5 Favorite Trails

There are trails in Dillon and Silverthorne fit for everyone, anytime of the year. Take your family and friends to enjoy these local favorites. 
Angler-Mtn-Colorado

Up for a Challenge

Angler Mountain

Are you up for a challenge? The Angler Mountain trail passes through numerous ecosystems while crossing mountain streams and weaving through Aspen glades. The views provide a unique look back to the Gore Range. This trail is not suited for small children, but if your teenager is game, this may be the hike for you.

Length: 2.5 miles (one way)

Elevation Gain: 1,200 feet

Open To: Hiking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing

Trailhead: From Exit 205, travel north on Highway 9 for 2.1 miles. Turn right on Bald Eagle Road, and proceed about half a mile to the trailhead on your right.

Bonus Points: This trail climbs to a junction with the Ptarmigan Peak Trail, which you can continue on to the peak (elevation 11,777 feet).

Trail Etiquette 101
> All hikers, bikers and runners  must yield to horses on trails.
> Bikers should always yield to hikers and runners.
> All downhill traffic yields to uphill traffic, but, in some circumstances, it makes sense for hikers heading downhill to step o to the side of the trail while mountain bikers ascend in a technical area.
> When approaching slower-moving traffic from behind, inform those ahead of your presence with a friendly greeting.
> With horses or livestock, all users should move to the downhill side of the trail to make your appearance seem smaller through the animals’ eyes. If you speak to the passers-by, use a soft tone, as horses can frighten easily.
> When stepping o the trail, find a safe and durable area to do so. Bikers are advised to come to a complete stop and then side step o the trail, as opposed to riding o of the trail (and thereby making the trail wider).
 
hike to Lily Pad lake colorado

Quick & Easy

Lily Pad Lake

Lily Pad Lake is one of the most popular trails for families looking for a quick and easy hike with a nice lake destination. The trail has clear- cut areas with beautiful views across the county, along with heavily forested areas and numerous beaver ponds. The reward? You’ll arrive at beautiful lakes on the side of Buffalo Mountain.

Length: 1.4 miles (one way)

Elevation Gain: +127 feet, -35 feet

Open To: Hiking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing

Trailhead: From Exit 205, travel north on Highway 9 into Silverthorne, and take a left on Wildernest Road. Travel for 3.6 miles (road turns into Ryan Gulch Road) until you see a parking area on the left. Be sure to start at the Lily Pad Lake Trailhead.

Willow Creek Trail System Colorado

Summer or Winter

Willow Creek Trail System and Willow Falls

Enjoy scenic Willow Falls on this 5-mile roundtrip hike. Park at the top of Willowbrook Road and take a left at the fork onto South Willowbrook Trail. Follow the trail across Summit County Open Space to the White River National Forest and, eventually, the Eagles Nest Wilderness. After you hit the wilderness boundary, continue about a mile through lodgepole pine forests to see South Willow Falls. This trail is popular year-round, and its ease of access makes it a winter favorite.

Length: 5 miles roundtrip; for more mileage, connect to the Mesa Cortina Trail or continue on the Gore Range Trail to Red Buffalo Pass and Eccles Pass

Elevation Gain: 1,209 feet

Open To: Hiking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing

Trailhead: From Exit 205, travel north on Highway 9 approximately 1.9 miles, and take a left on Willowbrook Road. Continue 0.7 miles to the trailhead at the end of the road.

beautiful wildflower shot by John Fielder

Flat With Views

Oro Grande Trail

The Oro Grande Trail is all about views across Lake Dillon. With easy access from Dillon, it’s a rare “flat” trail in Summit County. This is a great hike on which to bring the dog and the family. From a nice wide tread, you’ll take in some of the finest views in the county.

Length: 3.5 miles (one way)

Elevation Gain: 520 feet

Open To: Hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing

Trailhead: From Exit 205, travel south on High- way 6 for 1.2 miles. At the traffic light, turn left on Evergreen Road (toward Dillon Valley). Take an immediate right on Straight Creek Road (County Road 51); the trailhead is 0.6 miles farther on the right side of the road near the water tank.

straight creek trail in colorado

Get Away From It All

Straight Creek

If you’re looking to take this hike all the way up to the Eisenhower Tunnel, this may not be the best hike for the little ones. On this trail, you pass through dense forest and along a pristine mountain creek that serenades you as you stroll alongside of it. While you are still close to town and adjacent to I-70, it’s easy to feel like you’re getting away from it all on this popular hike.

Length: 5.4 miles to summit (one way)

Elevation Gain: 1,809 feet

Open To: Hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, ATVing, motorcycling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing

Trailhead: From Exit 205, travel south on Highway 6 for 1.2 miles. At the traffic light, turn left on Evergreen Road (toward Dillon Valley). Take an immediate right on Straight Creek Road (County Road 51); continue 1.7 miles to the trailhead, where the road ends at the gate.

About the Author and Friends of the Dillon Ranger District

Alexander “Doozie” Martin is the program manager for Friends of the Dillon Ranger District (FDRD), a local 501(c)(3) non-profit that engages hundreds of volunteers each year in projects and programs that directly benefit the national forest located in Summit County. In 2016, FDRD engaged more than 1,000 volunteers to complete such tasks as trail building, trail maintenance, tree planting, campsite rehabilitation, and watershed and animal habitat restoration. Some projects are solely based around educating local and visiting youth. The organization also emphasizes educating the public on a wide variety of topics ranging from wildlife and wildflowers to mining history and geology. A new speaker series includes topics like water quality, local birdlife, avalanche awareness, and much more. Visit www.fdrd.org for more information on volunteer projects, events, and free educational opportunities. Email info@fdrd.org or call (970) 262-3449 to get involved today!