A Beginners Guide to Kayaking on Lake Dillon

Kayaking across Lake Dillon provides you with the chance to see breathtaking mountain views, explore nature, and see animals, all while enjoying time with family and friends. That being said, kayaking can be an intimidating experience if you?ve never done it before. If you?re visiting Lake Dillon and want to make the most of your weekend by taking a kayak adventure, you don?t have to let being a kayaking beginner scare you off from giving it a try. Here are our top tips for kayaking for beginners on Lake Dillon.

Come Prepared

One of the most essential parts of kayaking as a beginner is to make sure you come prepared with the right gear.

The first and most important thing is to make sure you have a life jacket. If you?re taking a guided tour with us on Lake Dillon, we will provide life jackets. If you?re kayaking on your own, make sure you have a Coast Guard approved life jacket that fits properly. Wear comfortable, weather-appropriate clothing. We also recommend wearing swimwear or athletic clothing that is non-cotton if you have that handy. Keep in mind that your clothes may get wet! If it?s a sunny day, be sure to wear a sun-shielding hat and sunglasses.

Also, make sure to wear sunscreen. Kayaking trips can range from an hour and a half to 3 hours, so make sure you?re hydrated and have a meal or a snack beforehand to make sure your energy will be sustained throughout the trip. If you plan on bringing your phone or a camera, make sure you have them store away safely and bring a waterproof case if possible.

Safety Precautions

Even when you?re prepared, there are certain safety cautions you need to take. First and foremost, you should file a floatplan, stating where you are going and when they plan on coming back. Especially as a beginner, you shouldn?t be kayaking alone. Make sure you have a kayak buddy or a group that can help you. As a beginner, you should stay close enough to the shore that it?s a distance you can easily swim. Do research of the area that you are going to be navigating through, and make sure you know the currents, tides, and weather forecast. Storms often pop up around 2 pm, so you should plan your trip with that in mind. Stick to kayaking on a day with mild weather and when the water temperatures won?t be too cold as a beginner. Bring a whistle that can be used as a distress signal in case of an emergency.

Take A Guided Kayak Tour on Lake Dillon

While being prepared and taking safety precautions will help you kayaking as a beginner, the best recommendation we have is to take a guided tour on Lake Dillon.

There are so many things that go into kayaking as a beginner, like making sure your kayak is adjusted properly, how to hold your paddle, the different types of kayak strokes, how to launch properly, and more. Some of these things may be difficult to handle without some guidance.

Adventure Paddle Tours provides award-winning guided kayak tours out of the Frisco Bay Marina at Lake Dillon. Our guides are highly trained to help you make the best out of your kayaking experiences, as well as give you the best views of nature through Lake Dillon you could possibly find. Book a tour with us today in Frisco and you won?t regret it!

Adventure Paddle Tours TripAdvisor 2019 Certificate of Excellence

We are honored to announce that Adventure Paddle Tours has been named the number one outdoor activity in Frisco, Colorado by TripAdvisor!

We also received the 2019 Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor and have been added to the Trip Advisor Hall of Fame.

Trip Advisor?s Certificate of Excellence and Hall of Fame program honors hospitality businesses that deliver consistently great service across the world. The designation is presented to approximately 10% of total businesses on TripAdvisor. There is no application process for this certification, and it is presented to businesses that consistently achieve great reviews throughout the year.

Without our excellent customers who come through and take the time to write reviews for us, this award wouldn?t be possible! Along with the certificate of excellence, we were named the number one activity to do in Frisco, Colorado ? among other outdoor activities, boat tours, water sports, tours & more.

More About Our Award-Winning Kayak Tours

Some of our top mentioned tours in our Trip Advisor reviews are morning tours and sunset tours. Users who review us often also mention the flora and fauna they see, the pictures they?re able to take (Instagram-worthy, we hear), and the knowledgeable guides.

All of our guided kayak tours are based out of the Frisco Bay Marina at Lake Dillon, where you will be led by our expert guides, explore the abundant wildlife and nature views. There are different tours depending on the size of your group and preferences. Our 2.5-hour island tour is the most popular tour and is perfect for beginners. The adults-only sunset tour is located on limited days due to the uncertainty of weather but is a great way to get a great view of the incredible sunset views over the lake. Our newest Dillon Explorer boat supported kayak tour utilizes a 24-foot pontoon boat to help guide you back through the reservoir.

