A rundown wooden wagon sits alone in the rough at Grand Elk Golf Club, a historic reminder of the forebears who once forged through the basin now home to the club’s 18-hole course. Though electric golf carts have since replaced Conestoga wagons as the predominant means of transportation, the site’s natural, rustic surroundings remain, treating golfers to a 360-degree panorama that showcases the Continental Divide and Rocky Mountain State Park. As players notch divots into lush fairways and putt on the soft greens with modified pool cues, they’ll follow a 7,144-yard layout drawn up by 13-time PGA Tour champion Craig Stadler and Tripp Davis. Taking inspiration from the inland courses of the British Isles, the design duo strung fairways through meadows and natural wetlands that form the headwaters of the Colorado River, all the while incorporating unique playing scenarios that challenge each golfer’s shot-making abilities.
Course at a Glance:
Spring brings many changes to Rocky Mountain National Park. As the snow melts, rivers start to churn faster, waterfalls spring back to life, and wildflowers blanket the hillsides. There’s also a better chance you’ll spot some local animals. Among them are the migratory birds and a peculiar four-wheeled creature: the bright green vehicle from Green Jeep Tours.
Green Jeep Tours' guides take groups on themed adventures through Rocky Mountain National Park, showcasing its wildlife and majestic panoramas. Their "Springtime in the Rockies" tour takes you past hillsides and steams just in time to see wildflowers blossom and migratory birds take flight. As the Jeep roams the park, experienced guides point out key sites. But groups don’t spend the entirety of these excursions inside the jeep; you can also exit the vehicle to take snap photos or hike to waterfalls.
When the staffers at Colorado Carriage and Wagon says that their business is family owned and operated, they extend that description all the way down to the horses who make each journey possible. Their beloved Draft breeds travel throughout Colorado, Wyoming, and Nebraska, bringing charmingly old-fashioned transportation to weddings, family reunions, and romantic traipses through town. When snow blankets the ground, guests can schedule sleigh rides, taking the classic conveyance on a caroling trip or just prowling the woods for drag races against one-horse hotrods. In addition to horses, the family's petting zoo of chicks, sheep, pigs, and other barnyard animals often makes appearances at parties and festivals, delighting young and old alike with their cute, fuzzy faces.
At five Chipper's Lanes Bowling Center locations, colorful balls sail down glossy lanes, overseen during weekends and birthday parties by the center's mascot, Chipper the Chipmunk. During special events, guests can go to Chipper for a hug as warm and fuzzy as teddy-bear-skin gloves, and supplement bowling fun with occasional live music performances and cosmic bowling at select locations. Between frames, players restore energy with burgers or pizza at the full-service, onsite restaurant.
As the sun starts to melt last night's snowfall, cross-country skis gently glide over the freshly groomed trails of Grand Lake Nordic Center. The peaks of Rocky Mountain National Park and Arapahoe National Forest rise in the distance, with shifting views and perspectives as guests make their way through different trails. Newcomers can take a lesson in cross country skiing or snowshoeing while more advanced outdoorsmen tackle the snow enclaves of Randall's Romp or Spirits Haunt. The nearby lodge offers steaming bowls of soup, while children can take a tumble down the tubing hill or play rock-paper-scissors with a Yeti.