Swan Mountain rises to the southeast above the Dillon Reservoir near Frisco, Colorado. The Swan Mountain Road traverses the lower western and northern slopes of this mountain. Swan Mountain was once heavily wooded, but several years into an ongoing mountain pine beetle assault the mountain is now draped in the burnt rusty orange of dead Lodgepole Pines. A wishbone of power lines crosses the mountain in three directions, but alas it is this power line system that grants the right of way through dense woods for an unnamed trail to arc across the western and northern lower reaches of this peak.
Close to both Breckenridge and Keystone ski areas, Swan Mountain provides a convenient off-slope activity for visitors to the Frisco-Silverthorne-Dillon area and surely many locals take their regular trail run and dog walks along the trail traversing the lower reaches of this peak. A reasonably straightforward one mile bushwack from the trail is all that it takes to reach the top. Despite the somewhat industrialized feel to this peak (power lines, highway noise, etc.) it boasts an impressive 1,136 feet of prominence, making this a worthy goal for most any mountain geek.
Profile image courtesy of davebobk47
Colorado Rank: 1886th
Prominence: 1136 feet
USGS Quad: Frisco
Trails Illustrated Map: #108 Vail, Frisco, Dillon
Rank and Prominence Source: Lists of John
Getting ThereSwan Mountain is a highly accessible peak, flanked on the west by CO Hwy 9, on the north by US Hwy 6 and both of these roads are connected by the aptly named Swan Mountain Road (County Road 1). Less than 5 miles away as the crows flies roars I-70. From I-70, take Silverthorne Exit #205 to Highway 6 or Frisco Exit #203 to Highway 9.
There is little if any red tape in this part of the White River National Forest and no fees are demanded for accessing this peak.
Camping & Lodging
There are nearly 350 campsites in the Dillon Reservoir area. Most of them are closed from early September through mid May. Below are five “east shore” campgrounds operated by the National Forest Service.
|Lowry Campground||Site has 24 camp sites at 9,388' elevation. Amenities: Vault toilets, water and garbage service. Fees are $16 per night, plus an additional $5 for an electric site.|
|Prospecter Campground||Site has 106 camp sites at 9,117' elevation. Amenities: Vault toilets, water and garbage services. Fees are $16 per night.|
|Peak One Campground||Site has 79 camp sites at 9,050' elevation. Fees are $17 per night. Amenities: Vault toilets, water and garbage service.|
|Pine Grove Campground||Site has 33 camp sites at 9,062' elevation. Fees are $15 per night, plus an additional $5 for an electric site. Amenities: Vault toilets, water and garbage service.|
|Windy Point Campground||Windy Point is available for group camping only and reservations are required (877.444.6777).|
HOTELS, LODGES & CONDOS
Lodging options are almost unlimited in nearby Frisco, Silverthorne & Dillon, plus the Breckenridge and Keystone resort areas.
Weather & Seasons
Swan Mountain is a year-round peak. In the summer, take a break from windsurfing Dillon Reservoir to enjoy cool breezes at the summit of Swan Mountain. In the fall, the air turns crisp and the Aspen blaze golden. Winter is a fine time to visit this peak, but remember that the nearby ski resorts were developed in this area in part due to the generous snowfall. Anticipate deep powder and don’t be at all surprised to be breaking trail, even before leaving the trail behind for the bushwack.