Hike to Old Dillon Reservoir

Colorado Old Dillon Reservoir Trailhead

  • Activities:

    Chillin, Fishing, Photography, Mountain Biking, Running, Snowshoeing, Hiking, Fitness

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    1.7 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    137 Feet

Beach
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Forest
Groups
Lake
Scenic
Wildflowers

A short and easy hike very close to the town of Frisco and Heaton Bay Campground. This short trail is perfect for a high elevation warm-up or families wanting to get outside.

Today, Lake Dillon is one of the biggest attractions in the Dillon Valley, attracting boaters, anglers, and campers. However, the large reservoir we know today was not the first one in the area.  The Old Dillon Reservoir was built in the 1930s to supply water to the original town of Dillon, which is now covered by the Lake Dillon Reservoir. You can hike to the original reservoir by taking this easy trail just outside of Frisco town limits.

To access the trailhead, take the Dillon Dam Road east from the Town of Frisco (this will be the first exit you come to if you're exiting from I-70). About 1.5 miles from the intersection keep an eye out for a parking lot on the left hand (north) side of the road. The turnoff is easy to miss because it's partially obscured by greenery, so just keep a watchful eye.

From the trailhead, you will start out on an open hillside and immediately start the incline up to the reservoir. The grade is mild, but you aren't treated to any flat warm-up sections on this trail. Pretty soon you will start to hike through pine trees, aspens, and willows which offer a pleasant respite from the sun. If you're hiking during the early summer, you will be treated to plentiful varieties of colorful wildflowers. Throughout the trail you will have spectacular views of Lake Dillon and Frisco.

About 0.75 miles from the trailhead you will exit the trees and come to the Old Dillon Reservoir. Take in the view because you will have a sweeping panorama of the surrounding area. The Tenmile Range can be seen to the southwest as well as Mt Guyot and Bald Mountain to the south. Hike around the lake to the north shore to get views of Silverthorne to the north, Buffalo Mountain to the northwest, and Ptarmigan Peak to the northeast.

The lake is open to fishing with a valid Colorado fishing license. There are several social trails around the top, so you can extend your hike if you're not quite ready to head back to the trailhead. Even if you only hike to the reservoir, the views from the top are definitely worth completing this short little trail.

Pack List

  • Hat & suncreen
  • Water
  • Snack
  • Camera
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Reviews

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Hiked down to the edge of the lake and set up a hammock in the trees! Very relaxing!! There not really any sand beach access but it's definitely very nice!

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

Johnathan ValdezExplorer

I'm a Colorado native that's passionate about photography, exploring nature, live music, and craft beer. On my free days you'll most likely find me on the trail and behind my camera. Life is short, get out there and explore! Follow my adventures here on The Outbound and on Instagram @capulinflicker.

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