Being from the East Coast, I love having access to water. The Atlantic Ocean, countless lakes and rivers, the Intracoastal Waterway — basically, if you could float anything from an inner tube to a large cabin-cruiser power boat on in, I was there!
Based on my background, Colorado has been quite the change! Despite being the “birthplace” of some of the greatest rivers (and whitewater rafting) in the country — including the Arkansas River, the Colorado River and the Rio Grande — my new home state is classified as “semi-arid” overall. Fortunately, my new hometown of Frisco, Colo., sits on the shores of Dillon Reservoir. Completed in 1963 and sitting at 9,017 feet in elevation, the reservoir boasts 3,233 acres (just over 5 square miles) of surface area and 26.8 miles of shoreline. We’re talking some serious water here! Plus, it’s surrounded by soaring vistas of mountain peaks, some towering over 14,000 feet, including Grays Peak and Torreys Peak.
Boats, boats and more boats
For me, activities on Dillon Reservoir always start at the Frisco Bay Marina. My advice: Rent a boat and get out on the water! Boating and all other water activities usually start in June and run until September.
The marina has all kinds of options available, including:
- Canoe and kayak rentals — Enjoy the peace and quiet of paddling on the lake. Pack a lunch and head for one of the quiet beaches of even one of the serene islands that dot the lake’s surface. For a guided paddling tour, check out the great kayak tours offered by Kayak Lake Dillon.
- Stand up paddle board rentals — If you haven’t tried paddle boarding — or, if your seasoned veteran of the sport — paddling on Dillon Reservoir is fantastic. Lessons and tours are available, too!
- Fishing boats — You and four other people (five max) can rent a small powered fishing boat for up to eight hours — and bring home dinner! Fishing poles are also available for rental, including bobber, two hooks and two sinkers. Bait and fishing licenses are available at the Marina Office. Guided fishing tours are available as well. And remember, Colorado Law requires a fishing license for anyone age 15 or over.
- Runabouts — These sporty 150-horsepower boats will whisk you around the lake quickly and with style! They hold up to seven people and can also be rented for up to 8 hours. They drive like a car and provide shade for those sunny days!
- Pontoon boats — It seems a lot of family reunions happen in the summertime in Summit County. So if you’ve got 10-14 people and want to take a nice cruise, I suggest a pontoon boat! With two options one holding 10 people the other holding up to 14, it’s a great boat to gather on and easy for beginning mariners to handle.
- Sailboat rentals — To cruise the lake under wind power, check out Windrider of the Rockies. Located at the Frisco Bay Marina, they offer a great selection of sailboat rentals, lessons and tours.
Another great way to tour Dillon Reservoir by boat is the Lake Dillon Water Taxi. This pontoon taxi runs regularly between the Frisco Bay Marina and the Dillon Marina. Check out the schedule and fares here.
And, if you’re at the Dillon Marina, you absolutely must have lunch (or at least a beverage) at the Lakeside Tiki Bar. It’s a summer favorite with locals and visitors alike!
Frisco Bay Marina “Dry-Dock” Activities
If you just want to hang around the marina without venturing out on the lake, there’s lots to do, too. The Island Grill has plenty of options from salads to burgers, fish and chicken entrees, and tempting tropical drink options. Happy hour is daily from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m., with live music on Fridays.
For family fun and picnics, Marina Park is a great choice. There’s a playground, a sandy beach and a big lawn to relax on. It’s open from 6 a.m. – 10 p.m. Dogs are welcome as long as they’re on a leash. You can even rent the park for family reunions and other gatherings. Oh, and the views are breathtaking!
Upcoming events at Frisco Bay Marina
Take a look at all the cool summer events coming up at the marina. Highlights include Timberline Regatta on June 25, as well as the Classic Boat Show and Kids Sandcastle Completion on August 20.
During the summer months, the Frisco Bay Marina is a hub of activity in my adopted home town of Frisco. Come up and join me, my family and friends for all the fun! If you have any question about the marina — or any fun suggestions for things to do there or on Dillon Reservoir — please post them in the "Comments" section below.