CSU Students: Frisco Staycation


Take the ultimate weekend trip to Frisco, Colorado.

Located right in the heart of ski town Colorado lies the quaint town of Frisco, Colorado. Iconic ski towns such as Vail, Breckenridge, and Leadville are just a short drive away; however, you’ll find that Frisco is a hidden gem in Colorado worth a couple days of exploration. Classic Colorado terrain is at Frisco’s doorstep, with a 12,800 ft. peak trailhead accessible right from downtown. Continue reading for our best recommendations when choosing Frisco as your staycation destination.      

Things to Do in Frisco

Take a Day at the Frisco Bay Marina:

One of the best things about Frisco is how it brings lake life to the mountains, a combination that is both rare and beautiful. The lake in question here is Dillon Reservoir, which spans 3,300 acres and boasts 27 miles of shoreline. The fun things to do at this lake may be more weather dependent than normal lakes at a lesser elevation, but ‘lake season’ here typically runs from early June to early or mid September.

Since the reservoir is normally very flat, and has a lot of scenery to enjoy, three of the most fun things that you can do here are stand-up paddleboarding, canoeing, and kayaking.

Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUP):

Image retrieved from the Frisco Town website

You can reserve your SUP board online if it’s more than 24 hours in advance, which is recommended. They use Glide paddleboards, which are great, stable boards. They are even stable enough to do yoga on! The cost is $35 for two hours (two hours is the minimum rental time), and $10 per hour every hour after that. Life jackets and paddles are included in that price. You need to call ahead to reserve additional hours, or call from the lake to make sure your board isn’t reserved for someone else.

Canoeing:

Image retrieved from the Frisco Town website

The Frisco Bay Marina uses Old Town Guide 160 canoes, which are perfect for taking out a small group with gear or lunch; 2 or 3 passengers can easily fit. The cost for their two person canoes are $40 for two hours, and the cost for their three person canoes are $45 for two hours (two hours is the minimum rental time), and $10 per hour every hour after that. Similarly with the paddleboards, life jackets and paddles are included in that price, and you need to call ahead to reserve additional hours.

Kayaking:

If you want a little more independence and a cheaper option, a kayak might be right for you. The cost for a single-person kayak is $30 for two hours, and cost for their tandem (two-person) kayaks is $40 for two hours (two hours is the minimum rental time), and $10 per hour every hour after that. and $10 per hour every hour after that.

Mountain and Park Biking:

There’s nothing quite like the rush of tearing through the mountains on a bike, and there are no shortage of trails in Frisco. It takes the locals years to go through all of the local trails, but we’ve got two classics here for you:

Peaks Trail:

Peaks Trail is about a 17 mile trek out to Breckenridge and back, with an average 4% grade (2°), and a max grade of 14% (or 8°). According to the Frisco town website, this trail “has enough climbs and technical bits to make you feel hero-like, but it won’t destroy you so you can go on to do more exploring on your bike the next day.” Comments from those who have tackled this trail say that it has several wonderful streams to bike alongside.

Frisco Peninsula Lakeshore Loop:

If you’re wanting more of a waterside ride to enjoy Dillon Lake, this is the ride for you. It’s about six miles long, and is a big fan favorite. It’s rated easy to intermediate. The average grade is 1% (or 1°) and a max grade of 14% (or 8°). Dogs are allowed on a leash, and you’ll probably see quite a few locals doing this loop over the lunch hour!

Photo retrieved from the MTB Project website

Frisco Bike Park:

This Frisco Adventure Park is open from dawn to dusk in the summer, and boasts four different park amenities for riders of all sizes and abilities: pump track, slopestyle course, dirt jumps and a dual slalom course. 

The pump track is a loop that has bumbs and berms for riders of all ages and levels. The slopestyle course has dirt jumps and mountain biking rides in all styles, which allows you to choose the terrain for your ability. The dirt jumps are big and small, and you can pick one to work on or bike a whole course. Lastly, the dual slalom course is perfect for friends with a need for speed, with bumps, jumps, and s-curves.

Image retrieved from the town of Frisco website

Take a Hike:

If you’d rather use your feet than a bike, again, there is no shortage of trails for you here. Frisco is surrounded on 3 sides by National Forest (75% of Summit County is public land), but here are two of the best hikes around Frisco.

Rainbow Lake:

USNFS Difficulty Rating: EASY
Mileage: 1.5 out and back, and you can add more as you’d like.

