The Blue River is a treasure of the Colorado high country. The river rises south of Breckenridge near Quandary Peak at 14,200 feet, and flows downward through the town, then is collected in the Dillon Reservoir where it is retained for domestic water supplies and for recreation. In summer you’ll see sailboats, paddleboards, and kayakers crisscrossing the lake, but no swimming is allowed to help keep the water cleaner. In drought years, almost all of the river’s flow is stored in Lake Dillon, but in wet years, like this year, Denver Water can let the river flow, and we can raft it!
After Lake Dillon, the Blue River continues through Dillon and Silverthorne, then runs north through the White River National Forest to join the Colorado River near Kremmling at 7,400 ft. Sections of the pristine river are renowned for trout fishing. Fly fishers enjoy catching local trout including brown, rainbow, and cutthroat. Wildlife is abundant, and you can spot diverse bird species, like bald eagles and ospreys, soar above deer, elk, and moose. In the summertime, you can raft the river, walk the region’s varying hiking trails, and camp in nearby campgrounds. In the winter, trails alongside the frozen river host cross-country skiers and snowshoers.