We also offer a shorter 1.5-hour family tour, great for children as young as 6 years old to get the whole family out of the water. Additionally, we have 3-hour private kayak tour, which are great for corporate events, parties, or family reunions, with the tour being fully customizable depending on your group?s needs.

Book A Guided Kayak Tour with Us Today

If you are ready to experience our award-winning guided kayak tours, book with Adventure Paddle Tours today! We recommend planning ahead, as we can get booked out in advance for weekends and holidays. Our tours depart daily as early as 8 am and as late as 7 pm, and we recommend booking tours early in the day for less wind and avoiding afternoon thunderstorms. Click here to book your tour with us today and contact us with any questions.

Planning a Weekend Trip to Lake Dillon

Looking for the perfect weekend getaway in Colorado this summer? Lake Dillon is located in the heart of Summit County Colorado, which is just over an hour away from Denver, making it the perfect location to escape to the mountains for the weekend and enjoy the warm summer weather.

As local experts in the area, we have the ultimate guide to the steps you need to take to plan the perfect weekend trip on Lake Dillon.

Find Lodging

Before you take the weekend trip to Lake Dillon, you have to find a place to stay for the weekend.

If you want to experience things like a local, try to find an Airbnb or VRBO around Summit County ? there?s many options for condos or homes that you can rent out, with a variety of numbers of bedrooms depending on the size of your group.

If you don?t want to go that route, there?s a number of hotels in the area ranging from cheaper motels if you want to keep it simple, to luxury hotels if you want a more high end experience. Because summer is a busy season in this area, we recommend booking in advance to get the best deals.

Packing List

If you?re just taking a weekend trip, you can pack light, but there are a few essentials you don?t want to forget. Summer temperatures are usually predictable, but thunderstorms can come through in the summer, so it?s important to pack layers and have all the fundamentals you need for you outdoor adventures.

When it comes to clothing, you want to make sure you have everything you need to brave the outdoors depending on the weather.

We recommend packing hiking shorts, short sleeved shirts, long pants, long sleeve shirts, a waterproof jacket, comfortable walking shoes, broken in hiking shoes, bathing suit, sunglasses, and a wide brim hat.

Of course, you want to bring all your normal toiletries like toothbrushes, deodorant, and shampoo and conditioner, but don?t forget a high SPF sunscreen, lip balm, aloe lotion, and bug spray. Some electronics essentials to bring are a camera to document your adventures, a flashlight, extra batteries, an external phone charger.

Plan Your Weekend Activities

Our latest blog post outlines some of the best activities for you to do on Lake Dillon. Some of the things you can do include a fishing trip, sailing lesson, camping, hiking, mountain biking and more.

Because your time is so limited on a weekend trip, we recommend sitting down with your group and putting together an itinerary of the activities you want to do while your there. Decide the top things you want to do and book the activities in advance so your plans are set, and you can make the most of your weekend trip.

Book A Guided Kayak Tour with Adventure Paddle Tours

Kick off your weekend trip on Lake Dillon by taking a guided kayak tour through the Dillon Reservoir with Adventure Paddle Tours!

We offer a range of guided kayak tours that can fit different size groups and different experience levels. Our guides are also experts in the area that can give you a true local experience and can give you recommendations on more things to do and see around the area. Book a tour today to get the best Lake Dillon weekend experience.

The Perfect Day on Lake Dillon

Imagine a crisp, clear, spring day on Lake Dillon. It is just starting to get warmed by the cresting sun over the eastern mountain line. ?The skies are bluebird and the day is abound with possibility. ?What should we do on Lake Dillon today?

Walk the Dog on Lake Dillon

Fido at the beach on Lake Dillon

First, on the must-to-do list is walk/run the dogs, what better place than the 20-30 minute loop trail around the iconic Sapphire Point up on Swan Mountain road which connects Highways 6 by Keystone/Dillon/Silverthorne, Highway 9 and Breckenridge/Frisco. Don?t forget to look for Golden Mantle Squirrels. ?These guys are a rare little critter that inhabits the point. ?If you want to stay in Frisco, bring your dog down to the Frisco Bay Marina. ?The newly constructed sand beach has proven to be an excellent spot to encourage Fido to jump into Lake Dillon.

