Activities

Activities at Thunder Mountain Lodge & Grand Mesa National Forest
Grand Mesa National Forest offers many different activities throughout the entire year. Thunder Mountain Lodge is centrally located and offers many different equipment rentals.

Winter Activities

Snowmobiling
The Grand Mesa is known for having amazing snowmobiling! The mountains up here are untracked and beautiful.  Thunder Mountain Lodge offers premium snowmobile rentals and gas on location. The local snowmobile club, the SnoKrusers, work with the forest service to provide groomed trails for snowmobilers in the area.  Grooming Report  Click the link for the grooming report, and there will be an option to see a map of the area.

Bringing your snowmobile from out of state? Make sure to register your snowmobile in Colorado. Click here to register your out of state snowmobile online.

Thunder Mountain Lodge offers rentals of all Ski-Doo Mountain Sleds. NEW THIS YEAR 2018 Ski-Doo Summit 850cc!  You can choose from different rentals and guided tour options.

Guided Tours:  For those of you who do not regularly go out and shred the hills on a snowmobile, take a scenic tour of the area.  These are family friendly and a great way to spice up your Colorado vacation.

Scenic Guided Tours2 Hour1/2 DayFull Day
Single$115$145$195
Double$135$175$250
Benefits of a guided tour:  do not worry about a map or where you are going, have a guide show you around.  The guides know the best scenic view points and safe riding areas.  Guided tours include the price of gas and oil.  All guided tours include a hot cocoa afterwards to warm you back up!

Snowmobile Rentals*2 Hour1/2 DayFull Day
Ski doo Summit$100$150$225
Ski doo Summit -
with Double Seat
$120$180$265
Ski doo Summit 850cc$150$200$275
Add $25 if you are not a cabin guest.

Renting for multiple days?
Save when you rent for multiple days!  The price goes down to as low as $150/day!

Multi Day Rental Pricing*Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4Day 5Day 6Day 7
Cabin Guest Rate$225$200$175$150$150$150$150
Total$225$425$600$750$900$1050$1200
Add $25/day if you are not a cabin guest.

The Ski doo Summit 850 price goes down to as low as $200/day when you rent for 4 days or more!

Multi Day Pricing for Ski-doo Summit 850cc*Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4Day 5Day 6Day 7
Cabin Guest Rate - 850$275$250$225$200$200$200$200
Total$275$525$750$950$1150$1350$1550
Add $50/day if you are not a cabin guest.

*Pay for what you use.  All snowmobile unguided rental prices do not include gas and oil used. Every snowmobile is rented out with a full tank of both gas and oil. After your ride, we will fill both up, and charge for gas and oil accordingly.

We recommend that you bring your own avalanche gear and know how to use it.  We have two back packs that have a beacon, shovel, & probe for rent at $35/day.

All unguided renters must purchase the additional collision insurance.  We require that the deductible be paid as a security deposit.  It will be refunded at the safe return of the snowmobile.  On guided tours, the insurance is optional.  In order to rent a snowmobile you must be 18 or older.  16 and 17 year olds may drive their own snowmobile when accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Snowmobile Insurance$500 Deductible$1000 Deductible
1st Day$55$36
Each Additional Day$32$25
2018 850cc - 1st Day$72$47
2018 850cc - Each Additional Day$41$32

Private Guiding & Learn to Ride Clinics:  If you’re new to the area, you may want to hire a guide for the day or the week.  Or maybe you want to push your riding to the next level.  The same pricing will get you some instruction and hands on tutorials.

Private Guide Service1/2 DayFull Day (1st Day)Full Day (2nd Day & each additional day)
Cabin Guests with their own sled - 1st Guest$125$175$150
Each Additional Guest$40$50$45
Maximum price for your private group (excluding snowmobile rentals)$275$325$275
Do the math....
If you have 5 people:
$55/person$65/person$55/person
banner-snowmobiling Snowmobiling-2 Snowmobiling powder Snowmobile-5 Snowmobile-4 Snowmobiling-crew Snowmobile-3 Snowmobile-2 Snowmobile-1

Cross Country Skiing
Thunder Mountain Lodge is located in a prime spot for cross country skiers. Situated above 10,000 feet and averaging 33 feet of snowfall per season there are very few places on the Mesa that are unskiable and yet even fewer adventurers willing to track it up.

In addition to the endless acres of snowy forest, the lodge is mere feet from the Grand Mesa Nordic Council’s trail system. The GMNC, a donation based organization, maintains over 54 kilometers of groomed classic and skate trails, marked back country, and snowshoe trails all wholly contained within non­motorized zones. The trails not only challenge nearly all skier types, but they also offer stunning views of the many peaks and valleys that dot the Mesa. Here is a map where you can see the trails right near Spruce Lodge. It’s been a while, but Thunder Mountain Lodge was once named Spruce Lodge.  Thunder Mountain Lodge is located on the border of the motorized and the non-motorized areas.  So you can leave your cabin on your skis!

