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Lake Nighthorse

The Lake Nighthorse Recreation Plan Final Environmental Assessment is available online at https://www.usbr.gov/uc/envdocs/ea/pdf/LakeNighthorseRecreationPlanFinalEA_FONSI.pdf

Addition information can be obtained by contacting the Bureau of Reclamation, Justyn Liff at (970) 248-0625 or

Lake Nighthorse was constructed by the Bureau of Reclamation as part of the Animas La Plata (ALP) Project.  The lake is full and the surface area is approximately 1,500 acres at maximum elevation and the reservoir area includes a total of approximately 5,500 acres.  The reservoir site is two miles from downtown Durango and is poised to provide a significant recreational amenity to the area.  Lake Nighthorse is currently closed to the public.

The Bureau of Reclamation with the United States Department of the Interior is working with the City of Durango to develop a lease agreement for the administration of recreation at Lake Nighthorse.  Once the agreement is finalized, the City would become the Recreation Manager and Lake Nighthorse amenities would be developed consistent with the Master Plan and the lake would then be opened for public use.

Lake Nighthorse Conceptual Recreation Master Plan


Historical Documents:

Lake Nighthorse May 2011 Final Master Plan

Lake Nighthorse Area Map

Durango Area Public Lands Map

Lake Nighthorse Public Presentation from June 18, 2014

For questions to the City of Durango Parks and Recreation Department regarding the current status of recreation at Lake Nighthorse, please email