The Dillon Ranger District is located in the White River National Forest and consists of approximately 312,000 acres within the White River National Forest boundary, excluding 101,000 acres of private in-holdings in Summit County, Colorado (total acreage 413,000 acres). As of the 2000 census, 24,537 people lived in Summit County, Colorado. The original Dillon Ranger District was part of the Leadville National Forest, established in 1905. The District was then transferred to the Arapaho National Forest in 1929. The Dillon Ranger District stayed part of the Arapaho National Forest, but administered by the White River National Forest starting in 1973, until 1998 when the District was transferred totally into the White River National Forest. The major towns within the Dillon Ranger District are Breckenridge, Dillon, Frisco and Silverthorne. Smaller towns in the District include Blue River, Heeney and Montezuma.
The Dillon Ranger District boundary follows the exact boundary of Summit County, Colorado, approximately 75 miles west of Denver, Colorado. The District is bisected by I-70 east to west, Colorado Highway 9 north to south and Colorado Highway 91 from the southwest to I-70 near Copper Mountain Ski Area. The eastern District boundary begins on the Continental Divide above the west portal of the Eisenhower Tunnel of I-70, elevation 12,500 feet, and follows I-70 west to just below the summit of Vail Pass for the western boundary, elevation 10,600 feet. The southern District boundary begins on the Continental Divide at Hoosier Pass, elevation 11,500 feet, on Colorado Highway 9 and follows Highway 9 north all the way to where Highway 9 exits Summit County just north of Green Mountain Reservoir for the northern-most boundary, elevation 8,000 feet. On Colorado Highway 91 the District boundary begins at an elevation of 11,100 feet. Elevations in the Dillon Ranger District range from a high of 14,265 feet on Quandary Peak in the southern part of the District to a low of 8,000 feet at Green Mountain Reservoir in the northern part of the District.
The Dillon Ranger District also administers numerous non-recreation and recreational special use permits. If you would like more information on applying for a Commercial Filming or Recreation Event Special Use Permit, please click HERE.
To find a list of the Outfitters & Guides with permits to operate on the Dillon Ranger District, please click HERE. The District also administers numerous wildlife and hydrology projects, along with many mineral activities including operational and abandoned mines.
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For a Summit Historical Society Pamphlet on Boreas Pass, please click HERE.
The Dillon Ranger District is home to two Wilderness areas, the Eagles Nest Wilderness and the Ptarmigan Peak Wilderness. The Eagles Nest Wilderness encompasses 133,688 acres on both the Dillon Ranger District and the Holy Cross Ranger District. The Eagles Nest Wilderness is administered jointly by the Dillon and Holy Cross Ranger Districts. Elevations in the Eagles Nest Wilderness range from 7,850 feet to 13,534 feet. The Ptarmigan Peak Wilderness encompasses 12,594 acres and is administered solely by the Dillon Ranger District. Elevations in the Ptarmigan Peak Wilderness range from 8,000 feet to 12,498 feet.
Game Management Units 37 & 371 are located within the Dillon Ranger District.
CLICK ON THE HUNTER TO VIEW THE HUNTING SEASONS FOR THE DILLON RANGER DISTRICT
The Dillon Ranger District has numerous opportunities for both summer and winter recreation and has been named the most visited Recreation Forest in the entire US Forest Service! During the summer there are over 200 miles of HIKING TRAILS, 150 miles of MOUNTAIN BIKING TRAILS, along with 100 miles of OHV ROUTES. There is 1 group campground and 14 regular campgrounds in the District providing 400 campsites for use from late spring to early fall.
WATER RECREATION INFORMATION
For whitewater enthusiasts rafting and kayaking may be enjoyed at several sites on the Dillon Ranger District. For a link to current STREAM FLOWS in Summit County, please click HERE (Note: Summit County is identified as District 36 [Blue River Basin] on this page).
The Dillon Ranger District also has two major reservoirs for boating and fishing, Dillon Reservoir and Green Mountain Reservoir.
Dillon Reservoir is located just south of I-70 in the middle of the Dillon Ranger District and is managed by the Denver Water Board. There are 5 campgrounds that border Dillon Reservoir along with several day use areas such as Giberson Bay and the boat ramp at Pine Cove . For water levels at Dillon Reservoir, please click HERE. For information about boat launching facilities and rentals at the Dillon Marina, please click HERE. For information about boat launching facilities and rentals at the Frisco Bay Marina, please click HERE.
GREEN MOUNTAIN RESERVOIR
Green Mountain Reservoir is located in the extreme northern part of the Dillon Ranger District and is managed by the Bureau of Reclamation. There are 7 campgrounds that border Green Mountain Reservoir along with a day use boat ramp at McDonald Flats (Note: the boat ramp is dependant water levels in Green Mountain Reservoir). For water levels at Green Mountain Reservoir, please click HERE. For information about boat launching facilities and rentals at the Heeney Marina, please click HERE.
The Dillon Ranger District is home to an exciting variety of Winter Sports recreation opportunities! With an average snowfall of 300 inches per year there is plenty of snow to go around for any activity that you want to enjoy. The Dillon Ranger District is home to 25 awesome cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails and 8 kickin' snowmobiling trails. The Dillon Ranger District has everything from the unbelievable Vail Pass Winter Recreation Area, where you can ride your snowmobile in the morning and cross-country ski or snowshoe in the afternoon, to the quiet solitude of a snowshoe trek to the top of the Continental Divide!
There are 4 major ski resorts located in the Dillon Ranger District: Arapahoe Basin, Breckenridge, Copper Mountain and Keystone. These resorts account for almost 4 million skier days per year! For information regarding other ski areas in Colorado please click HERE. There are also several Nordic Skiing & Snowshoeing Centers in the District: Breckenridge Nordic Center, Frisco Nordic Center, Gold Run Nordic Center along with Nordic areas at each of the ski resorts. Other winter activities include Nordic skiing, snowshoeing or snowmobiling on Forest Service trails throughout the District. Recreation Opportunity Guide (ROG) sheets are available from the Dillon Ranger District office showing directions to the trailhead, trail highlights and a custom topographic trail map with an elevation profile.
For a list of Winter Recreation related links please click HERE.
Below are some links to web sites where you can get more information about the Dillon Ranger District and Summit County!
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