Hanging Lake Trail

MODERATE 1,094 reviews

Hanging Lake Trail is a 2.8 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
2.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1204 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

cave

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

no dogs

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. [NOTE: 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.]

hiking
1 day ago

More beautiful than expected! A must see and don’t forget to make the last little hike above the lake to see the origin of all the water!

hiking
3 days ago

the drive through Glenwood canyon to the trailhead is about as beautiful as you can get. The lake is a beautiful short hike away. you're going uphill the entire time, but the views are beautiful the entire way. once you see the lake, make sure to head up to spouting rock. it's a very short addition and very worth it.

A perfect post thanksgiving all family hike. Too tough for my 70 Year old parents but very doable for everyone else including 8year olds.

4 days ago

5 days ago

A beautiful hike to witness God’s creation that’s worth taking time for, but wear the right gear!
Started up on Monday at 8:00 a.m after a 1” snowfall and had the place to ourselves. As another reviewer wrote, it was totally worth arriving early. A 4 hr. round trip included 30 mins. at the lake and Spouting Rock (do not miss this; it’s only a 5 minute easy hike from the lake). I’m 57; my wife 60 and both in good health but don’t try to be the fastest. Met 15 others headed up on our return trip to the parking lot and almost all of them were ill prepared for this hike. Tennis shoes are NOT the right equipment, particularly in the snow and ice! We were very thankful to have worn hiking boots with Stabilicers (one of our best buys of all time!) on them for the icy, snowy, and rocky climb which made it totally doable, but we were concerned for others headed up and wondered how they fared. It is a solid Moderate rated trail for CO, but if you are from an Eastern State like we are (GA), it’s a Hard due to the elevation + climb (akin to climbing stairs for 1-1/2 hrs.). Saw a bald eagle flying above the river as we approached the trail - a real bonus! There are 7 bridges going up and the trail is in great shape thanks to the USFS (and our tax dollars). When you get to the handrails, you are almost at the lake but that point requires a bit of rock scrambling so hands are required. Enjoy this awesome hike before the USFS begins controlling access as others have mentioned in prior posts.

hiking
6 days ago

Great 3 hr hike with a steepish climb. Moderately strenuous only because of the steep ascent. Not too long. This was a unplanned stop for us on route to Utah from Colorado. Really enjoyed it and glad to have stopped here. The trail had a lot of traffic ( we went during the Thanksgiving weekend )

A suggested itinerary - One can do the hanging lake hike, drive 30-40 mins to Glenwoods Springs and relax the body muscles in the hot spring pools...

hiking
11 days ago

I love this trail and Hanging Lake definitely lives up to all the hype! We went yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon and started the hike around 1 pm. The trail wasn’t that busy and when we got to the lake there were only 4 other people there. We almost had the lake to ourselves! The hike isn’t too long, but can be tough navigating the rocky terrain, it’s often like walking stairs. I would do this hike again, but probably will still want to go early or during the off season to avoid the crowds.

hiking
12 days ago

absolutely amazing! best day ever hardly anyone there! had the lake to ourselves for at least 10 minutes!

hiking
13 days ago

13 days ago

13 days ago

hiking
14 days ago

14 days ago

Gorgeous, but very steep. Worth the climb!

hiking
15 days ago

One of my favorites and always love to take people here to open their eyes. I went on Thanksgiving Eve and there was no snow on the trail. Relaxing at the hot springs after this is the perfect combo. The sign said difficult but I got 2 lazy teenagers up there who said it was worth every minute of their struggle up, Started at 745am and had Hanging Lake and Sprouting rock to ourselves for 20-30 minutes each, then the masses started up as we were leaving. Waking up before the birds is always worth it int he end.

hiking
15 days ago

15 days ago

I am in love with this place. Only reason I don't rate it 5 stars is because of the amount of disrespect people have for such a beautiful location. Because of such things, population restrictions for hanging lake will take place in the near future as they have posted a message stating so at the trailhead between the lake and upper waterfall. Must pay for a required shuttle and day pass...What a lovely thing to see when you haven't been to this place in months right?

hiking
16 days ago

hiking
16 days ago

hiking
18 days ago

Great hike! Loved seeing the water the entire way up!!

hiking
22 days ago

(Relatively) Short, steep hike that leads to a gem of lake with colors of emerald and turquoise. Not to mention easy access/right off I- 70. Highly recommended.