Lake Nighthorse Recreation Area

Located at 1795 C.R. 210, Durango, Colorado - (970) 375-7335

Lake Nighthorse is CLOSED for the winter 

The lake will reopen for public recreation on Friday April 3, 2020.

Why is Lake Nighthorse closed for the winter? The winter seasonal closure of Lake Nighthorse protects important wildlife habitat. Lake Nighthorse Recreation Area is located within critical winter habitat for elk and mule deer and being a new water body, it is becoming more important to bird species over time. Durango Bird Club volunteers conduct an annual Christmas Bird Count at Lake Nighthorse and they are seeing more diversity and bird activity that is unique to Durango and Southwest Colorado in general as a result of this new habitat. Click here to read more from the Durango Herald: Lake Nighthorse Changing the Game for Annual Bird Count. 

  1. Hours of Operation
  2. Entrance Passes
  3. Activities/ Programs
  4. Calendar of Events
  5. Fishing Facts
  6. Boating Rules
  7. Historic Documents

Lake Nighthorse Recreation Schedule

30 minutes prior to daily closure, the entrance gate will be closed to access, and boat exit inspections as well as watercraft launches will cease.  Hours of operation may vary depending on inclement weather. 

Mondays and Wednesdays are NO WAKE days (Except Holidays)

The 2020 hours of operation:

  • Opening Day for Non-motorized:
    • Friday April 3, 9 am - 4 pm
  • Open for Weekends (Friday, Saturday & Sunday):
    • April 3 - 26, 9 am - 4 pm (non-motorized only)
  • Open Daily for Season:
    • May 1 - 14, 9 am - 4 pm (non-motorized only)
  • Motorized Recreation Allowed:
    • May 15 - 31, 8 am - 6 pm
    • June 1 - September 3, 7 am - 8 pm
    • September 4 - 30, 8 am - 7 pm
    • October 1 - 31, 9 am - 4 pm
  • Open for Weekends (Friday, Saturday & Sunday):
    • November 1 - 14, 9 am - 4 pm
  • Winter Wildlife Closure:
    • Begins November 15

Lake Nighthorse Operations

To ensure quality recreational experiences at Lake Nighthorse Recreation Area, here is a list of City of Durango and Bureau of Reclamation rules and regulations: Lake Nighthorse Recreational Operations (PDF)