Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Dillon, CO

  • Published 2023/01/04

In the heart of Summit County, and along the Dillon Reservoir shoreline, lies the mountain town of Dillon, Colorado.

This quiet town has all the charm in the world, plus several majestic outdoor locations for the intrepid traveler.

For example, the town hosts the highest deep-water marina in North America.

Its Marina Park has also won the Best of Summit County award, proving its allure to guests and locals alike.

Of course, the town has its rich history to share, shown in museums like the Schoolhouse Museum of the Summit Historical Society.

What else can you do in Dillon?

You can go hiking, take your bike on a whirl around Lake Dillon, or enjoy thrilling watersports.

In winter, too, Dillon levels up and turns into a world-class wonderland.

So, what are you waiting for?

Check out the best things to do in Dillon below.

Make a Splash at the Dillon Marina

View of Dillon Marina

Jim Lambert /

Nestled up in the Rocky Mountains, the Dillon Marina has 25 miles of shoreline for everyone to enjoy.

It’s also the highest deep-water marina in North America, allowing you breathtaking views from all over.

Since it’s so high up, the Dillon Marina is also the only place that offers high-altitude lakeside dining.

View of Dillon Marina

Katy Haas /

Imagine eating dinner at roughly two miles above sea level.

During the day, you can also partake in water sports like world-class sailing or boating.

You can even shop to your hearts’ content at the nearby stores.

View of Dillon Marina

Mile High Aviator /

Grab Some Skis at Columbine Ski & Sport

How would you enjoy Dillon’s ski slopes if you didn’t have skis?

Don’t worry, because Columbine Ski & Sport is here to solve your problem.

The family-owned ski and snowboard rental shop have served skiers since 1983, so you know their quality is consistently high.

Whether you need ski gear or snowboards, Columbine has you covered.

Even if you own skis, you can still drop by Columbine to have your skis tuned up.

They also tune your skis to fit the specific conditions of the Colorado mountains.

Visit Columbine Ski & Sport at 149 Tenderfoot Drive, Dillon, CO 80435.

Spend the Day at the Dillon Town Park

Suppose you prefer to enjoy a quiet day with family or friends, head to Dillon Town Park and take your pick of the many activities available.

You can even do these activities in peace while admiring the mountain views.

For example, you can go to the multi-use field to play various sports.

You can grab a team and play pick-up baseball, soccer, or Frisbee.

Play basketball at the outdoor court, or try some bocce or horseshoe at the respective courts along Tenderfoot Street.

In the winter, you can also play different snow games.

Bring your kids to the playground next to the Town Pavilion.

On the other hand, you can also reserve this pavilion for special events like weddings or reunions.

With a seating capacity of 50 people and a large grill, the place is perfect for a family gathering.

Visit the Dillon Town Park at 120 Buffalo St., Dillon, CO 80435.

Learn More History at the Rice Barn

Between Dillon and Keystone stands the two-story Rice Barn, constructed between 1918 and 1920.

Together with his three sons, Benjamin Rice built the log barn, which became a major stagecoach stop on the Dillon-Kremmling trail.

Several stagecoaches can get their wagons repaired or rest their horses inside the barn.

The building’s 104-inch-wide sliding doors allowed teams to enter easily.

Stagecoaches can also pick up fresh horses to replace those tired from the travel.

Today, you’ll see period artifacts like old carriages, a sleigh, grinding wheels, and the barn’s tack rooms.

The Rice Barn stands at 357 Cove Boulevard between Dillon and Keystone.

Enjoy the Water at the Dillon Reservoir

View of Dillon Reservoir

Photo Spirit /

While the Dillon Reservoir is Denver’s main water source, the reservoir, sometimes referred to as Lake Dillon, is also a notable tourist attraction.

What can you do at this lake?

For one, you can enjoy several water sports there.

View of Dillon Reservoir

BT Images /

You can rent a boat from either side of Lake Dillon and spend an afternoon on the water.

Throw out a line and fish for rainbow trout, sockeye salmon, or smallmouth bass, if you want.

Usually, the boating season lasts from early June to mid-September, so time your visit wisely.

View of Dillon Reservoir


On the other hand, you can also hike or bike along a paved trail on the south side of the Dillon Reservoir.

Along the way, you can capture a magnificent view of the Ten Mile Range, and you can marvel at the view of Summit County from all angles.

Adding a spooky touch to the lake, the underwater ghost town of Old Dillon also sits at the bottom of the reservoir.

View of Dillon Reservoir

Time Stood Still Photo /

Learn Local History at the Myers Cabin

Thanks to the Summit Historical Society’s efforts, several historical sites in Summit County still stand today.

One of them is the Lulu Myers Cabin, found behind the Schoolhouse Museum in Dillon.

In 1885, Charles Delker built the two-story log cabin along the Snake River in the village now known as River Run Village.

The Society relocated the house in 1976.

The residents filled the gaps between the hand-hewn logs with sticks, rocks, and clay to survive the winter.

They also rolled coffee cans to cover the chinks on the house’s exterior.

On the inside, they lined the walls with newspaper for extra warmth.

