Lake Dillon in Summit County is one of the busiest reservoirs in the state of Colorado for recreational boaters. once on the water, it is easy to see why. The massive views of Grays and Torreys Peak (both 14ers) along with the Ten Mile Range, Wichita Peak and Ptarmigan Ridge makes Lake Dillon one of the prettiest reservoir's in the country. The lake also offers two marina's; both of which offer food and drinks at their marina bars. For Paddle Boarders and Sea Kayakers, the reservoir offers multiple islands for exploration and paddling around. At its deepest point, Lake Dillon is 180' feet deep and keeps an average temperature of 38 degrees. Swimming in Lake Dillon is against the law and carries large fines along with dangers of hypothermia. Wet-suites are recommended for Paddle Boarders and Sea Kayakers along with plenty of sunscreen and drinking water.
You'll often see paddle boarders and kayakers venturing off into the middle of the lake but it's a usually a sign that they are unfamiliar with the body of water. There are 3 main currents that move through the lake due to the Snake River, Blue River and Ten Mile Creek that all feed into the lake. Along with the currents, you also have gusty winds that come through Officer's Gulch and will often times swirl and circle back on the lake. From years of experience working at the Frisco Marina, I can tell you first hand that you do not want to be stuck in the middle of the lake under paddle power when the winds come in. Lake Dillon is considered one of the hardest bodies of water to sail because of the ever changing winds, storms and strong currents.
So, with that said. We at RMAR along with the folks at the Frisco Marina will always recommend that you paddle along the shore line. Not only will the shore line protect you from the winds and currents but you will also be protected from the many power boaters who often times do not pay attention to what they are doing. Starting from the Frisco Marina, you can easily make your way into the many islands along the Frisco boardwalk and protected marsh lands. The water is very shallow which not only helps it warm up more than the main body of water but it also keeps power boaters from entering; giving you your own personal play area. Our map indicates the ideal route to take but keep in mind: depending on winter snowfall, the lake may not be at full water levels which can change the path that you take. What may normally be an island could just as easily be a peninsula depending on water levels. As an added note, the islands are great for walks and picnics but it is against the law to camp on the islands so don't be that person.