About the Project

Construction is underway at the entrance to Lake Nighthorse. The City of Durango is making improvements to the entrance by replacing the temporary entrance building with permanent structures, including a new building for boat inspections and decontamination, including office space, a small ticket booth building, site landscaping and restoration, as well as new entrance road design.

The current boat decontamination station is a trailer-mounted pressure washer and water tank, meant for mobile use. This system cannot efficiently regulate the water temperature required to decontaminate boats, which slows the cleaning process and increases risk of invasive species contamination as well as damage to boats.

The current ticket booth is also a temporary structure. This project will include a new full decontamination and inspection building, a new ticket booth, storage for equipment, an office for staff, landscaping, and a stormwater detention pond.

The new entrance station will have more room for cars to queue inside the Lake Nighthorse entrance, rather than backing up out on to County Road 210, which happens frequently on busy days during the summer.

This project is funded through a cost share partnership with the Bureau of Reclamation and will cost $1.9 million.

The City of Durango Parks & Recreation is responsible for ensuring that the water remain free of invasive aquatic species such as quagga mussels, zebra mussels, New Zealand Mudsnail and Eurasian Watermilfoil. Colorado is a mandatory boat inspection state that requires all motorized and trailered watercrafts be professionally inspected by state certified personnel. The best way to ensure decontamination, aside from boater responsibility to clean, drain and dry their watercraft, is high pressure and hot water, up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

The existing system cannot efficiently regulate the water temperature. This slows the cleaning process down and heightens the risk of damaged property and invasive contamination.

The new system will be able to hold the precise temperature and gallons-per-minute flows for as long as necessary to decontaminate boats.

  • New ticket booth
  • Storage for equipment
  • An office for lake personnel
  • Decontamination & Inspection building, with high-pressure/high-heat decontamination
  • Landscaping, which will be irrigated by water recapture from the boat decontaminations
  • Stormwater detention pond to ensure stormwater quality and management
  • New parking lot design to increase room for cars to queue inside premesis

Construction started in June 2024 and is expected to be completed by late December 2024. It will be fully functional for the 2025 season.