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Dillon Reservoir

Dillon_mountains
Dillon Reservoir
Dillon is Denver Water's largest reservoir.

Owned and Operated by Denver Water
Recreation Manager: Dillon Reservoir Recreation Committee
Reservations: Required for various activities
Elevation: 9,017 feet (2748 meters) – spillway
Capacity: 257,304 acre feet (1 acre foot = 325,851 gallons)
Contact:
Dillon Marina: 970-468-5100
Frisco Bay Marina: 970-668-4334
Camping Reservation Number: 1-877-444-6777
Summit County Sheriff: 970-453-2232
Summit County: 970-668-4213
Colorado Parks and Wildlife: 303-291-7227
U.S. Forest Service: 719-545-8737


Background

Completed in December 1963, Dillon Reservoir is the largest water storage facility in the Denver Water system. The entire town of Dillon, Colorado, and a hydroelectric plant were relocated to build the dam.

The dam was built to divert water from the Blue River Basin through the Harold D. Roberts Tunnel under the Continental Divide into the South Platte River Basin. Dillon Dam is an earth-fill dam, 5,888 feet long by 231 feet above the Blue River stream bed. Dillon Reservoir's surface area of 3,233 acres and 26.8 miles of shoreline support many recreational activities.

Directions

  • From Denver take Interstate 70 through the Eisenhower Tunnel to Dillon
  • To access the Dillon Marina:

  • Take Silverthorne exit 205 to Highway 6 and take Highway 6 to Dillon
  • Follow the signs to the marina
  • To access the Frisco Bay Marina:

  • Take Frisco exit 203 to Highway 9
  • Take Highway 9 to Main Street and turn left (east) to the marina

Seasonal Information

Open year-round

Operating Hours

24 hours a day

Special Events

Dillon and Frisco Bay Marinas host several regattas and other special events. Fireworks shows highlight the Fourth of July and there are winter Gold Rush activities in Frisco. Event permits are required from the Dillon Reservoir Recreation Committee for all special events and commercial activities. Call Summit County at 970-668-4213 to get a permit application.

Recreation Opportunities

Overview of available activities

Motor Boating
motorboating
sailboating
sailboating

Boating includes boat fishing, sailboating and motorboating. Boaters must observe Summit County and Colorado Boating Statues and Regulations.

Marinas are operated from the towns of Dillon and Frisco. The reservoir's high water elevation is 9,017 feet.

Dillon Marina's boat ramp is unusable for most motorized craft when the water is at elevation 8971 feet. Frisco Bay Marina's boat ramp is unusable for most motorized craft when the water is at elevation 9,009 feet.

Most current water elevation at Dillon.

Canoeing
canoeing
Kayaking
kayaking
Row Boating
rowing
Small Water Craft
small watercraft

Canoeing is permitted. Other portable water crafts allowed include kayaks, canvas boats, and inflatables.

Rowing is also permitted. The Frisco Rowing Center, located at the Frisco Bay Marina, provides an opportunity for the public to learn more about rowing.

Personal watercraft, including Jet Skis, are not permitted on Dillon Reservoir.

Wind Surfing
windsurfing
Windsurfing (sailboarding) is permitted with full wet or dry suits.
Fishing
fishing
Both lake and stream fishing are available. Below the dam, the state designated the Blue River as Gold Medal waters. See the Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s PDF document fishery survey summary for the Blue River below Dillon Reservoir. Check Colorado Parks and Wildlife for special regulations above the reservoir.
Ice Fishing
ice fishing
Ice fishing when conditions permit. Denver Water does not monitor ice conditions and those entering onto the ice should be aware of changing ice conditions and proceed at their own risk.
Camping
camping
Dillon's 344 campsites accommodate tents, pickup campers, RVs and trailers. All campgrounds have a drinking water supply. Camping is allowed in designated sites only. Most campgrounds are provided by U.S. Forest Service. Reservation number: 1-877-444-6777.
Hiking
hiking
Bicycling
bicycling
The recreation area provides a variety of hiking and bicycle trails, including more than seven paved miles of the 50-mile Summit County trail system. The Sapphire Point trail follows a half-mile path to the scenic overlook. The Old Dillon Reservoir trail connects to the lake which supplied the drinking water for the old town of Dillon.
Scenic Overview
scenic overview
Several overlooks are available around Dillon reservoir to view the dramatic backdrop of the Gore, Williams Fork and Ten Mile mountain ranges. See area map.
Fowl Hunting
hunting: fowl
Waterfowl hunting is allowed in the Dillon Reservoir Recreation Area boundaries strictly in accordance with all applicable federal, state, and local regulations.
Cross Country Skiing
cross country skiing
The Frisco Nordic Ski area provides a cross-country ski trail system and ski rentals.
Rentals
renting
Fishing boats, sailboats, kayaks and canoes can be rented at the area shops. Sailboat tours originate from the Dillon Marina. Canoe tours, rental canoes and fishing boats also launch at the Frisco Bay Marina.

Note: Water contact sports such as swimming, water skiing, wading and scuba diving are prohibited.

Other rules and regulations.