Colorado is home to numerous hiking trails, but one trail in Glenwood Canyon has become one of the state’s most popular hiking spots. Known as Hanging Lake, this one-of-a-kind trail offers an uphill hike that results in an outstanding view. Full of crystal clear water and breathtaking waterfalls, the natural wonder of Hanging Lake will make the hike worth every minute. Hit the Hanging Lake trail the next time you’re in the Centennial State.
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This gorgeous part of Colorado is located off Highway I-70 near Glenwood Springs and Rifle, Colo. Now there are plenty of naturally unique places found in the state. However, Hanging Lake is home to a hanging plant community, something not typically found here. Due to its unique nature, Hanging Lake is designated as a National Natural Landmark.
Now the hike up the lake doesn’t require any technical gear, but sturdy shoes are highly recommended. Keep in mind, there is no potable water along the hike, so it’s important you bring your own water bottle to the trailhead. As you hike up this one-mile trail, expect steep parts and rocky terrain. As you reach Hanging Lake, you’ll find handrails to guide you through the steepest part of the trail. Once you tackle this obstacle though, you’ll reach the boardwalk that circles this beautiful alpine lake.
Hanging Lake has become such a popular destination that there are rules to abide by while hiking and viewing the lake. This area is a unique ecosystem, so treat the area with respect. Swimming, fishing, and walking on the fallen trees in the lake are not allowed. Dogs are not allowed on the trail either. If you intend to hike this trail during summer, make sure to arrive early to find a parking spot, since parking fills up fast during warm and busy months.
Hanging Lake also is a beautiful place to explore during the winter months. Since this area regularly sees snow in the winter, expect a snow-packed and icy trail. Since conditions are a bit more treacherous, it may be a good idea to bring along boots, crampons and trekking poles. A winter ascent of Hanging Lake should be reserved for those in healthy physical shape and with proper gear. If you want to make it an overnight adventure, there are plenty of accommodations in the area and family-friendly attractions to enjoy.
This popular Colorado trail is visited by more than 100,000 people every year. Hikers will get in a great workout on this trail that gains 1,000 feet in elevation in a little over a mile. Don’t let the short-yet-challenging hike scare you away from visiting Hanging Lake, a spot that is admired by tourists and locals alike.
Address: White River National Forest, 900 Grand Avenue, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
Phone Number: 970-945-2521