Hanging Lake TH #1850

Trail reconstruction in progress

Access to Hanging Lake will be limited beginning May 1, 2024, while crews work to repair damage from 2021 debris flows. The trail will be closed M-F, and some weekends as bridges are replaced. Reservations will be available weekly at www.visitglenwood.com.

Hanging Lake

In 2021, severe debris flows damaged the Hanging Lake Trail. Reconstruction and repair of the trail began May 1, 2024. Access to Hanging Lake will be limited while this work is in progress.

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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 travertine lake is extremely sensitive. Please avoid contact with the water and respect regulations.

The trail to Hanging Lake is a steep and rocky, climbing 1000 feet in 1.2 miles. 

  • Wear sturdy shoes with good tread, and take extra precautions in the winter. 
  • Bring water: potable water is not available at the lake or along the trail.
  • There is no mobile phone coverage 

The trail follows multiple switchbacks up steep terrain, ending on a boardwalk around the lake. Several places are available to rest along the way. 



At a Glance

Current Conditions: The Hanging Lake trail was severely damaged by debris flows in 2021. Trail reconstruction and bridge replacements are in progress. Access will be limited until reconstruction is complete.
Reservations: Reservations are required. Limited reservations will be available weekly at www.visitglenwood.com. Available dates and times will be released Tuesdays at 8:00 am, beginning April 30.
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 with a prior reservation may park a personal vehicle at the Hanging Lake trailhead . 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

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Day Hiking

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Area/Length : 
1.2 miles

  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
6387' - 7323'