Weather & Climate
We’ll be staying in the mountains with an average elevation of 9,000 - 10,000 feet.
The client is usually cool, dry and pleasant. However, mountain weather can be unpredictable so its wise to prepare for everything.
Average daytime highs for July are usually in the high 70s or low 80s; at night it will drop into the 40’s or even occasionally into the 50’s. It’s good sleeping weather.
The sunlight is more intense up that high and you have to take special care to apply sunscreen or you will get wickedburned. Don’t play around with that at that altitude.
Some people also get queasy for a day or two at that elevation when they first arrive. I’ve had altitude sickness before and it’s sort of like quickly passing hangover. Drink lots of water and don’t go hiking hard the first day or two if you are feeling it.
In the day you’ll want to wear shorts and a t-shirt. Since there’s little humidity, the temperature begins to rise quickly after sunrise. Same thing for after sunset - you’ll want to be in a fleece jacket after the sun goes down. It’s perfect by the fire when the sun goes down.
The Campground and Surrounding Area
All of the campgrounds at Dillon reservoir are nestled in a bowl of towering 14,000 foot mountain peaks that look down on the valley by the lake. The campsites are in a beautiful but non-wilderness area. The town of Frisco is less than a mile away to the west and has a bustling small Main Street with shops, restaurants, and bars. A little farther to the north but still within walking distance as the town of Silverthorn which is right on I 70. It has a number of shopping outlets and the usual chain restaurants. Breckenridge itself is about 5 miles to the south.
All of these towns and the campgrounds are connected by a beautiful set of well used bike paths. The path from the lake to Breckenridge runs along the Blue River. is one of the most popular bike paths in the country and is usually well-traveled by both mountain bikers and touring bikes. Every summer there are several international caliber biking competitions in Breckenridge, as well as some X-games type of stuff andendurance marathons and the like.
The town of Breckenridge itself is most famous as a active sporty ski town in the winter. It’s less crowded in the summer but still full of vacationers who come for the mountain air in the sports. There are many outdoor sport activities on the mountain this summer like mountain biking, rock climbing, and outdoor obstacle courses. You can take trips up the ski lives in the summer to see more of the mountain. There are mountain bike rentals and white water rafting. The town has an active sporty vibefull of young people and couples. This is not a golf resort atmosphere. Breckenridge is full of microbreweries, bars, restaurants, and hangouts. I believe there is also a large central outdoor amphitheater much like Seaside, Florida where there are concerts and events.
There is also a free, regular bus line that will take you in between Frisco, Silverthorn, and Breckenridge. The bus line runs in till midnight.
Dillonreservoir is extremely large and cold. There’s a marina and boating traffic. Water sports are allowed but no swimming at the campground. The water is really too cold to swim comfortably. I will have the inflatable kayaks set up at the waters edge so anyone can take long paddle trips.
Equipment Available and Campsite Accommodations
I will have all of the camping and sleeping equipment you need to sleep comfortably. We will have two tents and the Sportsmobile to sleep in. Everyone will have a comfortable sleeping pad, a bag, and a pillow. If you have a special pillow or snuggie, may want to bring that.
Our camp will have chairs, a picnic table, an outdoor kitchen, campfire ring, and the tents. I’m also bring a sun shelter in addition to the SM’s extendable awning. Plenty of places to sit comfortably.
I’m not sure about mosquitoes and bugs at that elevation. Generally speaking the higher you go the less of an issue mosquitoes are. I doubt that there will be any biting insects at night. Occasionally there will be stretches where the weather rains were as nasty. If we have those we will be able to sleep comfortably at night and then we will shop or take day trips during the day.
Peak One Campground is on the east side of Dillon Reservoir. There are flush toilets, usually no more than a short walk away from the campsite. Heaton Bay Campground has vault toilets. Both have potable water at each site, but neither has electrical hookups.
There are no showers at either campground, but there are several options for personal hygiene. You could just go commando, since it is a camping trip. The water at the campsites is cold but refreshing and it’s easy to wash off and stay comfortable. The SM is equipped with hot water to take a non-naked shower out the back van door if you need the full on shampoo.
The house batteries on the SM will charge and power all of your handheld electronic devices, phones, etc. There is not enough juice for hairdryers, TVs, or appliances. I have safely run my laptop, iPad, and all handheld devices. The SMalso has built-in lighting inside.
We will have a two burner gas stove and a fully equipped camp kitchen. Most mornings will have a decent size breakfast with hot coffee. In the evenings will either cook in camp or go out to eat. There’s always a jug of cold water sitting on the picnic table to fill water bottles and we have coolers and the van fridge to keep supplies cold.
Day Trips and Activities
Our campground is located within easy striking distance for cool day trips. There are mountain pads and hiking trails in every direction, many of which lead to striking Alpine Meadows and Lakes. The famous and exclusive ski town of Vail is about 15 minutes farther down the highway. As you travel west on I 70 terrain changes from our Pine Mountain landscape to a more arid, browner elevation. not far from Vail, the highway begins to run along the Eagle River and eventually the Colorado River where I spent the summer as a counselor. A little more than an hour to the West the active mountain town of Glenwood Springs which is significantly larger than Breckenridge. The entire central Colorado area is crisscrossed with national forests and outdoor fishing and hiking opportunities.
Rocky Mountain National Park, the jewel of Colorado, is a few hours to the north. The road through the park is unlike any I’ve ever seen. It’s thehighest known road in the United States.
Recommended Clothing/Packing List for 5-7 days.
Kids - pack your gear in a duffel bag or something flexible. Hard case or square suitcases do not travel well in the sports mobile and take up too much room.
- Three pairs of shorts.
- Two pairs long pants including a pair of jeans. ( Convertible shorts that have zip on pants work really well).
- 4-5 t-shirts or polo shirts.
- active sandals. You’ll find that you will wear Tevas or Chacos about 90% of the time out there.
- hiking or running shoes. I recommendsomething low-cut. We will not be doing a time of Bush whacking. Some of the hikes are serious in your shoe should have tread and arch support.
- 2 long sleeve shirts
- 5 pairs underwear
- 3 pairs hiking socks
- two thin long sleeve shirts
- warm, comfortable fleece jacket or pullover
- Thin, weather resistant jacket to ward off chilly wind and/or rain.
- Thin wool cold weather hat in case it gets colder than expected.
- Bring a daypack for hikes or adventures.
- Camera/phone. I’ll have lots of camera equipment so I encourage you to think small.
- A small toiletry bag.
There is no need for anything fancy. No one dresses up to go anywhere. You see sandals and T-shirts even in the nicest restaurants.