Hanging Lake Trail

MODERATE 1,300 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

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.]

3 hours ago

Ridiculous. Got there before 6 , beautiful without the crowds.

hiking
1 day ago

Amazing hike! It is a challenge for those who are not experienced hikers or for those who are not from the area and not used to the altitude. Best advice is to pace yourself and take breaks when needed. After all, hiking is about enjoying the climb to the top as well, not a race to finish first! It does get quite crowded as the day goes on, so the earlier you arrive the better. Good hiking shoes are also recommended.

hiking
2 days ago

Worth the drive and parking issue. Trail in good condition for the amount of traffic. Kid friendly. Not really a moderate hike, but still a good pump. Beautiful lake and falls!!!!

2 days ago

Gorgeous!!!! Truly amazing! Take the extra time to go to the waterfalls and get there early! I found this hike to be more easy/moderate. But I also hike a lot.

2 days ago

Amazing hike and well worth the view. Make sure to go to spouting rock after the lake, it’s only a few minutes farther and has a nice waterfall!

hiking
6 days ago

seemed harder than moderate rating, but we're not experienced hikers. well worth the effort though.

8 days ago

great waterfalls, definitely go to spouting rock after the lake!!!

hiking
10 days ago

Steep hike but well worth the effort put in! The lake up top is stunning and peaceful. I would definitely take the extra few steps further up to see sprouting rock falls. Beautiful waterfall which you are able to walk behind. My friend and I were driving back from Moab, Utah to Denver and decided to stop and do this hike. Took us about 2.5 hours round trip. Wear good hiking shoes as you’ll be climbing over rock the majority of the time. Have fun!

10 days ago

Steep hike, lots of fun! Would do it again

hiking
10 days ago

One of my oldest friends and I did this hike last Monday (5/14). We drove all the way from Denver, leaving around 5 am and arriving at the trailhead at 8 am. It took us about two hours to complete the hike, and let me tell you, it was worth the drive!

With beautiful cascading waterfalls the entire way up to the lake, this is one of the most majestic hikes I have been on. It is pretty much straight uphill after you leave the pavement. And although it is a relatively short hike, the 1200 feet of elevation gain over 1.4 miles made me break a sweat.

The lake itself is magnificent. I wish we would have been there a few hours later when the sunlight could illuminate the brilliantly bright emerald rocks reflecting through the pool, but then the crowds would have been overwhelming.

I think we actually enjoyed Spouting Rock more than the lake itself, as you can go directly behind/beneath it with the three waterfalls cascading down upon you.

Overall this was a magnificent hike that I would love to revisit! As with all SUPER popular hikes in Colorado, it's important to start early if you want to avoid crowds and ensure a spot in the small parking lot below.

10 days ago

beautiful

11 days ago

Wow - what an incredible hike! My only complaint would be that this trail gets very crowded, so if you’re in search of seclusion, you’ll want to look elsewhere. Otherwise, it’s worth the hype! The hike up to the lake is steep but manageable and follows along a stream the whole way. The trail is very well maintained and easy to follow. Once up top, you’re rewarded with a truly unique view. The water cascading into the turquoise hued lake almost makes you forget about the stunning canyon view below. Make sure to continue the short distance past the lake to check out Spouting Rock, a larger waterfall that spouts directly from a cliff face. Even better, you can walk behind the falls to cool off and enjoy the view.

13 days ago

Amazing trail. Nice and steep with a lot of rocky terrain. The waterfalls and the lake were beautiful and well worth the hike. The trail is very well kept up with. I only had to carry out one piece of trash. Highly recommend this trail!!

13 days ago

Beautiful hike first thing in the morning, the trail gets really crowded after 8 AM. If you want a super amazing hike try and get there before sunrise. It’s a great work out first thing in the morning. You have about 1100 feet elevation gain in 1.3 miles. If you want to be one with nature, this is it. The beautiful sounds of the waterfalls throughout the entire hike and mother nature did not disappoint when she made this lake. It is absolutely stunning. Enjoy!

hiking
14 days ago

Beautiful hike! Make sure to wear sturdy shoes because the incline is covered in rocks going all the way up to Hanging Lake. Recommend lots of water too! Total hike time up to the lake was 40-45 mins on a moderate pace.

hiking
15 days ago

A must do in Colorado

hiking
16 days ago

Start early if you don't like crowds. Beautiful. Rocky trail, so wear good shoes. We come every year; the scenery all the way up is worth the effort.

16 days ago

Great hike 734 vertical climb 1.2 Miles

hiking
18 days ago

This hike is just amazing. The views are so worth it. The trail itself is rocky and and steep in areas, but nothing our children ages 6, 9, and 13 couldn't handle. Worth the extra climb to Sprouting Rock. The only annoying thing was that even though the signage clearly says "no dogs" people had their dogs on the trail anyway.

hiking
19 days ago

Beautiful hike. Not too crowded. I severely underestimated how “steep and rocky” this hike was. I read the signs, but my stubborn brain said “it’s only 1.2 miles”, and my stupid fat body was like “yeah you can do it, go on a hike, lose some weight.” Wow. All in all it was a great hike, nice shady trail, gorgeous view at the top. But I just realized how out of shape I am. But if a chubby guy like me can do it, you can too!

20 days ago

Es increíble. Vale la pena. Esperé mucho tiempo para poder hacer el recorrido.

hiking
21 days ago

Got there at 7:30a on a Sunday, not a lot of cars there. I’m from Michigan and did not prepare myself physically like I should have and took a good amount of breaks on the way up, but it was so worth it. Took probably way too many pictures but the views were too good to not capture them!

hiking
22 days ago

beautiful. Got there 4/21 at 8:30am and the parking lot was about 3/4 full. It was completely full when we got back down around 11am. moderate hike that felt like stairs most of the way up. Had snowed the previous day so it was quite muddy with the snow melting but otherwise a beautiful hike. trail is easy to follow, there are a few narrow segments where it would be difficult to pass people.

23 days ago

Got lucky with parking a hardly no one there... towards the end of the day. Beautiful once you reach the top. Last stretch was difficult. Wouldn’t recommend for my mother or someone with knee issues.

hiking
23 days ago

We went there on a Sunday morning. Would be a much better experience if it was not so crowded. Also, bathrooms were quite dirty and stinky.

hiking
24 days ago

Almost no one else there on a drizzly Thursday morning. I can't add much that hasn't already been said below: It is pretty steep but not too long. It's rocky but, even with a little rain, it wasn't too slippery. The views on the way up are fantastic and the lake is a view I'll always remember. Good stuff.

28 days ago

The hike up the trail was challenging but manageable. The reward is 10 fold when you see the pristine beauty of Hanging Lake. I will definitely be hiking this one again.

hiking
28 days ago

Have to hit this trail at 6 am if you want a parking spot. Light use in the morning and heavy use in the afternoon. Alot of changes happening soon with a permit system.

hiking
28 days ago

It was beautiful! Very crowded, the parking lot was full when we arrived and we had to wait in a line for 15 minutes. But it was worth it. Stunning views. Definitely a steep climb getting up there. Check out Spouting Rock while you’re up there!

hiking
1 month ago

A bit muddy, but otherwise clear. Make sure to do spouting rock above the lake.

Load More