Sometimes mud season reminds me of leisurely summer days of my youth, when friends and I would naively lament of there being “nothing to do.” For better or worse, I often hear there is a lack of entertainment in Grand County while the Resort is shut down. Snow on hiking and biking trails is far from melted, let alone trails being dried out enough to enjoy on foot or wheels. As such, outdoor recreational endeavors are a bit limited. Occasional trips to resorts still open for skiing and snowboarding may satiate the need for a few more turns before calling it quits for the season, but without passes, lift ticket costs can really add up. Despite these facts, with a little creativity, an openness to try something new (and maybe a couple extra bucks) there is a variety of ways find amusement over the next month and a half. Read on to find a few options.
It’s business as usual for the Grand Park Recreation Center, where hours of operation and class schedules remain the same year-round. We find much the same story for many other fitness-based businesses throughout the county: Mountain Moon Yoga, Stillwater Yoga, Elevate Pilates, Body Kneads Pilates and Devil’s Thumb Ranch offer regular yoga and Pilates classes throughout the off-season. Instructors may have swapped classes, but for the most part sessions and class types remain the same. As always, it’s a great idea to call ahead or check websites to confirm offerings. Want to try classes for free? Pilates teacher Katlynn Kidd is offering two free classes at Mountain Moon Yoga on International Pilates Day, May 4. Anyone interested in Zumba can try out Misty Lamb’s free class on May 20. Sign up for any or all classes at mtmoonyoga.com. Kudos to local skateboarders and BMX bikers that have been hard at work shoveling to clear the Winter Park skate park of snow. Rest assured this dedicated crew will be out to make the park available for all soon enough. The Granby skate park is available as well. Others may enjoy a long board cruise on cleared paved paths and sidewalks.
Dining and nightlife
Trying to keep track of which restaurants are open when can be enough to make your head spin. To that end, secure a list of off-season restaurant hours and closures from local chambers and other information outlets. Many establishments offer updated menus and specials; modified hours and closures are common during mud season. As always, call ahead to ensure availability of your favorite dinner or happy hour spot. The Foundry continues nightly screenings of the latest flicks, along with weekend matinees. Grab a few friends and sign up for a bowling league, or simply stop in to eat, drink and bowl a few frames. Grand Lake Lanes is open seven days a week as well.
For a relaxing soak, Hot Sulphur Springs posts regular hours year-round. Another tip for anyone that could use a little post-season de-stressing: many salons and therapists offer specials during mud season. Call or check websites — the best time to score a deal for some pampering is now. Winter Park Resort re-opens for summer on June 15 and it’s entirely up to Mother Nature to determine when county trails will be ready use. Check in regularly with the U.S. Forest Service for trail status updates. Snow melts quickly, but for some of us not quickly enough. As we patiently or impatiently wait for mountain bike and hiking trails to clear, a plethora of recreational opportunities await. There are plenty of recreational, dining and socializing opportunities available throughout Grand County during off-season. Enjoy the quiet, take every opportunity to relax and I hope to see you all out and about this mud season.