Like many western towns, Dillon, Colorado has a history that appeals to those of us who were raised on cowboy movies. The original town of Dillon was built as a stage stop and trading post on the northeast side of the Snake River. A stage stop, or a depot, brings images of Pony Express riders and stage coaches pulling in with bullet holes and a wounded guard. How cool is that?
The town was named after an old prospector named Tom Dillon, and was incorporated into a town in 1883. During the Great Depression, the land around Dillon began to be acquired by the Denver Water Company. In 1956, residents and business owners in Dillon were notified that they would need to sell their property and move out, because Denver Water was about to begin construction on a dam. The result of this dam would flood the town of Dillon. Some land on a hillside was set aside for the current town, which is now located on the shoreline of Dillon Reservoir.
Today, Dillon is a bustling community of outdoor enthusiasts that take advantage of the fact that Dillon is a major access point for Lake Dillon. At 9,000 feet above sea level, it seems obvious that winter activities would dominate Dillon’s economy, but this unique burg thrives during the summer months as well. Although Dillon is convenient to several ski areas, such as Arapahoe Basin, Copper Mountain and Breckenridge, Lake Dillon has its very own charisma.
The opportunities for summer activities are big: sailing, fishing, lakeside dining and a marina that services 25 miles of shoreline – plus plenty of shopping and restaurants. Gorgeous hiking and snowshoeing trails offer sparkling views of the lake and mountains. The shorefront amphitheater hosts free concerts, local performers and outdoor markets.