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Old 04-21-2008, 04:12 PM
33 posts, read 149,779 times
Reputation: 13


We will be visiting family and looking at possible relocation in the Denver area the end of next month. We will actually be in the area over Memorial Day weekend. We are planning on exploring the Front Range and some scenic drives while we are there. We are really looking at spending a couple hours and taking a picnic at a beautiful lake in the Rockies. We are thinking about either visiting the Dillon Reservoir/Frisco area or Lake Granby/Grand Lake area. We are wondering which lake/area is the nicer of the two. Which area has more to offer in terms of area attractions? We look forward to everyone's advice.
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Old 04-21-2008, 06:03 PM
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Getting to either Grand Lake or Dillon could be a traffic-choked nightmare over Memorial Day weekend. Of the two, I consider Grand Lake the prettier, but don't forget all of the beetle-killed trees up there. Pretty depressing.

My suggestion would be to drive up to Red Feather Lakes west of Fort Collins. Nice lakes, probably more laid back, and a couple of different routes available to get to them.

Simple rule, though, anywhere close to the Front Range: if you can drive to it, don't expect to have it to yourself. You'll be sharing--probably with PLENTY of other people, especially on a holiday weekend.
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Old 04-21-2008, 09:21 PM
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Jazzlover is right. Anything on I-70 I would mavoid like the plague. Red Feather Lakes will have Denver area people too, but it is very doable. Another one that I like, if you don't mind travelling an extra hour is Lake John in the North Park area, near Walden.
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Old 04-22-2008, 01:09 AM
33 posts, read 149,779 times
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Thank you both for the replies. Yeah, we were concerned about the traffic on I-70 too, but weren't really sure what other lakes were in the area that would be good to visit. Thanks again.
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Old 04-22-2008, 12:13 PM
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Both areas are beautiful. Lake Granby is close to Rocky Mountain National Park and Dillon is close to many of the ski areas which are fun in the spring and summer. Sure there will be some traffic, but where won't there be traffic on Memorial Day? You will love it here. You will always find positive as well as not so positive posts on any forum. If you are not sure, just click on the poster's name and read previous posts. Have a great time!
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Old 04-23-2008, 12:19 AM
33 posts, read 149,779 times
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Thank you for your post. The traffic on I-70 isn't much of a concern for us. We are more concerned about not being able to find a place for a nice picnic at either Dillon or Granby due to the amount of people who may be there at the same time.
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Old 04-24-2008, 08:34 AM
Location: New Zealand
1,872 posts, read 5,777,426 times
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This is only about Lake Dillon...

Will it be crowded? Very likely. If you're looking to park and walk a few steps to a secluded picnic table/area, you will most likely be disappointed. However, it is a big lake, so if you're willing to walk a little bit from the car/parking lot, you may be able find some seclusion.

From Denver, it is a shorter drive to Dillon than to Grand Lake. But that also means that more people will go to Dillon than GL (also because many Denverites own condos in the Dillon area).

In terms of other activities, it really depends on what you're interested in. In the Dillon area, there are the outlet stores which are popular with shoppers. Lots of bike trails, both paved and unpaved. Lots of hiking trails in the area. The ski areas won't be turning their lifts yet, but you could still bike/hike their trails if you want. The only caveat is that given our record snow this winter, shaded/north-facing higher elevation unpaved trails may still have snow on them (so pack snowshoes).

Cannot speak about Grand Lake.
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Old 04-24-2008, 09:19 AM
Location: Na'alehu Hawaii/Buena Vista Colorado
4,873 posts, read 9,616,291 times
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I vote for Grand Lake. You'll have a very nice drive over Berthoud Pass and there may be less traffic on US 40 than on I-70. There are actually several lakes in the Grand Lake area and they all have picnic and hiking areas. We like to hike in the Angel Falls area. The Town of Grand Lake has restaurants, shops, bars, etc. Too bad Trail Ridge Road won't be open yet; you'll have to come back later in the summer.

Regarding I-70 traffic, if you return home during the morning or very early afternoon on Monday you should be ok. Later in the day it will be a parking lot all the way from Georgetown to Floyd Hill.
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Old 04-26-2008, 01:10 PM
Location: Frisco,CO
15 posts, read 43,847 times
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I lived in Grand Lake and I now live in Frisco. Both are nice but Jazzlover is right about the pine beetles. I know a few campgrounds are closing this summer because they have to cut down the dead evergreen trees because of the pine beetles around Lake Dillon. Grand Lake is also having major problems with the dead, ugly evergreens. Both lakes are beautiful. I would recommend going to Grand Lake and then driving over Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park (check to see if the road is open yet, sometimes it is). That will put you in Estes Park and take you back to Denver. That would be a perfect day! Dreaming of Hawii is also correct on driving I-70. DO NOT DRIVE IT ON MONDAY after 9am. You will be stuck in traffic all day!!! Enjoy!
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Old 08-03-2008, 12:40 AM
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I would avoid Red Feather Lakes. Drunks, theives, and no-accounts abound. Not what it used to be.
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