, bald eagles, kestrel, loons, turkey vultures, and mergansers.
Hunting, fishing, camping, and swimming though are strictly prohibited in the area.
Ride a Steed at Snow Mountain Stables
This facility on Country Road 53 unlocks the great opportunities for horse riding available at Granby.
Snow Mountain Stables offers choices on one- or two-hour guided trail rides through the Rocky Mountains.
Here, you can count on experienced wranglers to help you choose the right horse and teach you the basics before riding off to the trail.
The Winding River Resort on Country Road 491 in the nearby town of Grand Lake also offers horse riding through the Rocky Mountain National Park.
In these horseback adventures, you will ride through varying terrain, cross streams, and spot wildlife.
Admire Granby’s Main Street Murals
Take a stroll along Agate Avenue, the Main Street of Granby, to appreciate the town’s large-scale murals celebrating the creativity of local artists.
These artworks were the result of a 2019 mural festival undertaken as a public art initiative.
The inspiration of the artworks was drawn from the beautiful Colorado Mountains, their unique wildlife, as well as the vibrant local cultural and social scene.
More than a dozen artists contributed to completing an initial seven murals.
Eventually, these creations were followed by business owners initiating public art displays on the walls of their buildings.
Have a Beer at Never Summer Brewing
This brewhouse on East Agate Avenue started in 2016 as a small taproom that has grown over the years.
Its brewmasters have mastered the craft of beer making and can now deliver anything from light ales to complex porters.
They have also earned the nod of beer lovers in the tasty nonalcoholic sodas that Never Summer Brewing now serves.
For some great sampling, try their Hoppy Birthday IPA, with special choices of hops that give it fruity and lemon-lime notes with a smooth bitterness.
Dine at the Historic Brickhouse 40
Constructed in 1927 on Highway 40, this is the first brick building in Granby, and locals have seen it used for various purposes at one time or another.
Brickhouse 40 has changed roles from a general store to a grocery store, then to a hardware store, and later a design center.
It morphed again in 2018 and became a bar and grill offering a creative kitchen serving fresh food and offering friendly service.
At Brickhouse 40, you can choose on dining indoors where it has a bar and fireplace or opt for a relaxing dinner at its patio with views of the mountains.
Shop at Bowerbird’s Den
Located on East Agate Avenue, this unique shop rides on the trademark creativity of the bowerbird, particularly its males.
A male bowerbird, as an avid birdwatcher will tell you, builds and decorates stick structures to attract a mate.
The Bowerbird’s Den of Granby attempts to replicate this avian creativity with its grand collection of merchandise items.
This shop’s various offerings include art originals and prints, prompting Bowerbird’s Den to lay claim as the only art gallery in Granby.
Besides artworks, this shop also sells upcycled, rehabbed, and new décor and furnishings, plus educated selections of what’s trending.
The wares available in Bowerbird’s Den are constantly changing, and the inventory shifts provide its patrons new selections each time they visit.
Other Things to Do Nearby
Soak and Relax at Hot Sulphur Springs Resort & Spa
This resort and spa is located on Spring Road in the town of Hot Sulphur Springs, which is about 10 miles west of Granby.
First-class wellness treatments are the specialization of Hot Sulphur Springs Resort & Spa.
Here, you can choose from Swedish massage or deep tissue massage, as well as soak in the resort’s natural hot springs along the Colorado River.
Surely, soaking in these waters would be an enervating experience, especially in winter, as the hot springs’ temperature here can hit 112 degrees.
A booked lodging in this resort includes hot spring passes good for two days.
Granby offers a basecamp for plenty of outdoor adventures year-round, thanks to its proximity to the Rocky Mountains.
The town has also an engaging social and cultural dimension that helps create an eventful visit to Granby.
Expect a package full of wonderful experiences upon completion of an itinerary on the things to do in Granby.