Grooming Report

You can rent a cross country ski set up for less than $20 a day.  Board and Buckle is in Grand Junction and Summit Canyon Mountaineering has a store in Grand Junction and Glenwood Springs.  If you will travel through Cedaredge, you can stop at Leisure Time Sports (they don’t have a website, but you can call them 970-856-3000).

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES
Ward Trail Groomed XCSki Resized Skinned Horse 02 Skinned Horse 03 Skinned Horse Resized Ward Trail 02 Resized
Snowshoeing
There are mountains out there to be explored! Snowshoeing is a great way to find unexplored areas in the national forest. There are some easy hikes right out of our back door. You can easily walk to the visitors center, just a mile down the road from Thunder Mountain Lodge. As we are also located right on some of the groomed trails for cross country skiing, you may also use this trail system. The Grand Mesa Nordic Council does allow snowshoers on their groomed trails, but they do encourage you to snowshoe off trail. Read more here.

snowshoeing grand mesaDownhill Skiing at Powderhorn Ski Area
Thunder Mountain Lodge is located just 14 miles from Powderhorn Ski Area. Powderhorn is located on the face of the Mesa. While skiing you will enjoy the views of high alpine forests all the way into the Grand Valley which features red rock faces and many other unique rock features. Powderhorn boasts 1,600 acres of terrain and 1,650 vertical feet at a fraction of the cost of other Colorado resorts.

Snowboard-PhotoFat Biking
Try something new!  Rapid Creek Cycles rents snow/fat bikes in Palisade.  You can bring one up and ride on some of the groomed snowmobile trails.

fat bike

 

Summer Activities

Fishing
With over 300 lakes, the Grand Mesa is a fishing paradise. There are many different types of trout to be caught, including Brook, Brown, Native Cutthroat, Rainbow, and Snake River Cutthroat. The Colorado Parks and Wildlife put together a really informative fishing atlas. When you open the atlas, you can search for a Colorado place. Type in “Deep Ward Lake” as this is the closest lake to our lodge. We are just north of the lake, and from there you can see all the different lakes and fishing opportunities in the area.To purchase a fishing license visit the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website.

ward lake fishing at sunset fishing upper eggleston

Boating: canoes, kayaks, & stand up paddle boards
We rent different water craft for your adventure here on the Grand Mesa. The canoes, row boat, hydro-bike, & peddle-boat are all on the beach at Deep Ward Lake. The inflatable kayaks and stand up paddle boards, are more easily transported. We allow you to take these to whichever lake you’d like. Maybe you want to hike into one of the more remote lakes, inflate a kayak, and go fishing. The stand up paddle boards are very easily carried when inflated, so you can take it from lake to lake in grand tour of the many lakes. We currently have 3 canoes, 1 row boat, 1 hydro-bike, 1 peddle-boat, 2 inflatable kayaks, & 2 stand up paddle boards.

Boat Rentals2 hour1/2 day
(4 hours)
Full Day
Canoe$30$45
Row Boat$50$70
Inflatable Kayak - Single$30$40$60
Inflatable Kayak - Double$40$50$70
Stand up Paddle Board$30$40$60
Hydro Bike$30$40$60
Peddle Boat (for 2 people)$30$40$60
ward lake canoes sunset hydrobike sup-fishing paddle-boat

Hiking
We have hiking trails that leave from our property to some remote lakes and beautiful views. On this map we are north of the picnic area between Ward Lake and Alexander Lake. There are many different beautiful hikes on the Grand Mesa. One that is close to our lodge and takes you up to an amazing view is the Crag Crest Trail.

Wildflowers Wedding-Lake-at-Sunset moose-1 Kannah Creek Crag Crest Hike hiking Carson Lake Trail

Mountain Biking
There are some fun mountain bike trails on top of the Grand Mesa. The trails are remote and uncrowded. This website tells you specifically about the Flowing Park trails. The Mountain Bike Project website has some information on a few different mountain bike trails on the Grand Mesa.  Here is a trail map of some of the mountain bike trails.  Powderhorn Mountain now offers lift access to downhill mountain biking.  Check out their info here.

mountain biking

ATVing and off road trail riding
The Grand Mesa has some amazing off roading opportunities. The Thunder Mountain Wheelers are a local club that take care of many of the trails. You can find some helpful information on their website.

drive up fall colors

Autumn Activities

Autumn is a beautiful time of year on the Grand Mesa.  With the leaves changing and the cool fresh mountain air, you will not be disappointed in visiting during this time.  All of summer activities are available during the autumn with the addition of hunting.  People generally visit this area to hunt deer, elk, moose, and black bear.  Check out the Hunting Atlas, we have many great units around us to hunt (52, 411, 41, 421).  We are located within unit 52.  When you open the hunting atlas, in the upper right corner is says “Search for a Colorado Place” – you should type in “Deep Ward Lake” and wait for it to show up in the drop down menu, then click on it.  You will see exactly where we are.

Elk Photo 2