Eat Breakfast in Frisco

After that, it might be time for breakfast. Just down the hill and around one of the fingers of the lake is the thumb of the lake, a historic town called Frisco, Colorado. It is named after the first railroad whose tracks made its way through town along the line from St. Louis to San Fransisco. With a well established main street. ?There are many gems off the beaten path. There are tons of options to break the fast like; Abby?s Coffee, Butterhorn Bakery, or grab a breakfast burrito at the Log Cabin. ?Abby's Coffee is literally 100 yards away from the Frisco Bay Marina. ?You will often find Adventure Paddle Tours owneroperatort Kyle Mckenzie drinking multiple cups of amazing coffee!

Kayak Lake Dillon

Kayaking Lake Dillon
Kayaking Lake Dillon

Nothing complements a good breakfast like paddling around a glass calm alpine lake surrounded by mountains. Located at the end of Main Street is the Frisco Marina, which is a beautiful area to relax and enjoy the pristine surroundings. Walking around the marina you might see other people approaching the docks to go out fishing or take the ferry to Dillon, or even the rowing club carrying their streamlined rowboats out for practice. By now if the views and experience aren?t enough and you want the full experience from the water, take a tour with us at Adventure Paddle Tours located on the pier for a guided family-friendly nature tour to find the secret spots and maybe see the animals waking up.

Eat Lunch in Frisco

After a great paddle around the lake, it is time for lunch, The Island Grill located at the Frisco Bay Marina overlooks Lake Dillon and they?have amazing Fish Tacos. ?Perhaps a short walk down Main Street in Frisco for mac & cheese at Ollies or burgers and sandwiches at Silverheels Bar and Grill. ?All three restaurants are within walking distance of Lake Dillon

Bike Vail Pass

After lunch maybe take a bike shuttle up Vail pass. ?From the top, you can ride the paved bike path downhill for miles and miles past Copper Mountain and into Tenmile Canyon. Arriving back in Frisco gather up the family and head on over to Silverthorne via i70 or the Dillon Dam Road to The Mint restaurant for a unique grill your own steak at the oldest restaurant in Colorado, and one of the buildings that was moved along with the rest of the towns across the area that is now under Lake Dillon. Right next to The Mint are the outlets in Silverthorne stop for ice cream or a Colorado T-shirt and then off to the Dillon Marina for one of the best sunsets you will ever see, with the sun setting over Frisco and the islands you've kayaked and mountain trails you?ve hiked and biked!

Congratulations, you just had a perfect day around Lake Dillon!

Top Things to do on Dillon Reservoir

There are so many things to do on and around Lake Dillon that you probably can?t do them all in one day.? You can hike, bike, sail, kayak, motorboat, camp, and even play disc golf all on lake Dillon.? Below is a small list of my favorite things to do on Lake Dillon and if these activities don?t fit your families needs don?t worry there are still more things to do on Lake Dillon.?

Take a kayak tour

Kayak with moose

Obviously, I believe kayaking is the absolute best way to enjoy Dillon reservoir.? If you take one of our early tours launching around 9 am, you are able to experience Dillon when few other boaters are out and about.? We offer some pretty cool kayaking options; we have our top selling 2.5-hour island kayak tour, hour 1.5-hour family kayak tour, a sunset tour and new this year is our boat assisted kayak tour.? Adding a pontoon boat to our services allows us to now kayak all the way down the blue river arm and kayak to the Dillon side of the lake.? We?ve been guiding on the Frisco side of the reservoir for 10 years and now that we are able to kayak to the Snake River it?s like we are on a whole new lake! Feel free to Book a tour online!