Over the years, two prominent Summit County families lived in this cabin, the Delker and Myers families.

While the men went to work on their mining businesses, the women also served the community in various ways. For example, Lulu Myers worked as a “schoolmarm” nearby Frisco.

The Myers Cabin is at 403 LaBonte Street, Dillon, CO.

Soak in the Views from Marina Park

Bring your camera to Marina Park, where you can gaze in awe at the unforgettable vistas from Lake Dillon to the Ten Mile and Gore Mountain Ranges.

Several sites also sit around the park for photo ops, so you won’t need to jostle much with other tourists.

After the photos, you can head to the shaded tables to enjoy a picnic lunch.

You can even cook up some burgers at the available charcoal grills.

After that, you can go to the pocket park to learn about the history of Dillon through a series of interpretive signs.

If you want to go on the water, you can rent some boats and spend the afternoon fishing.

Visit the Marina Park at 306 W Lodgepole St., Dillon, CO 80435.

Bask in Nature at the Dillon Nature Preserve

You’ll always have a good time at the Dillon Nature Preserve, whether summer or winter.

You can take long walks in nature in summer, while you can do cross-country skiing in winter.

Choose between the Meadow Trail and Ridge Trail Loop if you prefer hiking.

Moreover, you can follow the small footpaths to reach Lake Dillon if you want to fish or explore the lakeshore.

Likewise, you can simply pull out your camera and capture the breathtaking mountain vistas, the deep blue lake, and the myriad wildflowers.

Go Hiking Along the Tenderfoot Mountain Trail

View of Tenderfoot Mountain Trail

Images by Dr. Alan Lipkin /

The three-mile loop Tenderfoot Mountain Trail offers a terrific hike for novice hikers or experienced travelers looking to break a sweat.

You can go there early in the morning or just in time for sunset.

Either way, you’re looking forward to an excellent outdoor adventure.

Along the way, you’re going to see some perfect mountainside views, so you might want to take your camera out from time to time.

View of Tenderfoot Mountain Trail

Images by Dr. Alan Lipkin /

Likewise, you’ll also pass a few aspen groves, making an autumn hike a priority for next time.

If you go down the trail in the afternoon, you can hike the trail backward to catch the sunset.

You can also see how the moonlight plays over all the open plains.

You can start the Tenderfoot Mountain Trail at Tenderfoot Trail Rd, Dillon, CO 80435.

Scenic view of Tenderfoot Mountain Trail

Sergey Malomuzh /

Revisit History at the 1883 Dillon School House

Late in the 19th century, several American communities built single-room schoolhouses for their children.

There were so many of these buildings that they once exceeded 100,000 in 1900.

However, innovations in education soon made these schoolhouses obsolete.

Today, only 400 such buildings remain. One of them is in Dillon.

Constructed in 1883, the Dillon School House is one of the town’s significant historical landmarks.

The town’s first families banded together to build the frame schoolhouse and gave it a belfry and bell.

Moreover, families sent their children to this school because trains connected more faraway towns.

Thanks to the Ladies of Dillon, the schoolroom still looks the same as it did in 1892.

Several period artifacts also grace the room.

As you enter, you’ll find original McGuffy desks, slates, chalk, students’ learning stations, Heath readers with bookmarks crocheted by hand, and an 1885 piano.

Visit the 1883 Dillon School House at 403 LaBonte Street, Dillon.

Play Disc Golf at the Dillon Disc Golf Course

Do you want to get active, but you’re not sure how?

Go to the Dillon Disc Golf Course, and figure it out.

The world-class 18-hole disc golf course will provide you with an entire day’s worth of fun and competitive thrill.

If you’re a disc golf amateur, don’t worry.

The course accommodates players of all skill levels, and all you have to worry about is having fun.

So, bring your friends and learn a new hobby!

Catch a Show at the Dillon Amphitheater

Inside the Dillon Marina Park, you’ll find the Dillon Amphitheater, which gives you the unique experience of seeing a live show by a lake overlooking the Rocky Mountains.

The venue hosts live concerts and other public events.

Many world-class and world-famous bands also play at the Dillon Amphitheater.

So, if you’ve never seen your favorite bands live, you might want to check their tour dates.

Maybe they’ll be stopping by Dillon, so you should, too.

Visit the Dillon Amphitheater at 201 W Lodgepole St., Dillon, CO 80435.

Indulge in a Fishing Adventure with Silver Flask Fishing

George Peebles, the proprietor of Silver Flask Fishing, has been a devoted angler and guide for more than 20 years.

He began his career in fishing while working as a tour guide in the Midwest after graduating from college.

Choose between ice fishing, fly fishing, and squad fishing excursions.

On a completely guided fishing excursion with all the necessary equipment and instruction, uncover the serene environment of Lake Dillon.

Silver Flask Fishing urges its customers to understand that every fisherman has a unique approach to fishing, with some having more experience than others before the beginning of each tour.

Every fishing excursion is created with the customer as the primary focus.

Take a Class with Colorado Snowboard Guides

Come and join Colorado Snowboard Guides for an exciting day in the Colorado Rockies and avoid the crowds at the ski slopes!

