The BEST Lake Dillon Camping

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The beautiful Lake Dillon offers tons of recreational opportunities including fishing, boating, paddle boarding, and much more. Located in the heart of the Rockies near the town of Frisco, our favorite way to experience this area is to plan a Lake Dillon camping trip.

You can choose from one of the six campgrounds located right on the lake, pick a site at a nearby RV campground, or even find some free, dispersed camping in the area. Regardless of your camping preferences, you’re sure to find the perfect campsite for your trip.

We’ve put together this guide to help you pick the right campground for your next Lake Dillon camping adventure!

Let’s get started.

Lake Dillon Camping Guide

 

The Basics

The following sections contain all the basic information you need to plan a Lake Dillon camping trip.  This includes everything from when to camp, what to bring, how to get there, and how to make a reservation.

We’ve included your best camping options on the map below, with each campground described in more detail in the following sections.

As a side note, you’ll often see Lake Dillon and Dillon Reservoir used interchangeably to describe this body of water. Although it is a reservoir, we prefer to refer to it is Lake Dillon.

When to Camp at Lake Dillon

As with most destinations in Colorado’s high country, Lake Dillon is a summer camping destination. All of the campgrounds included in this guide are open seasonally, generally from mid-May through the end of September or early-October.

During the winter months, snow and freezing temperatures make a camping trip less than ideal!

Keep in mind that camping at Lake Dillon is very popular during the peak summer months of July and August, so you’ll want to be sure to reserve your site as far in advance as possible.

 

What to Bring

While we’re sure you’ll already have the essentials like a great tentsleeping bags, and camp chairs, but below are some of our favorite items specifically for Lake Dillon camping:

  • Map: A good map is essential to making sure you are on public land, exploring the area, and learning more about your surroundings. We recommend this National Geographic map which covers the Vail, Frisco, and Dillon areas.
  • Coleman Camping Stove – This classic piece of gear is perfect for cooking up deluxe campsite dinners.
  • Portable water container – A portable water container is a life saver while camping.
  • Cooler – Keeping food and drinks cool is critical when camping. We can’t recommend Yeti enough!

Permits, Fees, & Reservations for Lake Dillon Camping

Out of the six developed campgrounds adjacent to Lake Dillon all but one accept reservations in advance. These campgrounds can generally be booked up to six months in advance through the USFS online booking system on Recreation.gov.

The lone exception to this is the Pine Cove Campground, which makes all 32 campsites available on a first-come, first served basis. This is handy for those planning a last minute camping trip, as you’ll always have the possibility of securing a site here.

Fees vary depending on the campsite, and generally range from $24 – $26/night, with the Heaton Bay and Lowry Campgrounds charging an additional $5 on top of that if you’d like to hook up to electricity. The group sites at the Windy Point Group Campground range in price from $215 – $265/night depending on the site.

For dispersed camping near Lake Dillon along Miner’s Creek Road there are no permits or fees required, but we always recommend checking with Dillon Ranger District for the most up to date regulations.

 

Other Considerations

  • Environmental Impact: Lake Dillon camping is very popular, with most campground near capacity during the summer. As such, it is important to minimize your impact and leave your campsite in better shape than you found it.
  • Fire Bans: While fires are generally allowed at all of the campgrounds in this guide, be sure to comply with any fire bans in place. This is especially true for those who are dispersed camping.
  • Ranger Districts: For more information, current conditions, and camping advice we recommend contacting the Dillon Ranger District office.

Lake Dillon Camping

Lake Dillon has five developed campgrounds located on the shores of the reservoir, while the Lowry Campground is just a short distance from the water. Each of these developed campgrounds offers a unique experience, so be sure to read the individual descriptions below when deciding on a site.

One of our favorite things about camping at Lake Dillon is how close you are to Frisco where you can easily stock up on camping supplies or even enjoy a meal out just a few minutes from your campsite!

Dillon Reservoir with mountains in the background

Heaton Bay Campground

Number of Sites: 87 sites
Fee: $26 – $31/night depending on hookups.
RVs: Yes, max length of 50 ft
Reservations: Recommended. Click here to reserve.
Season: Open seasonally.

Heaton Bay is one of the most popular campgrounds at Lake Dillon and in all of Summit County. This 87 site campground has stunning views of the reservoir and the Tenmile Range beyond. The Dillon Reservoir bike path runs adjacent to the campground and is the perfect place for an easy bike ride or stroll.

Individual sites at Heaton Bay feature picnic tables and fire rings, while the campground provides vault toilets as well as drinking water. RVs are welcome at Heaton Bay and there are several sites that have electric hookups for an additional $5/night fee.

Reservations are accepted on a six-month rolling basis, and given the popularity of the campground are highly recommended. However, there are a handful of tent-only walk-to sites that are always available on a first-come, first served basis.

Heaton Bay Campground
Heaton Bay Campground. Photo credit USFS.

Peak One Campground

Number of Sites: 80 sites
Fee: $25/night
RVs: Yes, max length of 50 ft.
Reservations: Recommended. Click here to reserve.
Season: Open seasonally.

Situated on the south side of Lake Dillon, the Peak One Campground is perfectly located for those looking for easy lake access and close proximity to Frisco. While you won’t find much shade here, you’ll enjoy beautiful views of the Gore Range and easy access to the water.

