Durango is packed full of fun activities to help visitors beat the heat and cool off during the summer months including stand up paddle boarding, kayaking and of course swimming. Searching for the perfect place to relax on the water? Durango lakes offer picturesque views, refreshing waters and a great place for some summer recreation. Check out these 5 beautiful lakes you'll find in southwest Colorado.
Lake Nighthorse is just 2 miles from downtown Durango and is the perfect spot to spend a day having fun in the sun. Lake Nighthorse offers great boating and fishing for visitors and locals alike. There are several outfitters located on site to rent out paddle boards, kayaks, canoes and more. You can even take a private fly fishing trip with Duranglers.
Vallecito Lake is approximately 18 miles from Durango and is widely known as one of Colorado's most beautiful bodies of water. It makes an excellent day trip out of Durango, with all of your classic lake activities offered. If you want to stay right on the lake, Pine River Lodge offers cabins with great views and easy access to the lake.
To get to Emerald Lake, you'll need to take a little bit of a hike. The trek is 20 miles round trip, so it's easy to make a weekend out of it. When you arrive at the lake in the Weminuche Wilderness, you'll immediately realize it was worth the work to get there. Emerald Lake is absolutely breathtaking, with crystal clear waters to dip your toes in and mountain & forest views all around.
The Ice Lakes are two picturesque basins of glacial water. The trail is a great place to spot wildflowers in the spring and summer months. Visitors to Ice Lakes are amazed by the incredible blue and green waters. While it's typically pretty chilly at this Durango lake, it's a great location for camping and enjoying some rest and relaxation with a view.
Spud Lake requires a quick and easy two mile hike to access. If you're bringing kids along, this is a great lake to visit as it never gets too strenuous. It's a little further from Durango (30 miles away) but it has multiple access spots for fishing, paddleboarding or even a lakeside picnic. Take a casual stroll around the lake on the pathway and take in the incredible views you'll only find in southwest Colorado.