Top 5 summer activities on Lake Dillon in Frisco, Colorado |

Top 5 summer activities on Lake Dillon in Frisco, Colorado

by Lauren Glendenning | brought to you by The Town of Frisco
New Belgium Timberline Cruiser Regatta Fun Race, Frisco Bay Marina, Frisco, Colorado
Todd Powell

Dunk your paddles into Lake Dillon early enough in the morning and you’ll be fortunate enough to enjoy breathtaking views, calm waters and splendid serenity.

Lake Dillon, also known as Dillon Reservoir, offers unbeatable views and a friendly marina at the end of Frisco’s Main Street.

While swimming and water-contact sports such as water skiing and scuba diving are prohibited, there are water activities ideal for everyone from adventure-seekers to leisure-lovers.

Here are 5 ways to enjoy a summer day on the lake from the Frisco Bay Marina. Just don’t forget to end the day with some blackened fish tacos or a Dark ‘n’ Stormy at the Island Grill.


  1. Get up early and paddle

The early morning hours are some of Lake Dillon’s calmest. It’s a time of day that Vanessa Agee, the Town of Frisco’s marketing and communications director, loves being on her stand-up paddleboard.

“It’s insanely beautiful,” she says. “The marina is really good for paddle sports — Frisco Bay is really protected. And there are a lot of islands you can go to that you can’t in motor boats.”

Some of those islands and coves are popular places for picnics, she adds.

The marina rents out stand-up paddleboards, single and tandem kayaks, and two- and- three-person canoes.

“Kayaks are probably the easiest way to go — they don’t require the skill in paddling of a canoe or the balance of a paddleboard,” says Tom Hogeman, general manager of the Frisco Bay Marina, adding that the best time of day to head out on the paddle crafts is first thing in the morning or before noon.


  1. Explore the lake on a powerboat

If you prefer a little more speed for your water adventures, powerboats are a popular way to get around the lake. Pontoon boats — or 90-horsepower “floating couches,” as Agee likes to call them — can accommodate up to 14 people and require almost no special boating knowledge or skills.

Runabouts are boats that drive like cars, offering more speed at 150 horsepower. Fishing boats are also available to rent (see No. 4).

“The powerboat rentals are certainly one of the easiest ways to get out on the water,” Hogeman says.


  1. Go rowing

The Frisco Rowing Center is a nonprofit organization that operates out of the Frisco Bay Marina and offers memberships, rentals, lessons and coaching. A National Geographic videographer recently featured the reservoir and its beautiful scenery in a piece about rowing as a meditative sport, according to Joanne Stolen, president of the Frisco Rowing Center.

“Lake Dillon is one of the most scenic places to row,” she says. “We have glass-calm water most mornings, and very little other boat traffic.”

Daily rowing lessons are offered from 8 to 9:30 a.m.,

and there are three open house learn-to-row days on June 3, 10 and 11, from 8 to 10 a.m. Anyone seeking lessons or more information can email or call 970-409-8435.

  1. Catch some fish

Bring the dog — they are allowed on all powerboat rentals — and hit the water with your fishing gear (or rent some gear from the Frisco Bay Marina) with a group of up to five people. Fishing boat rentals include a bobber, two hooks and two sinkers, and fishing licenses — required for anyone over the age of 15 in Colorado — are available at the marina office.


  1. Glide across the water on a sailboat

From beginners to experts, Lake Dillon offers spectacular views and conditions for sailing. Windrider of the Rockies,

operating out of the Frisco Bay Marina, provides sailing lessons, tours, rentals and American Sailing Association certification.


Reserve a spot, have some fun

Information about how to make reservations for water activities on Lake Dillon can be found at

Town of Frisco, 1 Main Street, Frisco, (800) 424-1554,

By Lauren Glendenning | brought to you by The Town of Frisco

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