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

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

cave

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

snow

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.]

6 days ago

Awesome hike!

10 days ago

My husband and I did this hike yesterday afternoon. We were surprised to see only two other cars at the trailhead when we arrived a around 12:30pm. We saw two hikers on the way to the lake and then had lake/waterfall to ourselves. I thought for sure it would be crowded and was happy to be wrong. The trail was snow packed. Visually, it looked like a winter-wonderland. The trees were lightly dusted in snow. We both had our yaktraks on and I was thankful for them multiple times throughout the hike. Definitely some slippery spots, especially on the way back down.

14 days ago

Love this hike! Did it in 1.5 hours with crampons - highly suggest them! There were a couple people with just boots who made it, but it looked difficult. Had the lake to ourselves :)

14 days ago

Great Hike. It’s worth the climb to the top. Be careful there are some slick spots. We did this as a family. 15 & 13 yr olds handled it well.

hiking
16 days ago

Crampons // spikes are a must. They will allow you to actually enjoy it. After the bottom part it’s mostly pure ice and snow. The lake looks super unique with all the icicles hanging down where the water flows.

21 days ago

Beautiful hike, and worth the climb!

24 days ago

Wonderful hike not too bad, buy at this time of the year I would totally recommend to use spikes, there is plenty of ice at the top...

hiking
25 days ago

Great short hike! There’s still some ice closer to the top so spikes are recommended. Spouting Rock was great little spur from the main trail but well worth it.

hiking
26 days ago

So, yeah, this hike is brutal if you are even remotely out of shape. Even my friend who is in shape struggled. But the view is SO WORTH IT. Don’t give up. I’m a beginning hiker who was rather sedentary up until a couple weeks ago when I moved here to Colorado, and I made it up to the top with my husband and friend in 1 hour and 20 minutes. Took just a touch over an hour to get back down. This time of year is gorgeous because there’s just the right amount is snow and ice. Bring your ice cleats or you will be sorry after bridge 4.

26 days ago

I've completed this a few times!!! I love it, beautiful views and decent hike, despite the elevation change.

hiking
30 days ago

We did the hike in the afternoon on 11/10. Highly recommend wearing spiked boots. It definitely got slick after the 3rd bridge. The trek back was even slippery, with all of us wiping out at least once.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful views! We hiked it yesterday and the hike to get up there is a little rough but so worth it! It gets pretty icey so be sure to wear proper shoes.

hiking
1 month ago

Such an incredible view. Need the right winter gear and shoes that can handle steep icy rocks at this time of year but well worth it!

hiking
1 month ago

Husband and I did hiked this lake on 11/8. The beginning of the trail was paved road then rocky and about half way it’s was icy. But with spikes, it’s very doable. We saw some people with regular shoes, they were struggled but they made it to the lake with us. There are 7 bridges that you’ll cross. The last stretch of the trail was a bit of an incline but don’t let the height intimidate you. Once you’re passed the incline, you are there!! It’s a must when you’re in Colorado!!!!

hiking
1 month ago

The water color was beautiful! The trail is pretty steep, but it’s short enough that we didn’t have any trouble.

hiking
1 month ago

Moderately strenuous climb that is beautiful and well worth the view. Lots of high steps can be tough on the knees. Went today and it was snowy and really icy, wouldn’t recommend without snow friendly footwear.

hiking
1 month ago

Was there on Nov 1st and the waterfall was flowing. There were a good amount of people out so if you like solitude, this isn't for you. It was pretty steep, but short. Took about an hour up, and the same down. It seems easy because it isn't long, but definitely has a steep grade. Note: It was much colder with more wind in the parking lot than in the canyon.

hiking
1 month ago

A very difficult climb but manageable with plenty of stops along the way. Once you make it to the top you're greeted with amazing views. Definitely a top spot to visit.

1 month ago

Stunning

hiking
1 month ago

Pretty intense trail but even not used to high elevations (we live at 400ft) my whole family was able to do this. We had a 6 and 7 year old at the time. This was my kids first real hike and they still talk about it 1 1/2 years later. Absolutely beautiful!

1 month ago

One of three most beautiful places I've been!

1 month ago

Loved this hike! Beautiful waterfalls! Good for a short but moderately difficult day hike.

1 month ago

Hard if you're a bit out of shape but so worth the hike.

1 month ago

challenging hike with a worth while pay off at the end. Water falls and babbling creeks the whole way to the top.

hiking
1 month ago

This trail and it’s rewards are gorgeous. Hanging Lake and Spouting Rock are so worth the effort. I am a 50 year old person in ok shape who doesn’t hike very much, and I would definitely call this trail difficult rather than moderate. It’s a vertical climb on rocks and steps all the way up. Slow and steady wins the race - we and many others took a LOT of short breaks to get up to the top. There are a lot of benches along the hike where you can rest. My knees are sore today from coming back down. However it’s one of the most glorious lakes I’ve ever hiked to. And the satisfaction of having completed this hike is quite nice too.

hiking
1 month ago

we went here oct 21. the hanging lake itself is absolutely gorgeous! unfortunately you have to climb for over a mile almost the entire way. it definitely took the wind out of us being from GA and all :P I was a little disappointed because the waterfall was pretty dried up at this time of the season. it would have been nicer in the spring or summer when the waterfall is a constant companion. all in all quiet nice. definitely take your time as some of the rocks are extremely slippy! I lost count of how many people I saw slip on the rocks both on the way up and down.

horseback riding
1 month ago

Ffgg

1 month ago

Possibly my favorite short hike in Colorado. Please stay on the trail and out of the water so we can keep this trail open.

hiking
1 month ago

Hanging Lake was stunning today! Rather steep and rocky but definitely worth the views all the way up. I am not super fit or out of shape (somewhere in the middle) and I was able to do it without too much difficulty. Bring water and snacks!
Also, be sure to see Spouting Rock! It’s a quick trail right before you reach the top of Hanging Lake. It’s a gorgeous waterfall you won’t want to miss!

hiking
2 months ago

The slope was very steep but the lake was amazing!

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