Heaton Bay Campground is situated at an elevation of 9,000 feet and centrally located for recreation and relaxation in the White River National Forest.
There is little or no shade in the campground due to pine beetle infestation and the removal of hazard trees, but the sites offer open views to Dillon Reservoir and several mountain ranges.
Dillon Reservoir is 3,233 acres with 26.8 miles of shoreline, offering an ideal spot for fishing, boating, and sailing. The reservoir supports a healthy population of rainbow and brown trout, in addition to a few cutthroat finding their way into the lake from feeder streams.
Opportunities for hiking and biking in this area include more than 7 paved miles of the 50-mile Summit County trail system.
The Old Dillon Reservoir Trail is a favorite. This short, easy trail has spectacular views of the Tenmile Range and the Continental Divide.
For those wanting a bit more solitude, hiking in the Ptarmigan Wilderness area is a wonderful escape from the crowds.
Heaton Bay Campground has 87 sites, able to accommodate tents, trailers and RVs. Walk-in only tent sites available of a first-come, first-served basis.
The campground is equipped with picnic tables, campfire rings, vault toilets, and drinking water. Guests can fill their RV tanks. Electrical hook-ups are available for a fee at several of the sites.
Firewood is for sale from hosts at the campground.
Boat ramp access is available in the marinas located in the nearby towns of Frisco and Dillon.
In the heart of the Rocky Mountains, the 2.3 million acre White River National Forest is a place of serenity and adventure, boasting 8 wilderness areas, 4 defined seasons, and 10 peaks surpassing 14,000 feet in elevation.
Wildlife in the area abounds. Bighorn sheep navigate rocky ridges and bull elk bugle at dusk. Scenic rivers sustain populations of cutthroat, rainbow, and brown trout. Alpine regions provide habitat for pika and ptarmigan. These species, along with many others, depend on surrounding undeveloped wilderness, clean streams, and diverse forests to live.
Arapahoe Basin, Keystone, Breckenridge, and Copper Mountain ski resorts are all located within 10 miles from Dillon Reservoir. These resorts stay open year round.
ADA Access: N
We camped at E70 and there was a trail right to the lake. It was beautiful! It was a little noisy from the highway but we were far enough away that it was really white noise.
There were a lot of wasps, so I recommend bringing a wasp catcher for your site.
Great campsite, easy 1hr to get here from Denver. Great for beginner campers, since the town of dillon is a short 10 minute drive incase you forget any essential gear. The campsite we had was pretty small for the two tents we had. But still a beautiful little hike down to the water. Great sunsets. Was awesome renting a pontoon boat for the day!
The reservoir is beautiful but the campsites are right next to I 70 and you can hear the traffic all day and all night. That said, if you’re going, bring your paddleboard or kayak or rent a sailboat. And you can bike along the trail that runs all the way around the reservoir.
Breathtaking views. Nice campsites with easy access. Clean. Close to the interstate so there is a slight background noise. Only drawback is signage at the entrance. Its easy to miss because the sign is back parallel to the road not perpendicular so you can see it easily. No dump station but one is nearby. Otherwise a great place. I’ll come back again.
Very close to home. Lake Dillon Res is cold water. Always, even in July and August. Were at about 9000 feet, weather can change rapidly, and forecasters can be wrong. Be prepared for all 4 seasons. It can snow in July. No lie.
Update on getting in water, it is open seasonally. When allowed, you can try to swim and get into the lake. Very short season that this is available.
The ski resorts listed are NOT open year round. There is "shoulder" or "mud" season as we call it, where the resorts close, the restaurants close, shops, everything on the mountain stops. Towns still are fully open. But not the base of the ski resorts.
Only Reservoir in lower 48 with Arctic Char. Also have Kokanee Salmon. In addition to many species of trout. Lake, Rainbow, and Brown.
Lots of space in campground. Our usual spot has trees still and cover. Helps when it gets windy. Access to lake is great. Clean and up kept. It can be beautiful but chilly for most folks. Can even shore up boats in certain camp sites.
Lake is extremely low this season (2019) and camp will be further away from any water access.
So close to everything, no worries if you forgot anything.
The campground was more or less deserted when I was there. It was also very cold and windy but incredibly beautiful. With easy access to area attractions, I chose to stay here because there is was just off my route between Grand Junction and Denver. There are several areas that are specifically for tents although it didn't look as if all of the tent sites had great spots to actually pitch a tent. It's also a deceptively large campground and I drove around for quite a while before finding a good site.
Pros: This campground has direct access to Dillon Reservoir which is great! Several of the campsites back to inlets of the reservoir and people were dropping in their kayaks, paddle boards, etc. The reservoir is no body contact, so there is no swimming allowed. We were able to follow deer trails throughout the grounds to access the water and do some fishing. It is easily accessible from the highway and right outside Frisco, so if you forget anything or need Starbucks it is just minutes away.
Cons: It is just minutes from Frisco, and I70 which makes it a noisy campground all day and night from vehicle noise. The sites are over used so they are extremely dusty. Plan on leaving covered in dirt head to toe especially if you have a tent. There are no tent pads so there is flexibilty on the size of tents. Our 10'x16' tent fit no problem. The sites on the inside of the loop are backed up very closely to each other. Our neighbors tent ended up about 15 ft from ours.
Site E64: Too close to neighbors to the back. Descent space between side to side neighbors. No shade over fire ring/picnic table area. There is shade around to set up chairs or tent in a shady spot. The bathrooms are pretty far away if you take the road, there was a deer trail between the sites behind leading straight to the bathroom if you feel inclined. You park up higher and have to descend 4 steps to enter the site.
Heaton Bay is our favorite spot in Summit County! There are lots of walk up sites that open up in the mornings for last minute camping, and every site we’ve stayed in is close to the water and secluded from other campers. Lots of trees for shade and lots of space in each site. We go several times each summer.
Easy to access and they have a TON of spots. Close to the lake and town.