Hanging Lake

Plan a Day Hike in Glenwood Canyon

Hanging Lake Trail Closed – Update as of August 23, 2020

Due to the Grizzly Creek Fire, Hanging Lake Trail is closed until further notice. Virtually none of the trail infrastructure was damaged, including all seven bridges, signage, the historic Civilian Conservation Corps shelter and the boardwalk along the south edge of the lake, Gilles said.  “We keep calling it a miracle, that not a single ember affected any of that,” she said, describing scorched areas and active hot spots right next to some of the bridges and even under the boardwalk. “The lake itself was just as gorgeous and blue as ever, the log, everything, was still intact,” she said, referencing the famous log that floats across part of the lake. Spouting rock, another unique geologic feature located above the lake, was also running clear as ever, she said. Gilles and Fitzwilliams figure the damp lake environment, green vegetation and cooler canyon temperatures, plus steep cliffs on three sides of the lake and drop-off below it, helped protect the fragile natural feature.

Head to Visit Glenwood Springs for more information regarding Hanging Lake. 

There are so many ways to play in Glenwood Springs with Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park a top-ranking choice. Another attraction that gets top billing is Hanging Lake. Located in Glenwood Canyon, the trail is a favorite Colorado visitor destination. Unlike other trails in the area, due to its popularity hiking this beauty takes some planning.

Hike to Hanging Lake

Hanging Lake is a stunning hike that begins in Glenwood Canyon. A comfort station with restrooms and water fountains is usually visitors’ first stop. The paved path follows the Colorado River to the trailhead and offers picture-perfect red-rock canyon views. Though the trail is short, just 1.2 miles (1.9 km), it’s steep, so take your time and wear study footwear. Enroute, you’ll follow the dirt trail along the creek, scramble over boulder fields and walk along loamy foot paths. Wooden bridges add charm along the way. The final ascent is steep and many, especially those with young children, are grateful for the handrail. As you round the final bend, you’ll step onto a boardwalk that surrounds and protects the edge of the pristine mountain lake. Remember to practice leave no trace principles. Take plenty of time to enjoy the view of the three cascading waterfalls and lake. For a little more physical effort, follow the signs to Spouting Rock which ranges from a torrent to a trickle depending on water flow. Notice the hanging gardens of ferns and other foliage in the micro-climate of the falls.

Purchase a Permit to Hike Hanging Lake

In order to preserve the pristine natural environment, create a pleasant hiking experience for all and prevent overuse, permits are required to hike to Hanging Lake. A straightforward online reservation system allows you to choose the date and time of your hike. A portion of the $12 per person fee goes to trail maintenance and education.

Beyond Our Mountain-Top Theme Park

Because Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park believes the adventure should continue beyond your visit to America’s only mountaintop theme park, we encourage visitors to hike to Hanging Lake and explore the many other things-to-do in Glenwood Springs.


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