Hanging Lake #1850

Area Status: Temporarily Closed
This area is Closed

Hanging Lake by Joshua Hicks Wikipedia, Creative Commons


A permit is required. 

Visit www.visitglenwood.com/hanginglake, or call Hanging Lake visitor information: (970) 384-6309.

Hanging Lake Frequently Asked Questions


Hanging Lake, a National Natural Landmark, 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. 

The trail to Hanging Lake is a steep and rocky 1.2 mile scenic trail climbs 1,000 feet up from the bottom of Glenwood Canyon up through Deadhorse Creek Canyon to Hanging Lake. Hikers should wear sturdy shoes with good tread. Be aware that there is no mobile phone coverage. Bring water as there is no potable water available. 

The trail to Hanging Lake consists of multiple switchbacks up steep terrain, please do not cut switchbacks! Cutting switchbacks damages vegetation and causes erosion. There are several rest stops along the trail. The trail ends on a boardwalk around the lake, 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.

Hiking to the lake during winter months requires preparation. Review Hanging Lake in the Winter Months for more information.

The travertine lake is extremely sensitive. Special regulations apply for good reason, please observe all posted rules and regulations



A clear and pristine lake. Summer-Hiking-in-Glenwood-Springs-Colorado-at Hanging Lake Trail Ice cascading down rock wall next to a lake in winter by Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Assoc. Ice covers hanging lake photo courtesy of Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association

At a Glance

Current Conditions: The Grizzly Creek Fire burned along the trail in some areas and near the trail in others. Hikers should be aware that after a wildfire the risk of debris flow and falling rocks and trees increases. 
Operational Hours: Open year-round, with the exception of closures on annual trail work days. 
Reservations: A permit is now required and can be obtained through a reservation system. Reserve your permit at www.visitglenwood.com/hanginglake. Hanging Lake Trail will re-open May 1, 2021. Reservations will be available beginning April 1.
Fees Permits: $12/person (May 1 – October 31), $10/person (November 1- April 30).
Open Season: Year-round - weather dependent.
Usage: Heavy
Restrictions: In order to protect this special place:
  • No dogs.
  • No fishing.
  • No swimming or bodily contact with water at Hanging Lake.
  • Parking at Hanging Lake parking area is only allowed Nov. 1-April 30 with a reservation. Parking is NOT allowed along entrance or exit ramps of I-70 at any time.
  • Drones are PROHIBITED.
Closest Towns: Glenwood Springs, CO
Water: Water at Trailhead
Restroom: Flush Toilets at Trailhead
Information Center:
  • Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District (970) 827-5715
  • Hanging Lake Visitor Information (970) 384-6309

General Information


Directions for Parking

Visitors to Hanging Lake may park with a personal vehicle at the Hanging Lake trailhead with a prior reservation. Parking on the entrance or exit ramps of I-70 is prohibited. Please obey all signs and closures; illegally parked vehicles may be ticketed and/or towed.

Getting to Hanging Lake heading west: If you are west bound on I-70 (coming from Eagle, Vail, Silverthorne or Denver) and desiring access to Hanging Lake you must go to Exit 116 (the main GWS exit) and return east to Hanging Lake (exit 125), an additional eight miles each direction.

Leaving Hanging Lake and heading east: If you are at Hanging Lake and desire to go east to Eagle, Vail, Silverthorne, or Denver you must first head west to the Glenwood Springs exit(s) and return east on I-70, an additional eight miles each direction.

Recreation Map

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  Area/Length : 
1.2 miles

  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
6387' - 7323'


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