Grand County offers experienced and novice boaters a wide variety of options.

For a spectacular Winter Park boat ride, Grand Lake is known as a classic setting for power boats, offering great views and calm waters. Grand Lake, Colorado’s largest natural lake, also holds the title for the “world’s highest yacht anchorage” at the Grand Lake Yacht Club. The Club hosts the Grand Lake Regatta and Lipton Cup Races in late July or early August. The club was organized in 1902, and the regatta began 10 years later. Sailboats from around the world compete to win the prestigious Lipton Cup, given to the club in 1912 by the famed yachtsman and tea magnate, Sir Thomas Lipton.

Boaters also have the choice of three man-made reservoirs: Shadow Mountain Lake, Lake Granby, and Willow Creek Reservoir. The reservoirs were originally developed to provide water from the west slope to the cities on Colorado’s east slope. Shadow Mountain Lake has 1,346 surface acres. Most boats, with the exception of sailboats, can travel through the channel that runs from Grand Lake to Shadow Mountain Lake. Because Grand Lake is a natural lake, the lake levels of both Grand Lake and Shadow Mountain Lake remain constantly full. Lake Granby encompasses 7,256 surface acres, and with 40 miles of shoreline is the second largest body of water in Colorado. The Willow Creek Dam was built in 1982 and is the first Roller Compacted Dam in the United States. The Willow Creek Reservoir offers great Colorado fishing (bass, trout, catfish, and groupie) and is also a great area for water recreation with use of a boat ramp.

There is a wide variety of locations from which owners can launch their boats on all the lakes. Several marinas provide launching and mooring facilities on Shadow Mountain Lake and Lake Granby.

For people in need of rental boats, StayWinterPark in Winter Park recommends two Marinas in the Colorado Great Lakes area.

Highland Marina is a full-service marina on Lake Granby, just 8 miles north of Granby on Highway 34. They seasonally lease dock slips and mooring balls and offer gas sales, rental boats, a coin-op vacuum cleaner and pump-out station at the lake. A convenience store with a large inventory will meet all your Colorado boating, camping, and “summertime fun” needs. Call them at 970-887-3541.

Trail Ridge Marina is located further along Highway 34, on the shores of Shadow Mountain Lake. With the opportunity to explore both Shadow Mountain Lake and Grand Lake, Trail Ridge Marina offers fishing boats, pleasure boats or pontoons.

Boats are available by the hour, the half day – 4 hours, and the full day – 8 hours. All rentals include life jackets. Fuel is not included. You can explore the natural beauty of the area, fish, picnic, and travel by boat to the town of Grand Lake and tie up to the town pier for some shopping and dining, or just relax in the sun. For more information, call them at 1-800-966-5144.