Hanging Lake Trail #1850

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

This steep, scenic trail travels from the bottom of Glenwood Canyon up through Deadhorse Creek Canyon to Hanging Lake. Switchbacks accommodate the rise in elevation, shortcutting them promotes erosion. There are several rest stops along the way. Some parts of the trail are rocky, especially in the beginning and at the end where the trail has steep stairs carved into the canyon cliff rock. The trail ends on a boardwalk around the lake. This travertine lake is extemely sensitve, so special regulation 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 to exit out of a sheer cliff wall as a spectacular waterfall. 

Important information about this very popular and very sensitive area:

  • 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.  Dogs are not permitted on the Hanging Lake Trail.  Swimming in the lake is prohibited.  Please stay on the trail.
  • 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. 
  • 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 fall after Labor Day. 
  • 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.
  • More information can be found at the following websites: www.visitglenwood.com/hanging-lake, COTRIP site, USFS SITE.

* There is a printable Recreation Quicksheet for this trail which is complete with directions, a map, details, and other information about this trail. Or to see quicksheets for other recreation areas across the Forest, click on the "Recreation Quicksheets" link in the right column and select the appropriate Ranger District.

At a Glance

Usage: Heavy
Restrictions: No dogs allowed. No fishing. No swimming or bodily contact with the water at Hanging Lake. No parking along entrance or exit ramps of I-70.
Closest Towns: Glenwood Springs

General Information

Directions: Travel 22 miles west of Eagle on I-70 to the Grizzly Creek exit in Glenwood Canyon.After exiting, get back on the highway going eastbound to the Hanging Lake exit.The trail begins 1/4 mile east of the rest area on the left just before the bridge.



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