Dillon Nature Preserve
To hike, snowshoe or nordic ski at the Dillon Nature Preserve, park in the lot located on Highway 6, one mile east of the Tenderfoot Street intersection and directly across from the entrance to the Dillon Cemetery. Walk along the bike path back toward Dillon, 1/3 mile to the intersection of the path with the Denver Water access road. Follow the road approximately 1/2 mile to the trailhead. This area also can be reached by using the recreation path to walk or bike from Dillon or Summit Cove. Bicycles and motorized vehicles are prohibited at the Dillon Nature Preserve.
The Town of Dillon acquired the Roberts Tunnel Peninsula Open Space through an annexation with Denver water in 1996, and it was designated as the Dillon Nature Preserve. There are two trail loops, covering over 2 miles, crossing meadows, forests and rock outcrops to access scenic overviews. The Dillon Nature Preserve is open year-round, but please keep in mind during the fall and winter months that hunting and snowmobiling are prohibited.
To access the trails at the Old Dillon Reservoir, travel east on Dillon Dam Road for approximately 1.4 miles. On the left, just past Heaton Bay Campground there is a sign slightly off the road. Turn in and park in the designated spaces. The .75 mile trail begins at an elevation of 9,066 feet and ends at an elevation of 9,193 feet, with a highest elevation of 9,203 feet. The elevation gain is +127 feet. The trail difficulty is rated EASY. This trail is used for multiple activities, including hiking, mountain biking, snowshoeing and nordic skiing so please respect other users.
The Old Dillon Reservoir was built in the 1930s to supply water to the original town of Dillon, which is now covered by the Lake Dillon Reservoir. Water is supplied to the old reservoir via a diversion ditch out of Salt Lick Creek, above what is now I-70. The Old Dillon Reservoir is partially surrounded by lodgepole pine and willows, offering protection from the wind and sun. The protected environment allows for calm waters and provides good fishing opportunities in a relatively isolated location.
For more information, trail highlights and a map of the area, please contact the Dillon Ranger District at (970) 468-5100 or visit www.dillonrangerdistrict.com.
This trail is approximately 2-1/2 miles round trip and travels through sage, aspen, and pine forests. During the summer months wildflowers such as columbine, lupine, and mountain larkspur are quite visible. To get there: Take the Silverthorne exit from Denver and head east on Hwy 6 toward Dillon. At the stop light at the top of the hill, turn left onto Dillon Drive and then an immediate right onto County Road #51. Park in the designated parking area and look for the trail head (approximately 1/4 of a mile from parking). The trail difficulty rating is EASY. This trail is used for multiple activities, including hiking, mountain biking, snowshoeing and nordic skiing so please respect other users.
This trail starts at the Tenderfoot Mountain Trailhead. To get there: Take the Silverthorne exit from Denver and head east on Hwy 6 toward Dillon. At the stop light at the top of the hill, turn left onto Dillon Drive and then an immediate right onto County Road #51. Park in the designated parking area and look for the trail head (approximately 1/4 of a mile from parking).
The road meanders through open meadows and stands of aspen as it crosses several hills. Just beyond a fence, at about 2.1 miles, you’ll come to a 4-way junction and an open area. To do the short, 6-mile loop, turn right. At almost 4 miles, near a small public shooting range and power station, you can return as you came, continue into Frey Gulch or loop back by turning right. Travel a short distance past the power plant and take a left on the single-track trail on the left. Cross the road in front of the gatehouse and take the single-track trail that begins next to the chain link fence down to Highway 6. To access Keystone, turn left. To complete the loop, turn right and descend along the highway a short distance. Cross the highway at the Swan Mountain Road stoplight and turn right immediately onto the paved recreation path. Follow the path back to Dillon. Turn right onto Lake Dillon Drive, cross HWY 6 at the stoplight, take a sharp right and travel back up to the trailhead to complete the loop.
The trail difficulty rating is MODERATE. This trail is used for multiple activities, including hiking, mountain biking, snowshoeing and nordic skiing so please respect other users.
Sapphire Point Overlook sits between Keystone and Breckenridge on Swan Mountain Road, at an elevation of 9,500 feet. The overlook offers a stunning view of Dillon Reservoir, hemmed in by the Gore and Tenmile mountain ranges.
Sapphire Point is a day-use area that can be reserved for two-hour blocks for private gatherings. It is the only designated site where wedding ceremonies are permitted to take place on the Dillon Ranger District.