Lake Dillon is one of the outstanding locations in Dillon town that offers exciting features for visitors. Also known as Dillon Reservoir, Lake Dillon is the right landscape for recreational activities such as boating, fishing, hiking, camping, kayaking, paddle boarding, and others. Lake Dillon camping is an experience, mainly during the summer season, from May to the early weeks of October. All you need to bring is your camping supplies, like a good tent, a solar-powered radio, clothing, sleeping bags, camp chairs, solar panels or a portable generator, and other personal items.
This article details and guides on getting the best campground for your adventure. Keep reading to know more.
Some Facts About Lake Dillon
Lake Dillon is a freshwater reservoir in Summit County, Colorado, USA, surrounded by Dillon, Frisco, and Silverthorne towns.
It’s under the management of the Dillon Reservoir Recreation Committee (DRReC), which governs and regulates activities around the lake.
The lake’s water surface area covers about 3,233 acres, with a volume of 250,000 acre-feet. Popular ski areas such as Keystone, Copper Mountain, Breckenridge, and Arapahoe Basin are close to the reservoir.
The lake has about six different campgrounds for campers, comprising many suitable campsites. The campgrounds are Heaton Bay Campground, Pine Cove Campground, Peak One Campground, Prospector Campground, Lowry Campground, and Windy Point Campground.
Before you consider going to camp on Lake Dillon, you must know some basic facts about the lake.
You should know when and where you can camp on the site. Also, you should understand how to book a reservation and what you may need for the camping escapade.
Camping Period at Lake Dillon
Lake Dillon is open throughout the year for tourists and visitors. However, summer is the best camping period at Lake Dillon, which generally runs from mid-May to early October.
The lake gets its largest visits between July and early September, which are the peak summer months.
You should remember to make a reservation in advance while planning to camp at Lake Dillon, considering the popularity of the place.
Also, early booking offers you the opportunity of getting the best prices, unlike the rush period.
Camping at the lake during winter seasons is less ideal due to the effect of snow and freezing temperatures on the water and its surroundings.
Booking for Dillon Reservoir Camping – Fees and Reservations
Camping fees on Lake Dillon vary based on the campsites and are between $24 to $26 per night. Requests for electric hookups come with an additional fee of $5, especially for Lowry and Heaton Bay Campgrounds.
Windy Point Group Campground has some group sites with a price range of $215 – $265 per night. Check DRReC Fee Schedule for more detail on booking your Lake Dillon camping site.
All the six campgrounds of Lake Dillon, except one, take advanced reservations from prospective campers. Tourists could book the campground for up to 6 months in advance via Recreation.gov, the USFS online website.
Pine Cove Campground is the only exception to advance booking. It has about 32 campsites which are given to campers based on a first-come, first served. The campground is an alternative for campers with late planning intent.
There’s no requirement for fees and permits for dispersed camping close to Lake Dillon, along Miner’s Creek Road.
However, it’s best that you check with Dillon Ranger District for details on camping regulations within and around the lake.
Denver Water Instructions on Dillon Reservoir
The reservoir is about 70 miles west of Denver. Denver Water manages and controls the Dillon Reservoir and visitors’ activities during camping. Below are some of its regulatory instructions.
- There’s a prohibition of body water contact activities while camping to maintain the quality of the water and keep people off from its low temperature. So, there’s no swimming, water skiing, scuba diving, or jetskiing in the reservoir.
- Trailers and other vehicles carrying harmful substances are prohibited around the lake.
- Visitors should dispose of all wastes properly in waste bins.
- Explosive elements and fireworks are prohibited. The regulator allows fire only set within fire rings, and visitors are expected to comply with the fire bans.
- Individuals with physical challenges can come with wheelchairs to ease their mobility.
- Visitors with motorized vehicles must park them at the provided sites for such.
- Visitors are expected to be quiet between 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM.
- People are not allowed to engage in any form of watercraft at the reservoir.
- Visitors are prohibited from moving to restricted areas.
