From Hanging Lake to Red Mountain: The Stunning Trails of Glenwood Springs
Hanging Lake in Glenwood Canyon gets top billing as a premier Glenwood Springs hiking destination, but the hot springs resort town also has a mix of lesser-known trails that offer visitors an exhilarating outdoor experience with spectacular views.
Hanging Lake Trail
Hanging Lake. The gem of Glenwood Canyon, hiking Hanging Lake requires some advanced planning. Due to its extreme popularity, hiking this beauty is now by permit only, through an easy-to-navigate online reservation system. Through peak season, which runs until October 31, instead of parking at the trailhead, guests now meet at their pre-arranged time at the Hanging Lake Welcome Center where there’s ample parking for everyone. Hanging Lake Shuttle buses transport hikers to and from the trailhead daily. It’s a breath-taking hike and one of the most popular in Colorado, so plan today to put this geologic gem on your itinerary. However, in addition to Hanging Lake, Glenwood Springs has many more trails with eye-popping views.
Boy Scout Trail
Boy Scout Trail. The Scout Trail takes off from the top of Eighth Street, not far from the shopping and dining district in downtown Glenwood Springs. The single-track trail climbs quickly through oaky underbrush and soars up into stands of tall pines. Follow the trail along the rim of Glenwood Canyon to Artist’s Point for superb views of the Colorado River, the canyon walls, as well the Giant Canyon Swing and other thrill rides across the valley at Glenwood Canyon Adventure Park.
Glenwood Canyon Overlook Trail
Glenwood Canyon Overlook Trail. A 3.2-mile point-to-point hike, this trail takes off near Dotsero Warm Springs at the east end of Glenwood Canyon. Once a robust four-wheel driving road, the trail is now closed to vehicular traffic for a serene hike that skims the edge of the canyon. About a half-mile from the parking lot, the old double-track splits. Glenwood Canyon Overlook Trail is the leftmost trail. The trail rolls along in and out of several draws before dead-ending on a ridge above Glenwood Canyon.
Red Mountain: Jeanne Golay Trail
Red Mountain/Jeanne Golay Trail. Another popular trail for hikers and dog walkers. Close to town, this up and back is a 7-mile round-trip from base to summit. Follow the partly paved, partly dirt road which is closed to through traffic or choose the steeper single-track; either one will take you to a series of ever-escalating overlooks with views of Glenwood Springs, the Roaring Fork River, Glenwood Canyon, Mt. Sopris and the Elk Range toward Aspen. At the summit is a landmark cross that is lit at Christmas and Eastertime. The peak is also the launch point for Glenwood Springs aerial adventures, including tandem paragliding.
Doc Holliday Trail
Doc Holliday Trail. A steep but quick hike, the trail to everyone’s favorite dead Western gambler and gunslinger leaves from a well-marked trailhead on Bennett Avenue. The signage details John Henry “Doc” Holliday’s life and his final days in Glenwood Springs. The trail takes hikers to Linwood Cemetery, the graveyard of Glenwood’s pioneer residents. Follow the signs to Doc’s memorial marker, but also take time to wander through the old boneyard with its decaying but beautiful headstones that mark the often too-short lives of the town’s earliest settlers.
Grizzly Creek Trail
Grizzly Creek Trail. Grizzly Creek in Glenwood Canyon is a moderate up and back hike that follows the stream of the same name. This beautiful hike features picnic spots and plenty of places to enjoy river views. The clear, cold water comes from snowmelt on the Flat Tops and it is chocked full of fishing holes.
More hiking trails in Glenwood Springs….
These are just a few Glenwood Springs’ trails worth exploring. Others of note include Atkinson Canal Trail, Jess Weaver Trail, Glenwood Canyon Recreation Trail, Rio Grande Trail, Storm King Memorial Trail, Mitchell Creek, Transfer Trail and Babbish Gulch.
Combine a beautiful day of hiking in the Glenwood Springs area with relaxation at one of Glenwood Springs’ three hot springs attractions, a stroll through the charming, historic downtown, top-notch dinner choices and more!
Learn more, find lodging options and plan a hike to explore summer in Glenwood Springs, everyone’s favorite Colorado hot springs and hiking resort town.
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