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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 is primarily used for hiking, running, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from March until October.

Length 3.0 mi Elevation gain 1,135 ft Route type Out & Back

Kid friendly

Hiking

Nature trips

Bird watching

Running

Cave

Forest

Lake

River

Views

Waterfall

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Rocky

Scramble

Snow

No dogs

Description
Waypoints (2)
Contact
Tips
Getting There

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.

Colorado Tourism Office, 1625 Broadway, Suite 1700 , Denver, CO, Phone: 800-COLORADO

I believe the canyon walls are so tall that the GPS tracks are not accurate. I have tried to arrange them a little more accordingly to what I can see of the trail on the editor.

Directions from Eagle: Travel 23 miles west of Eagle on I-70 to the Grizzly exit on Glenwood Canyon. Turn around, get back on the eastbound lane of I-70 and head back to the Hanging Lake exit (there is no westbound exit). There is a new large developed rest area with toilets, drinking water, information and parking. The trail itself begins 1/4 mile east of the rest area on the left just before a bridge. There are picnic tables at the rest area and at the trailhead. It is important to note that dogs are not allowed on this trail because of its high use. There are no facilities at the top of the trail and because of the strenuous nature of the trail, make sure you bring drinking water.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (2822)
Photos (1670)
Recordings (1525)
Completed (6527)
Sarah Kozlowski
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Hiking

Looking for 2 permits for any of the following days: 7/20, 7/21, 7/22 or 7/23. Email smkozlows@gmail.com. Thanks!!

Heather Trowbridge
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jul 12 2020

Looking for 2 tickets 8/14 or 8/15 Please email me Dancndiscodolli@gmail.com

Bhavya Reddy Soma
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Hiking

Very beautiful place

Andy Gradl
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Hiking

FOR PARENTS. Wanted to chime in, from reading reviews discouraging children, that this trail is completely doable for hearty children who are used to hiking. My CO born and trail-raised 4 year old hiked this with minimal help. That doesn't mean that all 4 year olds can and should. Just like adults, know you kids' abilities and be willing to turn back if it's too much. There is a very small, somewhat sketchy part near the top, but it can be managed safely with help and care. That being said, it is steep. What should be written is that children who are not used to hiking steep and rough terrain might have trouble. Just like adults, some can handle it, others can't. It isn't a trail for many kids, but many others will do just fine!

Kara Noland
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jul 11 2020
Hiking

Worth every penny!

Iuliia Alieva
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jul 11 2020
Hiking

Looking for 5 tickets for July 21 iuliia.alieva@mail.missouri.edu Thanks!

Julie Bartos
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jul 11 2020
Hiking

Looking for TWO or FOUR permits on any of these days: July 22, 28, 31, August 4th or 5th. Am wanting to do a mother daughter hike with a friend and our daughters before they leave for college as a fun memory. Please email julie_behrens@yahoo.com if you can help. thanks and have a great day!

Taylor Davis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jul 11 2020
Hiking

Looking for 4 tickets on 7/12 please email me @ taylorjessicadavis@gmail.com Thanks!

Nells Beauty Bar
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jul 11 2020
Hiking

Beautiful morning, it's strenuous but so worth it! Absolutely beautiful!!

View Nells's Recording
May Gantugs
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jul 10 2020
Hiking

Hi I’m looking for 2 tickets for 07/12. If you want to sell your tickets please email me: Gantugs.may@gmail.com

Zoe Call
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jul 10 2020
Hiking

Looking for 3 permits anytime between July 11-13. callzoey@gmail.com

Erla Cable
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Looking for two tickets for 7/10 or 7/11. Willing to Venmo or pay cash with a tip. erla.yanes15@gmail.com

Samantha Bonk
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Hiking

Have 2 tickets for tomorrow, 7/10 @ 9:30am. samanthabonk0@gmail.com

Jonathan Lee
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HikingGreat!

Hello, I visited this trail back in 2012 before it was so crowded and there was a reservation system in place. Beautiful trail and would like to take my wife there as well but did not realize you need a permit until now. Looking for 2 reservations on the dates of August 5-7. Send me a text if anyone's plans have changed: 832-317-6097‬

Rich Neel
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jul 09 2020
HikingRocky

I’ve hiked many “14ers” so this wasn’t too steep and long so “moderate” was ok rating . However, we hiked with three kids and I had to carry my 5yr old up most of the way and much of it down. My 11 and 9yr olds were definitely worn out by the time we got to bottom. I would definitely rate it “hard” for kids so make sure you have plenty of water and have realistic expectations with your little ones. Took around 3hrs r/t with rests. Would not recommend to anyone not in shape or with bad knees. Top was incredible and also be sure to check out the falls that you can walk under too.

