iResort App - Boating, Rafting, Kayaking, SUP, Canoeing in Summit County, Colorado
Boating, Rafting, Kayaking, SUP, Canoeing in Summit County, Colorado

Getting on the water around the county

 

Dillon Reservoir and Green Mountain Reservoir offer great boating, however there are smaller lakes around the county for a quiet canoe, kayak or paddleboating experience. Maggie Pond in Breckenridge, Keystone Lake, Copper's Lake, and North Pond Silverthorne are all great choices for a less intimidating experience.  Our 3 marinas - Dillon Marina and Frisco Marina on Dillon Reservoir, and Green Mountain Reservoir Marina - all provide boat rentals, fuel and some repairs. 

 

Summit County is home to the scenic Dillon Reservoir which spans 3,300 acres and boasts 25 miles of shoreline surrounded by majestic peaks.  A center of attraction for the area, the reservoir provides ice fishing, snowmobiling, and kite-boarding during the winter months. For warmer months, the towns of Dillon and Frisco each have marinas that offer sail boat, runabout, pontoon, Kayak and SUP rentals. In the summer, hundreds of sailboats can be seen docked or sailing. Dillon Marina hosts many weekend racing regattas. The Dillon Yacht Club is based out of the Dillon Marina and also hosts many sailing events.  At 9,017 feet in elevation, the boating season is weather dependent, but usually runs from early June to early or mid-September.

 

Dillon Reservoir is stocked every year with 50,000 rainbow trout by the Colorado Division of Wildlife and provides  good fishing for rainbow, brown trout, kokanee salmon, and arctic char. Dillon Reservoir is the only water body in the lower 48 states outside Maine in which arctic char can be caught. Fishing for this species has greatly improved over the past few years as the stocked fish have established and successfully reproduced. Anglers have been most successful during ice fishing season and some summer catches have also been reported. Lake Dillon is also home to a high density of brown trout, which are naturally self-sustaining and not stocked. Kokanee salmon are another plentiful, self-sustaining fish found in Dillon Reservoir and have not been stocked since 1978. Spawning has been documented in the Snake River inlet area, other locations in-lake, and in the Blue River upstream of the lake.

 

The Dillon Reservoir is owned and operated by Denver Water, and is their largest water storage facility. The Reservoir has a capacity of 257,304 acre feet (1 acre foot = 325,851 gallons), and the Dam has a storage capacity of 254, 036 acre feet. Construction of the Dam began in 1961 and was completed in 1963.  The Dillon Reservoir and surrounding area has many lodging, camping, and RV sites.

 

Dillon Reservoir has a popular 18 mile paved bike path that winds around the entire reservoir. The path can be accessed at any point around the reservoir. Starting in Frisco and going counterclockwise, it goes behind the Summit Middle School, marshlands, and continues across the Dam road. It passes the towns of Silverthorne and Dillon. Once into Summit Cove subdivision, the path climbs over Swan Mountain and reaches its highest elevation of 9,500' above sea level at the top at Sapphire Point- a popular lookout over Dillon Reservoir and much of Summit County. At the bottom, the path resumes near Summit High School. The path goes behind the hospital and back into Frisco. For the ultimate combination of adventure over land and sea, hail the Lake Dillon Water Taxi. The Taxi will transport you and your bikes (and even furry friends) across the Lake. Stop in at the Frisco Marina before riding your bike along a rolling paved path through wetland areas with resplendent views  back to Dillon where you can take in a free evening concert or head back to the Tiki Bar for one last Rum-Runner!

 

The Award Winning Dillon Marina

 

Dillon Marina located on the north side of the reservoir, is the highest deep water marina in North America and attracts sailors from all over the world to participate in sailing regattas due to the challenge of shifting winds and the incredible Rocky Mountain scenery.

 

Those who aren’t already expert sailors can sign up for sailing school on the Dillon Marina or experience a private sailing tour.  Sunset sail boat tours are available in the evenings perfect for a romantic date and an informative pontoon tour with the Summit Historical Society is available twice weekly. This tour provides information about the relocation of the town, Damn construction and other interesting facts about the area. Reservations are the best way to guarantee your time out on the water and to make sure you book the exact sailing experience you’re looking for.  If traditional sailing isn’t your cup of tea, perhaps look to rent a runabout, kayak or Stand-up Paddle Board. There are many ways, you can be your own captain!