Short and sweet, this locals’ favorite trail is part of the Peaks Trail that we previously mentioned above. Therefore, this trail can go all the way to Breckenridge if you are so inclined. You can either drive or walk to this trailhead from downtown Frisco. This trail winds through wetlands on a boardwalk, through several beautiful types of trees and ends up at Rainbow Lake. This trail also connects to the more difficult, longer Masontown/Mount Royal trail, if you decide you are up for more of a challenge!

Image retrieved from Ranger Dillon District

North Ten Mile:

USNFS Difficulty Rating: MODERATE to MORE DIFFICULT
Mileage: 2 miles one-way to Wilderness Boundary, 3.4 miles one-way to Gore Trail intersection

Image retrieved from the town of Frisco website

Like the other trail, you can easily walk to the trailhead from main street in downtown Frisco. This trail is a locals’ favorite because of its accessibility and closeness to Ten Mile Creek. It is initially very steep, but it evens out after the first mile and then you  will see Chief Mountain to the right and Wichita Mountain to the left. There are several ponds along the trail, and it’s a great trail for dogs (on leash) because of all of the water access.

You will also cross by Eagles Nest Wilderness Area.  Once you come to the intersection of the Gore Range Trail, you can turn right or left. Going right (north) will lead you to Meadow Creek drainage, and turning left (South) will eventually take you up and over Uneva Pass to Copper Mountain Resort.

Best Places to Stay in Frisco

Hotel Frisco:

Image retrieved from the Hotel Frisco website

Hotel Frisco will be one of the cheaper options for you in Frisco. It is one of the most popular hotels in the area as they have a selection of rooms, suites, and apartments. This hotel is a great little hideaway within walking distance to many restaurants and bars. They have fireplace in their cozy lobby which makes it feel like a home away from home. Their rates range widely from $109/night for a one bedroom to $215/night for an apartment that will accommodate four.

Frisco Lodge Bed & Breakfast:

Image retrieved from the Frisco Lodge website

This lodge is currently rated number one in bed and breakfast locations in Frisco by Tripadvisor. This would be a more expensive option, but it is definitely worth it! Their rates start at $159 but they have great service with very nice rooms. You can even add on luxuries like breakfast in bed, chocolates, roses, or wine delivered to your room. They also have an outdoor hot tub and a cozy fireplace!

Peak One Campground:

This campground is right on the lake and perfect for people looking for a variety of recreational activities! They have picnic tables, campfire rings, flush toilets, and drinking water, but an important thing to note is electrical hook-ups are not available. This campground will only cost you $23 per night!

Image retrieved from the Peak One Campground website

Best Places to Eat in Frisco

Butterhorn Bakery and Cafe:

Image retrieved from the Butterhorn website

Voted #1 on Yelp, Trip Advisor, and Urbanspoon for 4 years in a row for its friendly service, reasonable prices, and great food! Come in and enjoy their homemade Bloody Mary’s and Mimosas, and try their delicious selection of breakfast and lunch items (they even have gluten free options available)!

Jersey Boys Pizza and Deli:

Image retrieved from the Jersey Boys website

If you’ve worked up an appetite biking, hiking, other otherwise doing the outdoor things Frisco has to offer, this might be the food for you. Jersey Boys has giant portions of Italian favorites, from pizza to pasta to subs. Better yet, they offer Happy Hour Mon-Fri from 3:30-6 where slices of pizza and PBR pints are only $1.75. For food deals, there’s always something going on during the week, so check their website for additional coupons.

Chimayo Mexican Grill: 

This restaurant not only has amazing Mexican-style food, they have an incredible history. Tied back to the town of Chimayó, New Mexico, they stick to their heritage and are definitely worth the visit. History aside, they are known for their Epic Fish Tacos, Shrimp Tacos, and Epic Chili Rellenos that are handmade in-house daily. If that doesn’t draw you in, they also offer round the clock $4 margaritas – no happy hour necessary!

Image retrieved from Chimayo Mexican Grill’s Facebook page

Best Places to Go Out in Frisco

The Island Grill at Frisco Bay:

Image retrieved from the Island Grill website

The Island Grill will add a unique element to your Frisco visit! They offer only outdoor seating, and have free live music every Friday along with Happy Hour specials.  This fun restaurant is open Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Pug Ryan’s Tiki Bar:

Image retrieved from the Pug Ryan’s Tiki Bar website

 

This Tiki Bar has been ranked as “One of the Top 5 Beach Bars” in Colorado by the Denver Post.  Enjoy the view of Lake Dillon while sipping on a nice cocktail while you relax. It is open from mid-May to mid-September.

 

 

How to Get to Frisco