Dillon Reservoir in Summit County is a snowkite destination for all abilities. Get away from the surf and sand and take a winter holiday with your kite gear! The reservoir has windpacked snow perfect for beginners as well as more challenging terrain for the initiated. Plus, if there is no wind, or the wind is too strong, there are six ski resorts within a half-hour drive.
Most people find their way to the 'Sanitarium' first, which is where it all began for the locals and for anyone gettingstarted in the sport. Colorado Kite Force have a specially groomed and designated launch area and, for the more advanced kiter, there are numerous areas above the tree-line waiting to be tracked. There is plenty of parking right on site too, where you can park and kite or watch from the warmth of your car, just a few steps away.
If conditions aren’t favourable there, head north and check out the other side of the reservoir at Dillon Marina. It’s a little less organised because you're riding more surface ice, but you have a lot more space. No gear, no problem! Rent kite gear from Colorado Kite Force, or you can get skis and snowboards from many other places.
WIND WATER AND WEATHER
The best kiting regularly takes place in the afternoons on a clear day. Winds are light but steady and generally from the north. West winds are usually stronger, gusty and unstable, so be aware and take caution.
During these conditions you're best to head to Dillon, but still use caution. Any time you're planning to ride above the tree line, check the forecast and pick your days carefully. The riding experience is amazing, but it's not uncommon to have hurricane strength winds up there.
You can take a shuttle from Denver Airport to anywhere in the county fairly inexpensively (book online to save cash with Resort Express: www.ridecme.com) Once there a free bus system will take you almost everywhere, but obviously nothing is more convenient than having your own wheels.
This area is built for snow tourists, so there's a huge array of accommodation on offer. Frisco is the best value and closest to the kiting area, offering everything from budget B&Bs and Holiday Inns to luxury hotels. Also short term rentals are available, but they require reservation ahead of time.
FOOD AND DRINK
Choose from fine dining to excellent cajun cuisine or hang out with the locals for some live entertainment and the best burger in the county at Moose Jaw!
That’s easy: go snowboarding or skiing at any of six ski resorts within a half hour drive. Or take up any other winter sport you can think of.
Fly into Denver International Airport (DIA) – Silverthorne is 75 miles due west on I-70. There is a fantastic transit system here.
COLORADO KITE FORCE are based in Silverthorne and teach on the Dillon Reservoir from December to
March. Their maximum pupil:instructor ratio is 4:1, but often it's less and private 1:1 lessons are available. Beginner lessons start at $249 and they guarantee you'll be up and riding for that price. Sponsored by Ozone kites, the centre is also a demo centre, so you can try as much gear you like. Their snow is groomed and conditions don't get any better for snowkiting.
Accredited by: IKO
TEL: +1 970-485-3300