They provide backcountry snowboarding encounters for snowboarders of all skill levels and experience in the Summit County region.

Discover the snowboarding techniques needed to access the backcountry.

Relish in the silence and tranquility of the wilderness while split boarding some untracked corners.

Colorado Snowboard Guides provide classes for everyone, from beginners to experts.

There are courses in snowboard mountaineering, advanced split boarding, and more; private classes can be arranged upon request.

Grab a Drink and Order a Meal at Dillon Dam Brewery

Among the nine breweries and brewpubs in Summit County, Colorado, the Dillon Dam Brewery first opened its doors in February 1997.

Over 70 food options and up to 20 beers on tap are available at this American-style brewery serving lunch and dinner.

Relish a complete bar with wine, specialty cocktails, hot winter drinks, appetizers, soups, burgers, pub favorites, meals, and magnificent desserts.

In addition to everyday happy hour from 3-6 pm, families and youngsters are welcome and can choose from a well-liked children’s menu.

Drop by the retail store at Dillon Dam Brewery, offering gift cards, t-shirts, hats, accessories, glasses, souvenirs, and more.

Practice your Aim at Elevation Bowl

Would you like to bowl at a newly remodeled facility in Dillon, Colorado?

Visit Elevation Bowl, conveniently situated between four of the largest Colorado ski facilities on Main Road in Dillon.

Everybody can find something on the menu at Elevation Bowl, including burgers, chicken tenders, kid-friendly snacks, and a stack of your absolute favorites.

Elevation Bowl can host big and small parties thanks to its 16 brand-new bowling lanes.

They provide several party spaces for you to host your future event.

Gather the kids and let them go on a thrilling bowling adventure!

Sit Still and Relax at Skyline Cinema 8

Skyline Cinema 8 delivers entertainment to the Summit County resort region, which covers Dillon, Silverthorne, Keystone, Frisco, and other surrounding areas.

Its goal is to offer a large-city movie theater experience at small-town costs.

The auditoriums of Skyline Cinema 8 offer a cozy setting with high-back rocker chairs, generous row spacing, and stadium seating.

Additionally, it features the most recent technology, including 3D, 7.1 Digital Surround sound, and 100% digital projection.

The staff members are committed to providing each moviegoer with a special experience.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Get Lost in the Ptarmigan Peak Wilderness

View of Ptarmigan Peak Wilderness

Tyler McCann /

Outside Silverthorne, you can also make a memorable journey to the Ptarmigan Peak Wilderness.

The area spans 12,615 acres, so you’ll never run out of space to explore.

If you want to experience unspoiled nature, your best option is Ptarmigan Peak.

You can find this wilderness at the south slope of Ptarmigan Peak, which stands 12,458 feet above sea level.

View of Ptarmigan Peak Wilderness

David Spates /

As you roam the wilderness, you can find various trees, such as Engelmann spruce and subalpine fur.

Go high enough, and you’ll also reach a freezing tundra, so bring winter gear.

Of course, you can also spot native wildlife from time to time.

Go Hiking Again at the Old Dillon Reservoir

Picturesque view of Old Dillon Reservoir

Sergey Malomuzh /

In 1930, the old town of Dillon built the first Dillon Reservoir to supply their water.

However, the town grew larger in time, and they needed a bigger reservoir.

So, they decided to build the new Dillon Reservoir, which covered the original town.

Today, you can hike to the original reservoir through the trail of the Frisco town limits.

You’ll pass through several groves of aspen and pine, providing you with enough cool shade.

Hiking trail at Old Dillon Reservoir

Michael Swanstrom /

You can even find various colorful wildflowers by the trail.

While walking, you’ll also get treated to majestic views of Lake Dillon and Frisco.

Once you reach the Old Dillon Reservoir, take your time to absorb the jaw-dropping sweeping panorama of the surrounding areas.

To the southwest, you can see the Tenmile Range. Look south, and you’ll see Mt. Guyot and Bald Mountain.

If you hike a little more to the north, you can see Silverthorne.

Look to the northwest to see Buffalo Mountain and find Ptarmigan Peak to the northeast.

Find the Old Dillon Reservoir trailhead at Dillon Dam Rd, Silverthorne, CO 80498.

Landscape of Old Dillon Reservoir

Sergey Malomuzh /

Treat Yourself at the Silverthorne Recreation Center

Just five minutes away from Dillon, the town of Silverthorne also offers enjoyable activities for the whole family.

For example, you can go to the 65,000-square-foot Silverthorne Recreation Center and join any activity you can imagine.

You can splash around at the center’s four pools or get soaked at the three water slides.

You can also get fit at the indoor gym or track.

Otherwise, you can work on your cardio or weight training and relax in the hot tubs, sauna, and steam room.

The Recreation Center also provides excellent childcare services to enjoy yourself without worrying about your kids.

Visit the Silverthorne Recreation Center at 430 Rainbow Dr., CO 80498.

Final Thoughts

Along with nearby towns, Dillon offers plenty of historical and outdoor attractions to delight all manner of a tourist.

Moreover, its nature spots also offer unique experiences, making for an unforgettable trip.

What are you waiting for?

Book your Dillon vacation today!

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