Take a sailing lesson

Some of you may know that Dillon is also an amazing lake to sail on.? I actually live on a 23 foot Oday and have been for 2 summers now.? You can rent or take a lesson from WindRider of the rockies. They operate right next to us out of the Frisco Bay Marina.? Their website has three boats listed for rentals but I?m pretty sure they have 5 sailboats in their fleet.? The three listed on their website are a Catalina 18, a Santana 22 and an Ensign 22.? It?s usually best to sail on Dillon between 11 am and 2 pm.? This time frame allows the wind to pick up just enough for some sporty sailing and if you get back before 2 pm you are usually off the water before any thunderstorms roll in. ?

Book a fishing trip

Brown Trout on Ten Mile Creek

Randy Ford with Alpine Fishing Adventures has been crazy successful this year landing some big trout on Dillon Reservoir.? Just check out his Instagram page I?m pretty impressed.? They also operate out of the Frisco Bay Marina and run fishing trips on their 22 foot G3 pontoons.? I joke with my guests on kayak tours that they run on the fastest pontoon boat ever built.? If you are looking to do some fishing on Dillon reservoir or just cruise around with a great Captain Randy is your guy!

Play Disc Golf

The Disc Golf course on Lake Dillon is spectacular.? You will access it from highway 9 just south of Frisco going towards Breckenridge.? Enter the Frisco Recreation peninsula into google maps or GPS.? The course has 18 holes and a number of views of Lake Dillon.? There is also a bike and hiking trail here.? Dogs typically run free on the course, but be careful because early summer there are often moose around closer to the lake.?

Go Camping

Camping in Colorado

There are 5 campgrounds on Dillon Reservoir. Heaton Bay, Pine Cove, Windy point, Prospector, and Peak one are all within walking distance to the shores of Dillon Reservoir.? These campgrounds often fill up on busy weekends but I?ve been told either at Prospector or Lowry if you walk up the day of they will make room for tent campers in a large field.? There is nothing worse than driving a long distance to find there are zero campsites available.? However, if you find yourself stuck here with no site feel free to give us a call.? There are 100s of dispersed campsites in the County that aren?t listed on the web. ?

Hike or Mountain Bike

The Peaks trail, the peninsula trail, lily pad lakes, old Dillon reservoir, Royal Mountain, North Ten Mile Creek.? These are hikes that I was able to list off the top of my head within a minute.? I?m blown away every day when I decide to go hike and have so many options.? There are beginner trails like Lilly Pad or the Peninsula Trail or there are much harder and steeper trails like Royal Mountain, all at some point during the hike will give you impressive views of Lake Dillon.? There is one very important thing you must consider if you plan on mountain biking.? Mountain Biking is strictly prohibited in Wilderness Areas, this would include most trails within the Gore Range and in Silverthorne on Ptarmigan Peak.

Dillon Reservoir Kayak and SUP Launch Sites

Updated 4/142022: The Frisco Bay Marina construction is definitely winding down! Fingers crossed it will be up and running by this summer! I’m not 100% sure if the parking spaces will start to free up, but I would imagine there will be less work traffic using their spaces.

Construction at the Frisco Bay Marina is expected to go on until June 1st. As a result, it made sense to write the first blog post on the different access locations for kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) on Dillon Reservoir. There are two towns that sit on Dillon Reservoir. Frisco is our favorite, but Dillon is great too. These two marinas are the only two launch sites that provide ANS checks. Therefore, if visitors plan to use a trailer or launch a motorboat, they must launch from these marinas. ANS stands for Aquatic Nuisance Species and boats and trailers must be checked for these species. Here are the 5 best areas to launch your kayak or stand-up paddleboard on Lake Dillon. Remember, hand launching only if you are not launching at Dillon or Frisco. Please remember before leaving any body of water, drain all remaining water left in your watercraft and be sure not to transport any aquatic hitchhikers!

Dillon Dam Rd Kayak and SUP launch

Updated on 4/14/22 This area has definitely seen a huge increase in traffic and parking is limited. If you park on the side of the road you will be ticketed!

