Dillon Reservoir is situated in the middle of the Tenmile Range, the Front Range and the Gore Range in Summit County. It sits at a 9,000 elevation and is considered among the most active leisure sites of Central Colorado.

The Blue River’s natural flow was cut off because of the Dillon Dam construction which was part of the Thompson Project. As a result, the Dillon Reservoir was created to provide Denver’s water supply, creating one of the most exciting recreational locations in the Rocky Mountains area.

Travelers and residents brave the I-70 gridlock to reach Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, Keystroke, and Arapahoe ski resorts during the winter season. But, Dillon Reservoir comes alive in the summer. Canoes, sailboats, kayaks, and light motorboats are available for rent. 

Aside from that, anglers can enjoy the yearly rainbow trout stocking. Paddlers can explore the inlets of the reservoir, while bicyclists enjoy the Recpath that circles the reservoir.


Campers have a choice between any of the six campgrounds in the reservoir. A highly preferred camp is Windy Point Gap. This is mainly because it can cater large parties of upto 100 people. 

The other camping options in the area include: 

  • Heaton Bay 
  • Pine Cove
  • Lowry
  • Peak One
  • Prospectus

Among these campsites, the Heaton bay campground is the best spot for those who prefer a latte-bloody mary scenario. It is located on the Dillon Dam Road, close to the Lake Dillion shore. In addition, this campsite also offers drinking water, electric hookups, and space for tents. You’ll also find fire rings, picnic tables, and vault tables that are far from fancy. 

Meanwhile, if you prefer a campsite with a more scenic view, the Lowry Campground is recommended. It has 24 campsites with some spots dedicated solely to tents. They also offer vault toilets and electric hookups. To get to Lowry Campsite, you need to go through the Swan Mountain road, which is 2 miles off the highway 6 turnoff. 

Hiking and Biking

Hikers and mountain bikers have many paths once they get away from the reservoir. Here are some favorites:

  • Lily Pad Lake via Salt Lick Trailhead
  • Old Dillon ReservoirBuffalo Cabin + Buffalo Mountain
  • Mohawk Lakes
  • Lower Boulder Lake
  • Sapphire Point Trail

The hiking and camping sites around the Dillon Reservoir are full of scenic views. While some are more challenging than others, you’ll surely get closer to nature. Just make sure to research ahead to find the most suitable trails for your needs and preference. 

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