Outdoors: An Easy Hike by Dillon Reservoir

March 13 2012, 3:05 PM

Why We Love It: Great view of Dillon Reservoir, Buffalo Mountain, and Red Mountain

When to Go: When you have out-of-town guests who aren't used to this thin air.

This last weekend, I made the trek up to Dillon looking for a good snowshoeing trail… in vain. If I had paid attention to the weather reports, I would have seen that the daytime temperatures were peaking at almost 50 degrees, rendering my snowshoeing ambitions unrealistic. Instead, I stumbled on a nice spot for a stroll around the Dillon Reservoir. The Roberts Tunnel Access Road off Highway 6 was just what I was looking for: A short hike with decent views the whole way, ending in a grand, sweeping vista (and I was also able to let the pooch off the leash for a bit).

Unlike the trails that ring the reservoir, the access road is closed to bikes, so you don’t have to dodge overly aggressive cyclists (though you do have to walk a small portion of a trail to get to the access road). Additionally, it’s almost completely flat, so if you’re coming up from Denver you don’t have to worry about all that huffing and puffing business. If you’re looking for something closer to a workout, there are several other trails on the tiny peninsula that run parallel to the road and offer a more challenging hike. At the end of the hike, look left to see the glistening (read: melting) slopes of Copper Mountain.

Getting There: Head west on I-70 to exit 205 onto Highway 6. Go south on Highway 6 until you pass the end of Dillon Bay. At the intersection of Dillon Cemetery Road and Highway 6 take a right into the small parking area. Follow the bike trail north about a quarter mile and you will see the gated access road entrance.