The week surrounding Thanksgiving can be a tricky time to visit the Granby area. The mountain peaks already have a dusting of snow while in town the weather can be relatively warm by comparison. There are still plenty of activities to do as long as you are prepared for anything the weather can throw at you!
Luckily, you don’t need much snow to slide around on Nordic skis and there are miles and miles of trails open to Nordic skiers in Grand County. One of three Nordic Centers within a short drive of Granby is Snow Mountain Ranch. Their Nordic Center is projected to open November 20, 2021 with groomed trails, lessons, and Nordic equipment rentals. The Nordic skiing trails at Devil’s Thumb Resort and Grand Lake Nordic Center usually open in December, depending on the snowfall. Everyone from small kids to senior citizens will have a fun time learning to Nordic ski.
Hike with snowshoes along many of the trails in the Granby area if there is plenty of snow. Generally, you need a few inches of snow on the trail to maximize the efficiency of the snowshoes. The Nordic Centers in the area rent snowshoes as well as Two Pine Supply in downtown Granby. Be sure to wear layers of warm clothing - steer clear of cotton and opt for a wicking, athletic-type fabric - and waterproof boots.
If there isn't enough snow to nordic ski or snowshoe, there are plenty of trails to explore on a sunny afternoon if you bundle up. Or choose a trail that is lower in elevation to hike. Generally, less snow accumulates at lower elevations. Pack high calorie snacks or a lunch to keep you warm too!
Explore Downtown Granby, Shop Local
If outdoor activities aren’t your cup of tea, go shopping in downtown Granby! Stroll up and down Agate Avenue and pop into shops, restaurants, coffee shops and more. Our walkable downtown makes Christmas shopping a breeze. Stop in Grand Mountain Trading Company for a souvenir or Midtown Cafe for a book to read by a fireplace later.
For another afternoon of shopping, explore Winter Park. Cooper Creek Square hosts boutiques, restaurants and events.
Many of the guest ranches in the area offer trail rides, even in the winter. Something about the warmth of the horse and the brisk cold air is truly magical! Kids of all ages will enjoy seeing the horses in their fluffy winter coats.
Dog Sled Rides, Horse-Drawn Sleigh Rides and Snowmobile Rentals
Generally, you'll need more than a few inches of snow on the ground to go on a dog sled ride, horse-drawn sleigh ride or snowmobile. We might have enough snow by then for these activities, but you never know!
Visit Rocky Mountain National Park
The main road through Rocky Mountain National Park, Trail Ridge Road, closes every winter season due to the snowfall depths at the top of Trail Ridge. The western side of the park near Grand Lake will be quiet and easily accessible because you won't need a reservation! Pack a picnic lunch (or stop in nearby Grand Lake to pick one up) and drive into the park to see tons of wildlife and the effects of the East Troublesome wildfire from 2020. The Kawuneeche Visitor Center is a great stop too.
For more structured and educational adventure, book a tour through Rocky Mountain National Park with Lively Tours and Talks. Local historian, storyteller and long-time local Dave Lively hosts private and semi-private tours. It's a must do for anyone looking to learn more about the national park!
Ski at Winter Park Resort
Winter Park Resort opens November 17 this year! It's a short drive from Granby, but definitely worth it if you are a skier or snowboarder. While Winter Park Resort has top tier snow making capabilities, prepare yourself for early season conditions: lift lines and a few groomed run options.
Cook an incredible Thanksgiving meal!
Even if you are traveling or visiting family in the Granby over Thanksgiving, you can cook a traditional Thanksgiving meal. Granby has a City Market grocery store, similar to King Soopers, Kroger, or Ralph’s, with everything you need to cook a turkey, stuffing and all the fixings.
And if you prefer to go out for the holiday meal, local restaurants will have options, too!