Overall Grade: B+
Location, Location, Location. Less than one mile from downtown Frisco and a free bus ride away from Breck. Beautiful lake views framed by 14,000 snow capped peaks. Well planned campsites with the usual amenities. Excellent cell phone reception.
Heavy pressure with lots of family camping. It’s not a wild place - you’ll have to get through traffic to get there. No electrical or water hookups. Very heavy winds possible in late afternoon from the lake.
Best suited for:
Families who want to camp with the safety net of full services and restaurants nearby, especially those who want to take advantage of the ubiquitous bike trails.
See my review of Heaton Bay, Peak One's companion campground.
If there has ever been a campground with more beautiful views so close to development, I haven’t seen it. The Frisco - Breckinridge area is teaming with families and irritatingly fit bikers. It’s the quintessential Colorado sport town. Tons of cool restaurants. And the views - everyone you look you are nestled in the bowl of some of the most beautiful scenery in Colorado.
Peak One’s greatest blessing - its location - is also its greatest curse. This isn’t where you come to be alone in the woods, see wildlife, or get away from it all. There’s traffic in Frisco, and the whole area is teaming with tourists.
I was there in late July 2016 with my four kids for 6 days. They enjoyed the access to civilization. The campground itself is on a Peninsula jutting out into Lake Dillon, with its own recreation area. There’s a marina, a frisbee golf course, miles of biking trails, a chuckwagon tent/restautrant, and all of the shops of nearby Frisco. Breckinridge, an idyllic ski town that reminds me of Seaside, Florida, is about seven miles away. There’s a free bus line that connects all of these little mountain towns by the lake. The main streets are full of interesting people of all ages enjoying the Colorado active lifestyle.
Lake Dillon is deep and cold. There are natural beaches but no swimming allowed. Nonetheless, we saw waders and I took a few quick lake baths. Too cold to swim even if you wanted to. Great beach access for kayaks. You can always see sailboats out on the water.
And the bikers - there are more bikers than anywhere you’ve ever seen. Serious bikers training on brutal mountain passes and thin air. Not sure I’ve ever seen so many nice legs in such a concentrated area.
There are wild places to explore within a few hours ride. Mountain trails criss cross everywhere. Most of them are tough ascents that end up at beautiful alpine lakes. We hiked the Mccullough Gulch trail one of our first days here. My advice: let your body adjust to the altitude up here before attempting anything too crazy. There are national forests in all directions. Denver is about 2 hours away, but beware: Denver traffic is insane and the traffic on I-70 is heavy, especially on Fridays and Saturdays as Denver empties out and its population heads west into the high country.
It can get cold up here at 9,000 feet. Storms blow in fast. There are high winds that can come in off the lake. When the sun shines, it’s intense. If you are tent camping, it’s worth your effort to fully stake your tents and rainflys, and use all available guy lines.
The facilities themselves are what you’d expect from a National Forest campground, with some slight upgrades. There are no vault toilets. All have flush toilets and running water. No showers. Each site has a picnic table, BBQ grate, and fire ring. There are a few pull through, but most are back in. The sites on the lake side with the best view are fairly cramped and not my preference. There is a slight elevation that keeps most of the sites from having a direct lake view, although many, including the sites a few rows back, have partial vistas. The mountain backdrop assures you of a beautiful view no matter where you pick.
Availability is competitive. You can make reservations on ReserveAmerica up to six months in advance. If you want a good site, you better reserve months in advance. Like most campsites, it’s packed on weekends with no drop in availability. The compound empties out considerably on Sundays and there were available sites most of the week days.
Overall, I enjoyed our time at Peak One. But I found myself longing for more solitude and better wilderness access. The fishing in Lake Dillon is notoriously poor because the mysis shrimp population keeps the normal zooplankton necessary to the trout food chain suppressed.
The chipmunks are friendly and, unfortunately for them and the environment, amenable to hand feeding.