This is my second favorite and the closest site to Frisco for kayaking and paddleboarding. There are multiple areas off of Dillon Dam Road, where you can walk down, but in my opinion, the best option is the day-use area about .5 miles from Highway 9 in Frisco. This launch site provides kayakers and paddleboarders access to Giberson Bay within minutes of kayaking. Giberson Bay is full of smaller islands and is fairly shallow, providing you safe kayaking on Dillon. You can also access the larger part of Lake Dillon from Dillon Dam road if you follow the north shore and kayak between Sentinel Island and Heaton Bay Campground. Heaton Bay Campground is a Forest Service campground with great access to the water. If you camp here you can leave your kayak or paddleboard near the water’s edge and from certain campsites launch directly from your site.

Snake River Inlet Kayak and SUP Launch

The second launch site for a kayak or SUP is from the Snake River Inlet. This is a unique part of Dillon Reservoir and probably the least used of all kayak and paddleboard launch sites. The Snake River Inlet is located south of the Town of Dillon about halfway between Dillon and the Keystone Ski resort. The Snake River inlet is a long, narrow small canyon carved out by the Snake River for over 1,000s of years. Wind will typically blow from the west straight towards the launch site. However, if you launch your kayak or SUP early and are off the water by 11 am you should be ok or run a shuttle with your companion and kayak from the Snake River to say the Blue River arm.

Blue River Inlet Kayak and SUP Launch

The Blue River arm is the third access point on Dillon Reservoir and is sandwiched between Breckenridge and Frisco. This is another lesser used spot on Dillon and offers a ton of shoreline access connected to the Frisco Recreation peninsula and some cool steep shoreline on the Swan Mountain side. There is one island located on this stretch called Silver Dollar Island and is a great spot to land your kayak or paddleboard and have lunch or take a break.

Dillon Marina Kayak and SUP Launch

The fourth launch site for your kayak or SUP on Dillon reservoir would be out of the Dillon Marina. If you plan on launching your kayak or SUP early the Dillon Marina is a great option. Remember this is only one of two launch sites where powerboats can access Dillon Reservoir. When launching from the Dillon Marina you are immediately on the largest part of Dillon but during the morning hours, this area provides you with an amazing kayaking experience. However, please remember, the Dillon Marina is located on the east side of Dillon reservoir which will give you a ton of fetch (open water) during windy days in the afternoon.

Frisco Bay Marina Kayak and SUP Launch

The fifth and my favorite launch site on Dillon Reservoir is the Frisco Bay Marina. Initially, you’ll encounter some boat traffic and crowds. However, from here you can kayak north into Giberson Bay or paddleboard east following the Frisco Recreation peninsula. This is where we start all of our kayak tours. Usually, we follow the Frisco Recreation Peninsula out to Sentinel Island. From Sentinel, we then kayak back through Giberson Bay crisscrossing through the 10 to 15 islands. Once through the islands, we are back just in time for lunch at the Island Grill.

Hopefully, this article was helpful. If you plan on kayaking or paddleboarding on Dillon Reservoir, don’t hesitate to give us a call. ?We are here for questions or you can book a tour! After that, you’ll learn about all of our little secret spots that only kayaks and paddleboards can reach!

Real time design tools

Just the other day I happened to wake up early. That is unusual for an engineering student. After a long time I could witness the sunrise. I could feel the sun rays falling on my body. Usual morning is followed by hustle to make it to college on time. This morning was just another morning yet seemed different.

Witnessing calm and quiet atmosphere, clear and fresh air seemed like a miracle to me. I wanted this time to last longer since I was not sure if I would be able to witness it again, knowing my habit of succumbing to schedule. There was this unusual serenity that comforted my mind. It dawned on me, how distant I had been from nature. Standing near the compound’s gate, feeling the moistness that the air carried, I thought about my life so far.

I was good at academics, so decisions of my life had been pretty simple and straight. Being pretty confident I would make it to the best junior college of my town in the first round itself, never made me consider any other option. I loved psychology since childhood, but engineering was the safest option. Being born in a middle class family, thinking of risking your career to make it to medical field was not sane. I grew up hearing ‘Only doctor’s children can afford that field’ and finally ended up believing it. No one around me believed in taking risks. Everyone worshiped security. I grew up doing the same.

This is what has happened to us. We want the things we have been doing forcefully to fail. And then maybe people around us would let us try something else or our dreams. We are accustomed to live by everyone else’s definition of success. We punish people for the things they are passionate about, just because we were unable to do the same at some point in our life.