- Towing activities are prohibited at the lake during recreation.
- There’s a prohibition of motorized activities on the frozen lake during winter.
What You Need for Camping?
Below are some necessary things you will need for Lake Dillon camping.
- Personal Essentials – Lightweight camping tent and chairs, all-weather clothing, sleeping bags, foldable solar panels or a portable power station, and an emergency solar radio.
- Lake Dillon Map – Having a good map of the lake and its surrounding will keep you on track and ensure easy access to the area during your camping adventure. You should opt for a National Geographic map that covers the surrounding areas like Dillon, Frisco, and Vail, according to Denver Water instructions.
- Portable Water Bottle – A portable water container will help you easily move around with drinking water and always remain hydrated.
- Camping Stove – You can stay without food during your camping adventure. The stove is essential in preparing quick meals within your campsite.
- Cooler – It is satisfying to have your drinks and food kept at your desired temperature while camping. A good solar-powered cooler will do the magic for you.
Lake Dillon Campgrounds
The six campgrounds near Lake Dillon providing exciting camping adventures for visitors include:
- Heaton Bay Campground
- Peak One Campground
- Pine Cove Campground
- Prospector Campground
- Windy Point Group Campground
- Lowry Campground
It’s important that you look into their respective descriptions before pitching your tent on any.
Heaton Bay Campground
Heaton Bay Campground is one of the National Forest Campgrounds located close to Frisco’s attractive Main Street.
The campground is located at Dillon Dam Road, Silverthorne, CO 80498, and has great views of the Tenmile Range. It is a popular destination for many campers.
It has about 81 sites and can accommodate tents, trailers, and recreational vehicles (RVs). The campground is open year-round for campers.
The campground also offers Tent only sites for visitors and the availability of electrical hookups on sites but with additional fees. It provides campers with campfire rings, drinking water, and vault toilets.
Visitors have access to filling their RV tanks on the sites and are expected to obey the fire restrictions while on site. A picnic table is available on each site.
- Closest Towns – Frisco, Silverthorne, Breckenridge.
- Recreational Activities – Camping, fishing, biking, boating, wildlife viewing, and hiking.
- Recreation Sites – Standard non-electric, Overnight, RV electric, and Tent-only non-electric.
Pine Cove Campground
Pine Cove Campground is located within the Frisco Peninsula and has proximity to Frisco Adventure Park and Swan Mountain. Its address is Peninsula Road, Frisco, CO 80443.
The campground comprises 56 single campsites with accommodation for tents, trailers and RVs. Some of the interesting viewable locations from the sites include the Gore Range and Tenmile Mountain.
The sites are open from May to October and offer portable water and vault toilets. Each site has a fire ring available for guests. Visitors can engage in motorized and non-motorized boating on the two marinas close to the campground.
Each site has a vault toilet available for guests.
- Closest from Towns – Frisco and Breckenridge.
- Recreational Activities – Camping & cabins, hiking, fishing, biking, and boating.
- Recreation Sites – Standard non-electric and Overnight.
Peak One Campground
Peak One Campground is located within a valley with high peaks surrounding the area. It has an inflow of water coming through its ridges and draws, which provides a majestic appearance to visitors.
Peak One Campground’s address is Peninsula Road, Breckenridge, CO 80424. It has 80 multi-purpose campsites and can accommodate tents, trailers, and RVs.
Also, there are tent-only campsites. The sites on Peak One provide drinking water, vault toilets, flush toilets, camp host, self-pay stations, trash collection, and other amenities.
Also, Peak One offers a picnic table on-site for visitors.
- Closest Towns – Frisco and Breckenridge.
- Recreational Activities – Camping, fishing, canoeing, biking, boating, sailing, and kayaking.
- Recreation Sites – Standard non-electric and Overnight.
Prospector Campground is quite large, with 105 campsites, with brown trout. It has an open view of Dillon Reservoir with close proximity to some mountain ranges.
The surroundings are adorned with rocky mountains, while the roads and spurs are unpaved.