Campsites at Peak One have both picnic tables and fire rings, with communal bathrooms also available. RVs up to 50′ in length are welcome, although there are no hookups available.

You can reserve your campsite at the Peak One Campground up to six-months in advance on Recreation.gov.

Aerial view of Peak One Campground at Lake Dillon
Peak One Campground. Photo credit USFS.

Pine Cove Campground

Number of Sites: 32 sites
Fee: $24/night depending on site.
RVs: Yes, max length of 40 ft.
Reservations: First-come, first-served
Season: Open seasonally.

Pine Cove is the only first-come, first-served campsite at Lake Dillon, making it the perfect option for a last minute camping trip. Be warned that the campground isn’t much more than a parking lot with a few adjacent tent areas. You’ll have easy access to the Frisco Peninsula, which has several miles of excellent trails, from your campsite at Pine Cove.

There is a boat ramp into Lake Dillon at Pine Cove, so if you’re planning on enjoying some recreation on the reservoir this may be a good option.

Reservations aren’t accepted here, so you’ll want to be sure to arrive early if you’re hoping to secure a site. With only 32 individual campsites, Pine Cove is full most nights during the summer.

 

Prospector Campground

Number of Sites: 107 sites
Fee: $24/night depending on site.
RVs: Yes, max length of 32 ft.
Reservations: Recommended. Click here to reserve.
Season: Open seasonally.

The Prospector Campground is located on the southeast side of Lake Dillon and is the most isolated from Frisco. For many this will be part of the appeal as you’ll feel a bit more “out there” compared to some other Lake Dillon campgrounds.

Although the campground isn’t small with over 100 individual sites, many guests rave about the privacy and good spacing between campsites. The campground can accommodate tents, RVs, and trailers, with a maximum length of approximately 32 feet. All sites include a picnic table and fire ring.

Reservations can be made for camping at the Prospector Campground up to six months in advance on Recreation.gov.

 

Windy Point Group Campground

Number of Sites: 2 sites
Fee: $215 – $265/night depending on site.
RVs: Yes, max length of 50 ft.
Reservations: Recommended. Click here to reserve.
Season: Open seasonally.

The Windy Point Campground is the only group camping option at Lake Dillon. There are two groups sites here, the Lake Loop and the Forest Loop. Both can accommodate up to 100 people as well as tents, trailers, and RVs. The Lake loop site also has a large picnic shelter.

Windy Point is located on Lake Dillon’s southern shores and has great views of both the Tenmile and Gore Ranges in the distance.

Advance reservations are essential for these two campsites and should be made as early as possible for any summer weekends.

 

Lowry Campground

Number of Sites: 27 sites
Fee: $24 – $29/night depending on hookups.
RVs: Yes, max length of 32 ft.
Reservations: Recommended. Click here to reserve.
Season: Open seasonally.

Set on a hill above Lake Dillon, the Lowry Campground is the only one included in this guide that isn’t adjacent to the water. However, you’ll still be close to the reservoir and be able to take advantage of the all the recreational opportunities at Lake Dillon.

Lowry is a smaller campground with just 27 sites that each feature picnic tables and fire rings. RVs are welcome and several sites have electric hookups available for an additional fee.

Reservations can be made up to six months in advance at the Lowry Campground via Recreation.gov. In addition, there are three tent-only campsites that are always available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Camping Near Lake Dillon

If you arrive to find all of the campgrounds around Lake Dillon full or simply are looking for something a little different, there are still a few additional options for camping near Lake Dillon. This includes free, dispersed camping as well as a local RV campground. Read on to learn more.

A sailboat on Lake Dillon

Lake Dillon RV Camping

Tiger Run RV Resort

Number of sites: Plenty!
Fee: $100 – $140/night depending on site.
RVs: Yes, full hookups available.
Reservations: Recommended. Click here to reserve.

The Tiger Run Resort is a large RV park located between Frisco and Breckenridge that provides a great option for those hoping to camp near Lake Dillon in their RV. You’ll find tons of amenities here including full RV hookups, a pool, fitness center, and much more.

As a bonus, Tiger Run is fully equipped to handle winter RV campers!

 

Lake Dillon Dispersed Camping

There aren’t tons of options for dispersed camping near Lake Dillon, but you do have a good option along Miner’s Creek Road described below. For additional dispersed camping in the area, be sure to check out our guide to dispersed camping near Breckenridge.

Miner’s Creek Road Dispersed Camping

Restrooms: No
Water: 
No
Crowds: 
Busy
Map

Miner’s Creek Road is located just south of Lake Dillon, and adjacent to the town of Frisco. Also known as FR 1000, this popular destination for dispersed camping is your best bet in the area. Given the popularity of camping and recreating in this area, it is essential to practice Leave No Trace camping here.

Dispersed camping is permitted beginning approximately 1/4 mile past the parking area at the beginning of the road. Look for already established campsite and be sure you are not within 100′ of the creek!

 

Have a great trip!

That’s it!

We hope we’ve provided all of the information you need to plan a great Lake Dillon camping trip, and we know you’ll find the perfect campsite for your upcoming adventure!

Be sure to let us know in the comments below if you have any questions and be sure to tell us about your trip!

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