The Dillon Reservoir, also known as Lake Dillon, is one of Summit County’s biggest draws, encompassing around 3,233 surface acres of water and a shoreline of nearly 27 miles. It’s surrounded by Dillon and Frisco on either side, with Silverthorne sitting just below the dam.
The Denver Water Board voted to build a dam in the Rockies to secure water for the Front Range in the late 1950s. The Old Town of Dillon actually sits at the bottom of Lake Dillon, so there really is an underwater ghost town in Summit County.
The Dillon reservoir supplies water for the City of Denver. It’s owned and operated by Denver Water, which is Colorado’s largest public water company. The U.S. Forest Services manages the surrounding campgrounds, which reside within the White River National Forest. Water sports are the main draw of Lake Dillon.
The Dillon Reservoir Recreation Area is managed a number of organizations in the interagency Dillon Reservoir Recreation Committee (DRReC):
- Denver Water
- Town of Dillon
- Town of Frisco
- Summit County Government
- U.S. Forest Service
Here are some of the activities at Dillon Reservoir Recreation Area, in ABC order:
A paved trail runs on the south side of the Dillon Reservoir across the Dillon Dam. It offers extraordinary view of the Ten Mile Range and 360 degree views from the dam of Summit County.
Seasonal boating of all types are permitted on Lake Dillon. The season usually runs from early June to mid September, weather pending. There are two marinas that rent boats, one on each side of the lake.
Dillon Marina – The Dillon Marina claims the status as the world’s highest deep water marina. They refer to the marina as:
A destination for lovers of land and water, land-locked pirates and fun-loving people of all ages!
You can rent a variety of watercraft here, including 20′, 22′, 25′ pontoon boats and Catalina sailboats. Dogs are even permitted on the boats! They offer sailing school and lessons, as well as marina storage, boat tours and lakeside dining. You can even rent kayaks and stand up paddle boards through Stand Up Paddle Colorado.
Frisco Bay Marina – A certified clean marina, the Frisco Bay Marina rents numerous watercraft, including pedal boats, canoes, kayaks, stand up paddle boards, powerboats and fishing boats. You can even rent fishing poles to take out on the boat.
In addition to rentals the Frisco Bay Marina provides scenic boat tours, guided fishing tours, sailboat, kayak and SUP lessons. The Island Grill Restaurant offers casual shoreline dining from Memorial Day thru Labor Day. Other amenities and services include a Marina Park playground for kids, boat repair, slip storage, retail store, and a rowing club at the Frisco Rowing Center.
- Pine Grove Campground – 56 campsites overlooking Lake Dillon; vault toilets, potable water, open May-October, non-reservable.
- Heaton Bay Campground – 81 campsites on the shores of the lake; vault toilets, potable water, open May-October, reservable.
- Peak One Campground – Campground by the lake surrounded by Swam Mountain and the Ten Mile Range; flush toilets, potable water, May-October, reservable.
Read about the Camping near Dillon Reservoir, all around Summit County.
Lake and pond fishing are available year round, both from shore and boat. In the winter ice fishing is an option when the lake freezes over. The Blue River flows into and out of the Dillon Reservoir, so that provides additional area fishing.
Season: Year round
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