Hanging Lake

Plan a Day Hike in Glenwood Canyon

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.

Off-Peak Season

November 1, 2019 - April 30, 2020

$10/per person
Purchase a day permit and self-park at the Hanging Lake Rest Area (170 Exit 125), hike to Hanging Lake from there
Be prepared to present your permit to an authorized agent or Forest Service Officer upon request

Peak Season

May 1 - October 31, 2020

$12/per person
Park at the Hanging Lake Welcome Center
(110 Wulfsohn Road, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601)
Bike/hike to the Hanging Lake trailhead
Personal vehicles allowed to park at the trailhead with permit!

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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