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Hanging Lake

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.6 (122) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A true treasure of Glenwood Canyon, Hanging Lake is one of Colorado's most popular trails.


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Map Key

2.6

Miles

4.2

KM

Out and Back

7,145' 2,178 m

High

6,108' 1,862 m

Low

1,037' 316 m

Up

1,037' 316 m

Down

15%

Avg Grade (9°)

42%

Max Grade (23°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Lake · Views · Waterfall · Wildlife

Starting May 1, 2019 Hanging Lake can only be accessed with a permit. To apply for a permit and for more information, click here.

If approaching Hanging Lake via I-70 East, there is no eastbound return to I-70. If heading eastbound post hike, you must head west on I-70, then turnaround in Glenwood to head east.

Overview

This 1.5 acre lake was formed by a geologic fault which caused the lake bed to drop away from the valley floor above. Water flows into the lake over Bridal Veil Falls. The lake edge is built up from dissolved carbonates which are deposited on the shore as the water flows over.

Hanging Lake is very popular; when the parking lot is full, you must exit and return another time. Parking on the entrance or exit ramps of I-70 is prohibited. Please obey all signs and closures; illegally parked vehicles may be towed.

Hanging Lake can also be accessed via the Glenwood Canyon recreation path. Visitors are encouraged to walk or ride their bike from Glenwood Springs or one of the other rest areas in the canyon.

Need to Know

During peak season (May 1 - October 31), reservations cost $12/person. During non-peak season (November 1- April 30), reservations are $10/person.

Observe posted rules and regulations; Hanging Lake is a fragile ecosystem. Help preserve the lake by following all posted directions at the parking area, on the trail, and at the lake.

Description

This steep, scenic trail travels from the bottom of Glenwood Canyon up through Deadhorse Creek Canyon to Hanging Lake. Switchbacks wind their way up the canyon, accommodating the rise in elevation. Shortcutting these bends promotes erosion; please stay on the trail. In addition to the multiple switches, there are several rest stops along the way.

Some parts of the trail are rocky, especially in the beginning and at the end where it has steep stairs carved into the canyon cliff rock. The trail ends on a boardwalk around the lake.

This travertine lake is extremely sensitive, so special regulations apply. Please do not step off the boardwalk. There is a short offshoot from the trail before the boardwalk that leads to Spouting Rock where, for centuries, water has dissolved a passage through the limestone that exits out of a sheer cliff wall as a spectacular waterfall.

Check trail status HERE.

Contacts

Shared By:

Tom Robson

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 122 votes

#49

Overall
  4.6 from 122 votes
5 Star
75%
4 Star
20%
3 Star
3%
2 Star
1%
1 Star
2%
Recommended Route Rankings

#18

in Colorado

#49

Overall
47 Views Last Month
9,717 Since Apr 6, 2015
Intermediate/Difficult

1%
0%
53%
1%
44%
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Photos

Hanging Lake
Apr 6, 2015 near Glenwoo…, CO
Hanging Lake
Jul 28, 2017 near Glenwoo…, CO
Spouting Rock
Jul 14, 2015 near Glenwoo…, CO
Hanging lake in November, the water is still perfectly clear and the air is crisp.
Mar 28, 2018 near Glenwoo…, CO
It's an easy limbo under the falls above Hanging Lake
Jun 13, 2016 near Glenwoo…, CO
Hanging Lake
Apr 6, 2015 near Glenwoo…, CO

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Bad / Closed 45 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Aug 29, 2020
K W
Mar 21, 2020
Jana DuMond
Beautiful trail, beautiful lake, definitely need to make the extra little trek up to Spouting Rock! 2.6mi — 2h 30m
Oct 7, 2019
Lanting Fuh
2.6mi — 1h 15m
Sep 29, 2019
Jessica Schroder
Sep 25, 2019
Michael Smith
Sep 20, 2019
Jane Robinson
Last hike of the 5 Utah National Parks Russ retirement trip. Beautiful hike with Russ Kyle and I. 3mi
Sep 7, 2019
Brittany Kennedy
Aug 31, 2019
Helene Gaglioti