Official - Lake Nighthorse Recreation Area

IMG_41421795 C.R. 210, Durango, Colorado - (970) 375-7335 - Lake Nighthorse Live Cam

Lake Nighthorse is open daily

Lake Nighthorse Recreation Area is open daily from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Find the full schedule, including wakeless & quiet hours, below.

New amenities to the swim beach include the Wibit Aqua Park (May through September), lifeguards and guard station, and a separate concrete paddle craft launch ramp. There also will be an expanded no wake zone connecting to west side. Spring pumping is underway from the Animas River that will bring the water level at the swim beach to meet the sand. 

NOTE: Beginning Monday June 7, boat decontamination schedule will be modified

This modification is due to a shortage of seasonal staff, which has impacted the city’s ability to have Aquatic Nuisance Species inspectors available to conduct ballasted boat decontaminations at all times when the lake is open. 

The city has prioritized staffing the boat inspection and decontamination station during hours that can accommodate the greatest volume of ballasted boat launches. Decontamination of ballasted boats will be available 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays through Mondays. There will be no decontamination Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Ballasted boats with valid green seal and white receipts may launch following incoming inspection and seal removal at any time when the lake is open. All lake users with boats, including ballasted boats, are encouraged to receive exit inspections and have green seals applied when leaving a waterbody. 

NEW Wibit Aqua Park at swim beach is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Full details are below in the swim beach tab.

To ensure the safety of the public and Lake Nighthorse staff during COVID-19, the City of Durango requests visitors maintain six feet social distance from others, wear a face covering, and bring a personal supply of hand sanitizer.

2021 Season and 5-Punch Passes may be purchased in person at the Recreation Center, or online  prior to Lake Nighthorse opening for the season. Full details are listed below in the Entrance Passes tab.

  1. Hours of operation
  2. Entrance passes
  3. Activities/ programs
  4. Swim beach
  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.  

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday open to 10 a.m. are quiet & wakeless hours, including holidays.

2021 Hours of operation may vary due to COVID-19. 

  • April 2 – May 9:  Friday, Saturday and Sunday Only; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Non-Motorized Recreation ONLY
  • May 14 – 31: Open Daily; 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Guarded Swim Beach Opens May 14; Motorized Recreation Begins May 15
  • June 1 – August 31:  6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Daily
  • September 1 – 30:  7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Daily 
  • October 1 – 17:  9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Daily 
  • October 22 – November 14:  Friday, Saturday and Sunday Only; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • November 15:  Winter Wildlife Closure

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)

Entrance Sign image