Hanging Lake

 51 votes

2.6 Miles 4.2 Kilometers



1,037' 316 m


-1,037' -316 m


7,145' 2,178 m


6,108' 1,862 m



Avg Grade (9°)


Max Grade (23°)

All Clear

82 days agoUpdate

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

Tom Robson


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.

The Hanging Lake Rest Area parking lot fills up daily during the summer from 10am to 4pm. Visitors are encouraged to plan their trip for quieter times, such as weekdays before 10am or after 4pm, or in the spring before Memorial Day or in the fall after Labor Day.
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.
Features: Lake — Views — Waterfall — Wildlife
Dogs: No Dogs

Need to Know

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.


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.


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4.6 from 51 votes

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Aug 10, 2017
Brian Rempel
Went with Ryan Conway and didn't have a camera ☹️ 2.6mi
Aug 8, 2017
Drew Henning
Jul 20, 2017
Hallie Yergenson
Jul 16, 2017
Ann Marie
Jul 13, 2017
Hash Evans
Busy but beautiful 2.6mi
Jul 9, 2017
Joe N
Jul 6, 2017
Jordan Mathis
This is an uphill hike that is worth every step of the way. The lake and the falls are "awe" some. It literally is stunning!
Jul 6, 2017
Iceman Shah
Great and unique site well worth the visit. Parking was a pain because the lot is small and always full 2.4mi

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 51 votes


  4.6 from 51 votes
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338 Views Last Month
2,411 Since Apr 6, 2015
Intermediate Intermediate



All Clear 82 days ago
Mostly Dry - A few spots with water on the trail nothing bad though.
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