Dillon Reservoir

Dillon Reservoir Colorado
Dillon Reservoir offers superb boating and panoramic mountain views. | Photo by Photo Phiend / flickr.com

Staff writer

Dillon Reservoir is a popular recreational spot 70 miles west of Denver on Interstate 70, offering miles of clear blue water and panoramic views of 13,000-foot peaks.

Sailing, boating, canoeing, windsurfing, fishing, camping, hiking, bird watching, bird hunting and photography are among the activities on the lake, which has 3,233 acres of surface area and 27 miles of shoreline. Jet skis are prohibited.

The towns of Dillon and Frisco operate marinas and host regattas. The Dillon Marina’s boat ramp is unusable for most motorized craft when the water is at an elevation of 8,971 feet while Frisco Bay Marina’s boat ramp is similarly unusable at 9,009 feet.

The Dillon Yacht Club boasts that it’s the nation’s highest sailing club because of the reservoir’s high water elevation of 9,017 feet above sea level.

The reservoir, which also is known as Dillon Lake, is stocked with 50,000 rainbow trout each year by the Colorado Division of Wildlife.

The Dillon area gets 300 inches of snow in the winter, making the reservoir a spot for ice fishing, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing.

The reservoir was created by the construction from 1961 to 1963 of the earthen-fill Dillon Dam, which is 5,888 feet long and 231 feet high.

The reservoir flooded the town of Dillon, which had been incorporated by gold prospectors in 1883 and had 814 residents in 1960. The town and its historic cemetery were relocated to a nearby hillside in 1961.

The dam was built on the site of a natural finger lake by Denver Water, which serves Denver and some suburbs. The reservoir is fed by the Blue River, Snake River and Ten Mile Creek and has a capacity of 257,304 acre-feet of water. The water is transported to Denver through the Harold D. Roberts Tunnel, which runs under the Continental Divide.

Dillon Reservoir
Dillon Marina
(970) 468-5100
Frisco Bay Marina
(970) 668-4334
Camping reservations
(877) 444-677