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Lake Nighthorse

The draft Lake Nighthorse Environmental Assessment is available online at http://www.usbr.gov/uc/progact/animas/index.html, under the Environmental Compliance tab or a copy can be received by contacting Justyn Liff at 970-248-0625. 

Public comments are due by Monday, April 25, 2016 and should be submitted directly to the Bureau of Reclamation as noted in the email.

Melissa Youssef, the Vice Chair of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, has written a letter to the Bureau of Reclamation on behalf of the Board on recreation at Lake Nighthorse.  You may view the letter here.

The Bureau of Reclamation will consider all comments received prior to preparing a final environmental assessment. Written comments can be submitted by email to or mailed to: Ed Warner, Bureau of Reclamation, 445 West Gunnison Ave., Suite 221, Grand Junction, CO 81501. Comments are due by Monday, April 25.

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 - Draft

Historical Documents:

Lake Nighthorse May 2011 Final Master Plan

Annexation Area Map

Durango Area Public Lands Map

Lake Nighthorse Public Presentation from June 18, 2014

For questions to the Bureau of Reclamation regarding the current status of recreation at Lake Nighthorse, please email to