Yurii Land
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jul 09 2020
Hiking

What an amazing trail. A bit steep incline very rocky but so beautiful and with it at the top.

View Yurii's Recording
Fabien Munoz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jul 09 2020
Hiking

Looking for 4 tickets for July 16th or 17th (audrey.vassal@gmail.com) Thanks

Ellie Moore
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jul 09 2020
Hiking

Looking for 1 pass on 7/21 or 7/22. If you have one, please email me at elliemoore38@gmail.com! Thank you!

Skyler Williams
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jul 09 2020
HikingFee

Looking for one permit for Sunday August 16, please let me know if anyone can help. Will pay human dollars Skylerwilliams26@yahoo.com

Veronica Bello Biava
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Jul 08 2020
Hiking

I have 2 tickets for tomorrow (7/9) at 9:30am. Email me if you are interested veronicabello@hotmail.com (24$ for both tickets).

Bella Ayala
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jul 07 2020
HikingRockyScramble

A LOT of up hill stairs but once you get to the top the view is worth it! Some rocks are slippery, but I’m also clumsy so it could’ve just been me. Overall was amazing and a lot faster and easier going down.

View Bella's Recording
Angela Gomez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jul 07 2020
Hiking

Looking for 4 permits for our trip the weekend of August 1st and 2nd. Please let me know if you have any cancellations and would like us to buy them from you. Ackenski4@gmail.com

Zoe Call
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jul 06 2020
Hiking

Looking to hike hanging lake this weekend July 11, 12 or 13. Will buy your permit if your plans changed! Email callzoey@gmail.com. Looking for three permits. Thank you!

Jenna LaFleur
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jul 03 2020
HikingFeeRocky

Calling to your creative spirit, Hanging Lake Trail, inspires from the very first step! If you’ve an affinity for writing- nature or fiction- this is a place where magic is born. From the playful ever-changing path of dirt trail to stepping stones to rock-worn steps to boulders to bridges, every step upward brings new interest. To the constant companion of the mountain river that sings you multiple melodic rhythms melding from a great rushing river to a gentle trickling stream, and back, encouraging you all the way to the top. To the lush white river forest amidst the mountains cliffs immersing you in the spell of nature’s beauty so deep that of course you must go onward. All of this will refresh your soul so fully that you will actually find a storehouse of energy to embrace the intense incline and elevation not noticing its ominous topographic reality of “straight up.” Every trail section has a spot inviting you to catch your breath where you will find contentment to just “be” there— and might actually stay if it weren’t for all you have heard about the final destination. And every word of those promises is true. The arrival at the opulent Hanging Lake will make you wonder if fairies really do exist. It’s vibrant, healing, unique ecosystem captivates. And it’s possible, if you allow yourself the stillness, to breath in the gift of creation at its core, and re-find your own center reminding you of your own unique calling. A space of connection, to be certain. So have patience with the permit process, persevere, for you will have immense gratitude to all those who have worked so hard to restore this treasured space—it’s reduced numbers brings serenity to the hike. You will feel... maybe even be part of...it’s coming back to life.

Kimberly Pine
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarThu Jul 02 2020
HikingFeeRockyScramble

Here’s some things to know as of 7/1/20: Hiking this trail is now only allowed by purchase of a permit at an assigned time. Mine cost $12. Entrance to the trailhead parking is only accessible via I70 East (driving away from Glenwood Springs) and only let’s out onto I70 WEST. The only place to turn around east of the exit is the town of Glenwood springs which is about 20 minutes away. This isn’t much of a problem if you’re coming from Glenwood and returning after, but is a bit inconvenient if you are only coming for the hike. Take this extra 40 minutes driving time into consideration and maybe plan to spend a few ours in Glenwood as most of the shops have opened up and would benefit from the revenue! Any traffic trouble aside, Glenwood Canyon genuinely is one of the most beautiful places in Colorado, if not the states. The hike is challenging but well worth it. Take more water than you think you need and take please of breaks but don’t give up! There’s one very steep area immediately before the lake, but there is railing here to assist. Definitely go if you can find a spot.

Kim Pham
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jun 30 2020
Hiking

Kept checking back on the website multiple times to find an available reservation during our travel days to Glenwood Springs. Though 6:30am is early, there was enough light. The Ranger let us wait until the rain stopped at 6:50, but the trail wasn’t muddy or puddly after a couple hours rainfall. As I always say, no shame in trekking poles! For a H73/L44 weather day, it was very cold at the top waterfalls to where all put jackets on. We were thankful for the repeat hikers who advised of the “behind the waterfall” path at Sprouting Rock that allowed a great photo op. Don’t fret over the sprouting rock entrance - once you make it up those initial big rocks, you’re basically there.

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