Camping near Dillon

Boating, paddle boarding, and lakeside camping, Dillon, Colorado is a summer water sports haven.

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Camping near Dillon guide

Overview

Situated near the shores of the pristine Dillon Reservoir and surrounded by world-renowned ski resorts, Dillon is an excellent basecamp for forays into the high country. In summer, visitors flock to the Dillon Reservoir to paddleboard, kayak, or simply hike around the lake. In winter, the Dillon Reservoir becomes a huge snow-kiting destination with rentals and lessons available at the lake. Dillon is one of the few towns in Summit County that offers camping close to town so it’s a great option if you’re also hoping to explore nearby mountain towns like Breckenridge and Copper Mountain.   

Where to go

Dillon Reservoir Recreation Area

Also known as Lake Dillon, this spot sits between the towns of Dillon and Frisco as one of the area’s most popular destinations. With several campgrounds, boat and kayak rentals, and nearly 27 miles of shoreline to explore, the Dillon Reservoir Recreation Area is a top choice for camping close to town. Hikers will find several great trails in the area that offer stellar views of the Ten Mile Range and cyclists will enjoy the paved trail that runs over the Dillon Dam.  

White River National Forest

The 2.3 million-acre White River National Forest offers unrivaled outdoor recreation opportunities in the Rocky Mountains between Dillon and Aspen. It’s the most visited national forest in the country and offers incredibly scenic terrain from crystal clear mountain lakes and trout streams to wildflower-filled meadows and jagged fourteen thousand foot peaks. Numerous campgrounds are scattered throughout the national forest and there’s no shortage of places to pitch a tent in the backcountry.

Green Mountain Reservoir

Heading north from Dillon on Highway 9 takes you quickly to another large reservoir. Green Mountain Reservoir is only a 30-minute drive from Dillon and boating, fishing, and hiking are popular activities on the water. Campers will find seven campgrounds along the shore of the lake, nearly all with beautiful views of the lake.   

When to go

The best time for camping, hiking, and water sports in Dillon, Colorado is when the weather warms, typically June through early September. Summer is definitely the busiest time; the Dillon Amphitheatre hosts dozens of free shows in summer and the Dillon Saturday Farmer’s Market draws in quite the crowds. Dillon sits at 9,111 feet so come prepared for chilly nights even in the middle of summer. Fall is also a lovely time to visit Dillon. Thanks to its high elevation, the mountains around Dillon are one of the first places in Colorado to see fall colors. 

Know before you go

  1. Camping at the Dillon Reservoir is extremely popular so book sites as soon as you know your travel dates. Reservations can be made at the Heaton Bay Campground and Peak One Campground up to six months in advance. 
  2. Campsites at the Dillon Reservoir’s Pine Cove Campground are available first-come, first-served only.  
  3. Early morning, before the afternoon winds pick up, is the best time to kayak or paddleboard on Lake Dillon. 
  4. Swimming is prohibited in Lake Dillon due to safety reasons but is allowed at the Green Mountain Reservoir. There’s even a designated swimming area at Green Mountain

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