Hanging Lake Trail

MODERATE 2179 reviews

Hanging Lake Trail is a 3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Glenwood Springs, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October.

Distance: 3.0 miles Elevation Gain: 1,135 feet Route Type: Out & Back

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

trail running

bird watching

cave

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

snow

no dogs

NOTE: You must obtain a permit to hike. There is a permit and shuttle service in place from May 1st-October 31st. There is no parking at the trailhead. Please visit the city of Glenwood Springs website for more information https://www.visitglenwood.com/hanginglake/#toggle-id-3 Hanging Lake Trail is one of Colorado's most visited and beautiful short hikes. Perched high in the mountains, the trail takes you along Dead Horse Creek and through the rocky Glenwood Canyon. It is a national natural landmark in the White River National Forest near Glenwood Springs, Colorado that can be reached easily from Denver. The trailhead is at a rest stop just off I-70 and the parking area is right next to the Colorado River. The trail is great for hiking and normally takes 2-4 hours. This steep hike has many large rocks and steps. Don't forget to follow the signs at the top to Spouting Rock, where snow-melt water from the Flat Tops pours out a hole in the limestone cliff. Because of its fragile ecosystem, visitors are not allowed to enter the water or climb on the logs in the lake. Please stay on the trail and obey posted signs in this unique and fragile environment. If you hike this in the winter it may be icy and you will need crampons.

hiking
rocky
22 hours ago

recorded Recording - Jul 17, 1:18 PM

hiking
1 day ago

Very tough hike but worth it in the end

hiking
closed
2 days ago

The exit to get to hanging lake was closed. If you are traveling west, you have to drive a few miles past it and turn around to exit off I-70, just to learn the ramp is closed. No warning from the other side. Very disappointed!

hiking
3 days ago

Hiked this with my wife today. The trail was moderately challenging. Pretty much a staircase climb. I give it four stars because of the spouting rock otherwise i would give it three stars. This waterfall above the lake has untouched beauty unlike the lake. The waterfall is the real deal. Unfortunately they put a boardwalk all the way across the hanging part of the lake. So in my opinion it doesn’t hang anywhere. Looks like a boardwalk in the way. In my opinion they should remove the boardwalk and restore it to its natural beauty. There should be just a viewing platform when you first come up.

hiking
rocky
4 days ago

A challenging trail with an incredible payoff, especially at the top. Would not recommend to those with small children, and advise sturdy boots, not tennis shoes.

hiking
4 days ago

One of the most beautiful places I’ve been! It’s not easy but very short, and wonderful especially on a sunny day. A permit is required for this area now due to how delicate it is - which I think is a great idea.

hiking
rocky
5 days ago

Wow wow wow. What an amazing trail! This has it all. The gorgeous lake, waterfalls, amazing views of the Colorado River and the magnificent Glenwood canyon. Took me 2 hours round trip along with plenty of photographs and I spent 10 minutes at the lake.

hiking
bugs
muddy
rocky
5 days ago

Ride the bus to the trail head and head up to the lake. The terrain is moderate, the last section of the trail is very interesting and can be daunting for a beginner. I took about 4 hrs to go up and down with multiple stops to take photos. Keep an eye for snakes, found a lot near the trail and one on the trail. I didn’t see any venomous ones though. The hike is fun and has very nice views. The lake is so clear, wish I could have swam in there. Bring a life straw or plenty of water during summer. I recommend waterproof shoes as well. If you get tired, take rests. You can make it!

hiking
5 days ago

I would say borders on difficult, lots of large rocks magnificent end!!! truly amazing

hiking
8 days ago

First time hiking this and loved it! The bus system is pretty solid. We did the 7:30 departure on Tuesday July 8,2019. Show up a little early and be ready to go, they will leave without you. There was parts of the trail that the river had broken through and the trail had little streams- so wear water proof hiking boots. Bring some water and maybe a snack with you too. We saw so many people without a single water bottle and they were struggling. This is pretty solid on the knee work out too! There is one part that could be unnerving for some where you have to get up a pretty rocky section. Just go slow and use the hand rail. We made it back down early and were able to catch an earlier bus home which was great! It’s an awesome hike!!

hiking
rocky
8 days ago

Absolutely amazing hike! Love the shuttle to control the amount of people.

hiking
rocky
8 days ago

hiking
rocky
8 days ago

hiking
9 days ago

The shuttle convenience of not having to find a parking spaces was just amazing. I have hiked the hanging lake 8 previous times. Totally worth of $12 permit fee and shuttle service. Got the first hike time of 6:45 am, was down by 9:30 am. Due to the shuttle and permit service, the trail isn’t crowded anymore. Plenty of time to take pictures and convince to all walkers. Many available time slots for shuttle. Recommended to book early.

hiking
9 days ago

Fantastic trail with a beautiful lake with waterfalls. Usually pretty crowded though, but what isn’t these days haha.

hiking
rocky
11 days ago

Drove here for two hours just to find out exit is closed :( ugh Do NOT forget the PERMIT!!! (I had no clue that it was permits only) And the actual hike is NOT easy!!! Be prepared for a lots of steps and uphill.

hiking
11 days ago

More strenuous than “moderate”. Constant climb all the way up. But oh so worth it. Make sure you go to Spouting Rock while you are at the top.

hiking
11 days ago

Amazing hike and worth all the steps (reservations, shuttles, and so on) to get to the top. We loved it! My sister, myself and and 8 year old. The 2 ladies thought is was strenuous...the 8 year old said it was easy...lol...We found riding a standby shuttle very easy. We didnt rush back.

hiking
12 days ago

Gorgeous views from up top all the way around from the canyon to the crystal clear lake to the waterfalls at sprooted rock! well worth the hastle.

hiking
13 days ago

People were taking dumps on the trail.

hiking
13 days ago

Beautiful trail! It’s a good challenge but well worth the view once you reach the top. I appreciated that they require appointments to schedule now on their site. There’s less people and you can tell it’s preserving the land.

hiking
15 days ago

Beautiful - especially this year with a record breaking spring run off. The waterfalls are spectacular b

hiking
rocky
16 days ago

Wow! This was a great hike! The lake is beautiful! So clear and all the way up you are walking next to meandering falls. Sprouted rock is amazing! So refreshing to get a spray of its thunderous falling water! I always have to stop when ascending to catch my breath but other than that not a difficult hike! Would return and would love to be able to get even higher!

hiking
17 days ago

I agree the trail is moderate but it is very short! Maybe it felt short because you get about 3 hours to make it back to your shuttle. I like the shuttle system but it is still too crowded. Beautiful views all the way up, but expect to be around a group of people the entire time. If you are staying in Glenwood Springs, check this trail out for sure. If you’re driving from Denver or further- I don’t think it’s worth it. The lake itself is also very small... the spouting rock was the best part!

hiking
17 days ago

stunning. worth the effort. be sure to check out spouting rock.

hiking
17 days ago

Beautiful! Nice hike along a river with plenty of photo opportunities. Make sure you make a reservation online but well worth it. I rarely pay for a hike... but this one is certainly worth it. The lake is STUNNING and there is a massive amount of water flowing with the recent rains and snow melt.

hiking
rocky
18 days ago

05/15/2019 - Pay online ahead for pass - chick in near marriot glendwood springs - hike was not hard. Last bit to the falls is a bit steep.

hiking
18 days ago

Beautiful destination hike. About 1000' vertical climb, so not very accessible for all. The short jaunt to Spouting Rock is awesome. Love the new permit/shuttle system for trail management!

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