Hanging Lake Trail

MODERATE 1,138 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.

2.8 miles
1204 feet
Out & Back

kid friendly



nature trips

trail running








wild flowers





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.]

2 days ago

I arrived around 8am last Saturday and had the lake to myself for nearly 30 minutes. Two other people arrived as i headed down. Very rewarding hike and not to difficult. Bring yaktrax and arrive early.

3 days ago

Nice elevation gain in short span, but nothing too bad. Started early to beat the crowds. Only 2 people at the lake when I arrived. Beautiful, stunning and peaceful! On the way down, I passed by at least 100 people or so.

4 days ago

One of my favorite trails, although very heavy trafficked. A pretty steep incline but the view of the lake is ABSOLUTELY worth it! Don't forget to check out the waterfall up and behind the lake and many people miss!

5 days ago

Yak tracks are recommended in the winter. Absolutely gorgeous at the top!

18 days ago

Gorgeous trail, worth the climb year-round. Mid December I used my micro spikes since snowshoes weren’t needed. Dress in layers! Warm on the way up but hanging out by the falls and coming down gets chilly and damp.

20 days ago

It was very slippery with ice covering most of the trail. Lots of traffic came in around 10:30am as we were leaving.

25 days ago

great views but usually over crowded

27 days ago

Hiking Hanging Lake in the winter was definitely worth it. The half frozen lake and the frozen sections of waterfall gave it a unique look. I would highly recommend using yaktraks or another alternative this time of year due to icy sections of the trail.

1 month ago

Terrific waterfalls views. Definitely icy, we only had our boots, fell once and slipped several other times, but it looks unique half frozen in the winter. Continue hiking up for 5 mins after the main falls and there is another one that you can walk behind. Follow me on instagram at @jnardthedirector for scenic adventures.

1 month ago

Nice hike and the lake/waterfall was not frozen.

Most of the trail had tree cover, sunscreen optional.

Highly recommend micro spikes and hiking poles or something similar due to the ice/snow.

Arrived at the trail head around 0900 on Friday and parking lot was empty.

Since AllTrails does not have a way to communicate with other outdoor enthusiast, I can be reached on Facebook Messenger if you have any questions.

1 month ago

beautiful hike & worth checking out the waterfall about 0.3 miles past hanging lake! (done in August 2017)

1 month ago

I am writing a review now after almost 5 years... but I would go back there again!! We enjoyed it so much and we all should go there at least once. Such a nice feeling when you finally get to see the waterfall after a rough hike. You won't regret!!

1 month ago

Beautiful ending, but there are more trails near that are just as beautiful with less traffic and crawling over rocks

1 month ago

Wow. Worth the hike.

1 month ago

Great trail. Everyone PLEASE be cool and stay on the trail especially at the lake. This is one of the most heavily trafficked trails and the eco system is so fragile due to all the people. In winter Yak Trax or similar are a MUST for your shoes. Thanks to the gentleman who already mentioned this in reviews—I followed your advice and you sure were right. This trail could be very dangerous without proper footwear. I also recommend poles.

1 month ago

It is an amazing hike. The lake view is worth the climb. Lake is still open and the waterfall is flowing. We used crampons and would definitely recommend them. The trail is snow covered and packed. The sun was melting the exposed areas of the trail. Highly recommend this hike

1 month ago

Hiked it yesterday (12/27). Yak trax would have been incredibly helpful. The snow is very compacted and very slippery. People were falling everywhere because they did not wear the right footwear. Poles and yak trax very much recommended and take it slow! Definitely worth the slipping and sliding though. Beautiful in the winter!

1 month ago

Hiked on Christmas. The snow definitely makes it more difficult to hike up to the lake but the snow is just so beautiful! Hike itself really isn’t so bad. The lake water was crystal clear, pretty icicles all over. Great views from the top.

2 months ago

Just completed this hike on 19 Dec 2017. Temperature was mild, sun was out, although quite shady and cool on most of the trail. Only one or two patches of ice on the trail, easily stepped around. This kind of trail is designed for tourists and families. It starts at a nice parking lot, leads to a paved sideway right up to the trailhead. The trail is super-easy to follow, very often with rocks laid as steps, frequent bridges and handrails, and numerous benches for taking a rest. For a family hike, it has several rugged spots, and it can take an hour or more to get up if you take breaks. Views along the way are really nice, and the lake at the top is beautiful. The perimeter of the lake is almost like a city park, quite developed. So, if that's what you're looking for, it's great. If you want more of a wilderness trail, look elsewhere.

2 months ago

Hiked this trail with my boyfriend in late August. Very crowded towards the end walking back, got to park around 7:15 AM and we were one of like 15 cars in the parking lot. GET THERE EARLY, when we were leaving there was a line of cars waiting to park..
About the trail, we had just hiked a lot in RMNP and I expected this to be our "rest day" because it was a short hike, but it sure wasn't! Definetley not impossible, because we are not in the greatest shape.. but still gets your heart rate up big time. Towards the top, I thought it was honestly pretty unsafe. There is a "guard rail" but there were parts that were basically broken. Take your time and watch your footing.
Saw a LOT of little kids which made me nervous, I personally wouldn't bring a child under 10 years old on this trail very unsafe.
Also, do not touch the lake, put anything in it, etc. It is a fragile environment.
Overall, BEAUTIFUL hike and the lake is awesome. Also a large waterfall off the trail a little bit right near the lake! Worth it.

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