I feel like these concrete buildings have sucked our desires and our dreams. We are so used to comfort that compromise seems like a taboo. We have lost faith in ourselves. If we can make through it right now, we can do the same in the days to come. You only need a desire to survive and nothing more- not money or cars or designer clothes.

Staying locked up in four walls have restricted our thinking. I feel like our limited thinking echoes through this wall. We are so used to schedules and predictable life that we have successfully suppressed our creative side.

When you step out of these four walls on a peaceful morning, you realize how much nature has to offer to you. Its boundless. Your thoughts, worries, deadlines won’t resonate here. Everything will flow away along with the wind. And you will realize every answer you had been looking for, was always known to you.

It would mean a lot to me if you recommend this article and help me improve. I would love to know your thoughts!

Working from your home?

01. Wake up at the same time every day.

Naturally, my first impression of these headphones is based off of the look of them. They have a classic over-the-ear style that is highlighted by a blue LED light that indicates the power for the noise canceling. The padding on the ear pieces seems adequate for extended usage periods.

They are wired headphones, but the 3.5mm stereo mini-plug cable is detachable. Something else I noticed right of the bat was the very nice carrying case that comes with them. It has a hard plastic exterior with a soft cloth interior that helps to protect the surface of the headphones from scratches. I never truly appreciated cases for headphones until I started carrying them from place-to-place. Now I can’t imagine not having a case.

It’s funny — the thing I feared would take away my “freedom” is the one thing that has allowed me to have it.

Joelle Steiniger

02. Have a routine when you wake up.

Once I gave the headphones a thorough once-over exam, I tried them on. As I mentioned, they have a classic over-the-ear style and just looking at them, the padding on the ear pieces seem adequate and the peak of the headband seemed to be a bit lacking, but you don’t really know comfort unless you try on the product. So, I slipped the headphones on and found them to be exquisitely comfortable. In order to test how voices sounded, and the overall art of sound mixing, I pulled up Netflix on my iPad Air 2 and watched a few minutes of a movie to hear all the nuances of the film. None of them were lost. In fact, I ended up hearing sounds that I hadn’t heard before. Echoes…birds chirping…wind blowing through trees…breathing of the characters…it was very impressive what the headphones ended up bringing out for me.

I’d start my day by checking email, Twitter, Facebook. Reading the “news”. I’d look at my to-do list and start working on something.

03. Plan your workout time — stick to it.

Now that I had the headphones on my head, I was finally ready to plug and play some music. I plugged the provided cable into the jack on the headphones and then the one on my iPhone 6. Then I called up Pandora. I tend to have a very eclectic music purview and have many stations set up for different moods. From John Williams to Fallout Boy, the sound quality of these headphones was remarkable. There is an amazing depth of sound and incredible highs and lows that make listening to music a truly breathtaking experience.

In order to test how voices sounded, and the overall art of sound mixing, I pulled up Netflix on my iPad Air 2 and watched a few minutes of a movie to hear all the nuances of the film. None of them were lost. In fact, I ended up hearing sounds that I hadn’t heard before. Echoes…birds chirping…wind blowing through trees…breathing of the characters…it was very impressive what the headphones ended up bringing out for me.

Distractions aside, there was no real rhyme or reason to my workflow. The not-so-fun (but necessary) stuff kept getting neglected.

04. Call it a night.

Now that I had the headphones on my head, I was finally ready to plug and play some music. I plugged the provided cable into the jack on the headphones and then the one on my iPhone 6. Then I called up Pandora. I tend to have a very eclectic music purview and have many stations set up for different moods. From John Williams to Fallout Boy, the sound quality of these headphones was remarkable. There is an amazing depth of sound and incredible highs and lows that make listening to music a truly breathtaking experience.

In order to test how voices sounded, and the overall art of sound mixing, I pulled up Netflix on my iPad Air 2 and watched a few minutes of a movie to hear all the nuances of the film. None of them were lost. In fact, I ended up hearing sounds that I hadn’t heard before. Echoes…birds chirping…wind blowing through trees…breathing of the characters…it was very impressive what the headphones ended up bringing out for me.