Its address is White River National Forest, Dillon, CO 80435. The campground is just a few miles away from Keystone and close to the Dillon Dam Road. Other nearby towns include Frisco and Breckenridge.
The individual sites can accommodate tents, trailers, and RVs. It provides visitors with drinking water, fire rings, a vault toilet, and picnic tables. There are no available electrical hook-ups on site.
- Closest Towns – Frisco, Dillon, Keystone, and Breckenridge.
- Recreational Activities – Camping, biking, wildlife viewing, fishing, boating, and hiking.
- Recreation Sites – Standard non-electric and overnight.
Lowry Campground is between Summit Cove and Breckenridge and is close to Lake Dillon. Some trails make it suitable for visitors’ recreational activities and relaxation.
Its address is Lowry Campground, Dillon, CO, 80435. Wildlife, like eagles, mule deer, elk, and big horn sheep, adorn the hillsides.
The campground has about 27 campsites, with just three campgrounds available for visitors on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The sites can accommodate tents, trailers, and RVs; each site can take only ten people and two vehicles.
Electrical hookups are available on sites 2-24 with additional fees. The sites provide guests with campfire rings, drinking water, picnic tables, and vault toilets.
- Closest Towns – Dillon, Frisco, and Breckenridge.
- Recreational Activities – Camping, biking, boating, wildlife viewing, and fishing.
- Recreation Sites – Standard non-electric, standard electric, tent-only non-electric, and overnight.
Windy Point Campground
Windy Point Campground is one of the campgrounds suitable for large group camping and is about 9,000 feet elevation on Dillon Reservoir.
It has two sites; a group camp and a group picnic shelter. Each campsite has an accommodation capacity of up to 100 guests.
The campground address is White River National Forest, Dillon, CO 80435. It is open between May and October and offers drinking water, vault toilets, parking areas, and trash collection.
- Closest Towns – Frisco, Breckenridge, Dillon, and Keystone.
- Recreational Activities – Camping, fishing, picnicking, wildlife viewing, hiking, and boating.
- Recreation Sites – Group standard area non-electric, group shelter non-electric, and overnight.
Camping Recreational Activities at Dillon Reservoir
Campers must know the recreational activities allowed by Denver Water at Lake Dillon. These include:
- Boating: Denver Water allows boating activities, and boats can be rented from specified areas within the reservoir.
- Hiking and biking: Guests who love hiking and biking are pleased with trails of paved miles in the region.
- Camping: There are numerous campsites available with camping amenities. The management lets parking of RVs at no cost.
- Cross country skiing: In the winter season, Denver Water lets skiing activity and ski rentals get from Frisco Nordic Ski Arena.
- Fishing: The management allows campers to fish in the Blue River under the dam.
- Waterfowl hunting: Denver Water permits guests to hunt for waterfowl but must comply with the regulations.
- Scenic Overlooks: The management allows guests to stare and walk around, looking at aesthetic views from Tenmile Ranges, Gore, and Williams Fork mountain ranges.
Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs
Is Marriage Allowed at Lake Dillon?
The management at the reservoir permits a marriage reception after the wedding at Silverthorne Pavilion.
How Busy Is Dillon Reservoir?
The reservoir currently has a water level of 222 209 acre-feet, 97% above normal water level.
What Is the Temperature Condition of Lake Dillon?
The temperature is not constant but remarkably low many a time. The temperature as of May 30, 2023, was 46 degrees Fahrenheit.
How Does Dillon Reservoir Get Its Water?
Fresh water from a Blue River Basin flows into the reservoir through a tunnel named after Harold D. Roberts.
Why Is Swimming Prohibited at Lake Dillon?
Denver Water prohibits water contact activities due to safety concerns.
Lake Dillon Camping could be a thrilling and adventurous experience with proper planning and advanced booking.
Besides the beautiful and impressive natural features surrounding the lake, visitors can explore the neighboring towns and views within the area.
Remember to use a map for easy navigation and comply with all set rules for any campsite you choose.