Renting a pontoon boat is the ultimate group excursion, perfect for bachelor/bachelorette parties or family get-togethers or groups of friends. Some of these rentals even have grills attached.

Enjoy all the activity and land-locked water lovers from Pug Ryan’s Tiki Bar as you sip your favorite frozen concoction and dine on fish tacos or other lakeside fare. The Marina  retail store is the perfect place to grab some souvenirs or pick up an extra pair of sunglasses. Don’t want to carry around all those shopping bags? The Marina retail store will actually ship all of your items to you so they’ll be waiting for you when get home.


Whitewater Rafting

Here are some awesome Colorado rivers, and tips, we wanted to share with you so you can explore this summer for your ultimate white water river rafting experience.


Map of river rafting near Summit County, Colorado


In Summit County is the Blue River, which is raft-able only when the water is high in late May and early June. The runoff goes out of the Dillon Reservoir, as well as any melting snow from Red and Buffalo Mountains, flow into the Blue River as it winds its way north toward the Colorado River. You can catch your raft right in Silverthorne through local companies that work out of Frisco.

 

Always listen to your rafting guides!


The Colorado River is also another great river to raft - I have enjoyed many afternoons of sunshine, great scenery, wildlife viewing and rafting down the Upper Colorado. A great place to start your raft is at the Pumphouse which is near Kremmling, and you can end your raft session at Rancho del Rio or closer to State Bridge. Kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding are also other water activities you can do in this stretch of river as the lower section of the Colorado is mellow.  Book your rafting with 
Rancho del Rio and they offer you transportation back to your car, or to its beautiful river-side campgrounds and cabins.

Another beautiful stretch of river that is popular to raft in Colorado is 
Clear Creek near Idaho Springs. This river is much more narrower and more technical, but closer to Denver for those who are  looking for a quick day trip to the mountains. Also nearby is a cool zip line that the kids are sure to enjoy after the rush from a white water raft.

 

Practicing rafting moves before heading out on the Arkansas River.


One of the best places to raft in Colorado, however, is the Arkansas River located near Buena Vista- a  beautiful, 75-minute drive from Breckenridge. This river runs through the majestic Browns Canyon, and on February of this year, President Obama designated the 21,856 acres around the canyon a new National Monument. This river canyon is unique because of the granite canyon walls that spire up like a cathedral and change hues as the day progresses and the light shifts. The river varies from exciting rapids with names like Zoom Flume and Toilet Bowl, to calm stretches of water that give you time to enjoy the scenery and hear about the history of the area from your raft guide. This is one of the most visited areas in Colorado, you don't want to miss this beautiful part of the world! We recommend going with 
American Adventure Expeditions rafting company, as they know the area well and are a fun time!

 

 

Photo courtesy of Tim Brown and the US Forest Service


Rafting tips:
1. Give yourself enough time to enjoy the experience and take it all in! The scenery, wildlife, and power of the river is so engaging, that you will want to make sure you soak it all in!

2. Don't take anything on the river you are not willing to lose. The river is notorious for swallowing up sunglasses, phones, jewelry and hats. If they aren't tied tightly to you, don't take them on the river unless you are willing to watch them float away.

3. Pay attention to your guide. Raft guides spend hours on the river every day during rafting season, have experienced all conditions and know how to keep you safe. Self-rescue is critical if you bounce out of the raft. Also, paddling when instructed to is important to ensure that the raft is maneuvered properly and safely around boulders and through rapids.

4. Dress in quick dry, synthetic base layers. Cotton is not your friend on the river, and you will likely get wet. Raft companies provide wet suits or dry jackets but you want your own clothes underneath that you are comfortable in and are moisture-wicking. Also, bring extra clothes to change into after rafting.

5. Wear sunscreen and lip balm. The Colorado sun at high altitude can be intense, and you will be outside without much protection for hours.

6. Take a look at the photos. Most raft companies have a spot on the river where a photographer comes to a bridge or overlook to get a great shot of your group coming through rapids!

 The best rafting months in Colorado are late May into June, but there is still great rafting well into August. Give it a try, and have fun!

 

 

FOR INFO 720-273-0245

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