With temperatures rising, it's time to put that dry ski season in your review mirror and set some summer goals for the high country. For all those who think the mountains are only fun in the winter, guess again as there's plenty to do during the warm summer months.
Taking the road bike out along gorgeous mountain highways and trails, racing the mountain bike down your favorite ski hill, hiking through Colorado's backcountry, or simply strolling through quaint mountain towns while window shopping are all great ideas. But my personal favorite is to visit Lake Dillon and take to the water.
While it may be too cold to swim in, this reservoir is a treasure trove of nautical activities. Everything from restored Chris Craft motor boats to floating picnics on pontoon boats cruise around the Lake. However, the real draw is to sail. With fierce mountain winds channeling through canyons, sweeping across the dam and never staying consistent, Lake Dillon is always evolving for sailors. The Dillon Yacht Club has a storied history since its inception and hosts races and regattas throughout the sailing season (May - October). To learn more about the club and the history of Dillon check out Buzz Contributor Devon O'Neil's take on Colorado's high seas.
On the water there are plenty of options to rent different craft for all sorts of occasions. You can hop in a kayak and tool around the islands and marshes of Giberson Bay or use a canoe to spice up a weekend camping trip; Lake Dillon has some great fishing spots along the river inlets. During the summer you could learn to sail or motor around with speed and graces as all of these water crafts are available at either Frisco Marina or Dillon Marina.
Back on shore there are plenty of fun events including concerts, parades, BBQ's, and many other community get-togethers. Some of the highlights for summer 2012 include concerts from the USAF Falconaires and Chris Daniels & the Kings, the Junior Olympic Sailing festival, the BBQ at the Summit, and various Fourth of July events.
If you are looking for a bite to eat, you won't have to go far from the water's edge to find it. Beyond what's in town both of Lake Dillon's marinas offer delicious food. In Frisco, the Island Grill Restaurant serves up great grill food for their outdoor dining area. For a special treat, make sure to visit Pug Ryan's Tiki Bar at Dillon Marina for tasty tiki fare and tropical drinks, all served at the highest "Tiki Bar" in the world with an elevation of 9,017 feet.
Armed with all the info you need to plan a great day on the water in the Colorado Rockies, there is nothing to stop you from enjoying it. Who knows? You may catch summer fever and plan a trip to some of Colorado's other great lakes and rivers. Either way, I look forward to the sailing season and I hope to see you out there too. Cheers!
-- Chris Yonushewski