Dillon, Frisco, Breckenridge and Vail – Aug 21 – 26, 2021

We planned  6 nights at Heaton Bay Campground in Silverthorn, CO, because it was located near Frisco, Dillon, Breckenridge and Vail.  There is a lot to do and see in the area. We were thrilled to see our campsite, the prettiest in the campground, and knew it would likely rank as one of our all-time top 5 most scenic campsites.  There was a little distant road noise from I-70 and Dillon Dam road, but it was more quiet at night.

We were exhausted from the long drive on bumpy I-80, but forced ourselves to check out Dillon, our first night. We enjoyed part of a reggae concert in town and had a beer at Pug Ryan’s brewery. The two bar tenders that night, were from Detroit. We exchanged stickers and discussed our favorite places. One of the guys was talking about his upcoming wedding. I am mentioning this detail because a couple of days later, we were in Breckenridge, at the Gold Pan Saloon and we ran into the same guy, who was there having a pre-wedding meeting with his fiance, which would be taking place at the Gold Pan. Coincidentally, a friend of theirs started talking to us and he used to live in Maui and knows many of the same people we know. It’s a small world.

We hiked every day, except for the day we rode our bikes. It was really nice to slowly acclimatize and start with easier hikes and work our way up. Unlike Dave, who is completely unaffected by altitude, it takes me about a week to adjust to it. In the past we visited Colorado for 5 – 7 days and Dave would insist on some epic hike within the first 24 hours, sometimes climbing a 14,000-foot peak. Sometimes I could do it and other times I could not.

We visited many of the nearby towns. We really liked Frisco, which is a small, walkable, scenic town, though we didn’t care for the  road construction and traffic heading into town. Breckenridge is no longer the small mountain town it was when we first visited. It now seems to be over-developed. You can no longer see the mountains from any place in town and it is crowded with traffic and people. We enjoyed Vail Mountain Village on previous trips, when it was a fairly casual place. It has become far more upscale, with high end jewelry stores, spas and upscale restaurants.

The highlights here were the campsite, hiking trails, bike paths, Frisco and meeting people from Detroit and Maui.

Note: I was planning to post as we traveled, but had little internet and cell service after leaving Heaton Bay.

Heaton Bay Campground
Slushie, enjoying the view at Heaton Bay Campground
Heaton Bay Campground
Meadow Loop trail, Dillon, CO. Our first of almost daily hikes in Colorado
Loveland Pass, CO
Dillon Reservoir, aka Lake Dillon
Gold Pan Saloon, Breckenridge, CO. We have been here many times. Dave’s first beer here was when he rode his bike across the country in college. Breckenridge has changed drastically since then and even since our first visit together about 15 years ago. Thankfully, the Gold Pan remains the same.
Dead pine trees, killed by the pine beetle
Masontown trail, Frisco, CO. We saw this moose, resting about 10 – 15 yards from the trail.
Masontown Trail, Frisco, CO
Gore Creek, Vail, CO
Lion Square Lodge, where we stayed on 2 previous trips to Vail. They have amazing free coffee 24/7 in the lobby and you can hear the rushing Gore Creek from all of the rooms.
Lilypad Lake hike,Frisco, CO
Lilitypad Lake hike, Frisco, CO
Chilling on the rooft top at The Uptown on Main, in Frisco, CO.
We rode the beautiful paved bike path that runs between Dillon and Frisco, with a detour on a dirt path to another campground