hanging lake

Hanging Lake to Reopen May 1, 2021, with Continued Safety Precautions

Glenwood Canyon’s most popular hiking trail will be reopening to visitors on Saturday, May 1. Hanging Lake Trail guidelines and adjustments will include a temporary reduction in hiker capacity as well as assisted self-parking for permit holders.

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Glenwood Springs, Colo. (March 5, 2021) – Officials of the city of Glenwood Springs and US Forest Service have announced that they will reopen the Hanging Lake Trail to permitted hikers following initial assessments and trail stabilization in the aftermath of last summer’s Grizzly Creek Fire. Reservations to hike Hanging Lake will be available starting April 1, 2021, for the season at visitglenwood.com/HangingLake.

“While the Grizzly Creek Fire thankfully passed over this nationally recognized Natural Landmark, there were clean-up and safety measures that were necessary before the trail was able to be reopened to the public,” said Leanne Veldhuis, district ranger for the Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District. Veldhuis, who represents the White River National Forest, is among a group of stakeholder representatives that also includes the City of Glenwood Springs, Glenwood Springs tourism, Colorado Department of Transportation, and private businesses.

“Last year, prior to the fire, a special management plan was put into place for COVID social distancing,” said Lisa Langer, director of tourism promotion for Glenwood Springs. “Part of that plan will remain in place through the summer, including the assisted self-parking for permitted hikers.” Langer added that the city plans to hold off on the shuttle service until later in the season and will reevaluate as the pandemic situation improves. To make navigating the trail as safe as possible, there are designated passing zones and hand-sanitizer stations along the trail.

Purchase Hanging Lake Hiking Permits Online

The widely successful Hanging Lake permit reservation system which was implemented in 2019 will resume for the 2021 season. Visitors can purchase permits online at  visitglenwood.com/HangingLake for $12 per person. Hikers can either self-drive and park at the Hanging Lake Rest Area; or bike or hike along the Glenwood Canyon Recreation Path to the trailhead. Both permits are identical in cost and time slot inventory. All hikers will be asked to present their permit upon arrival at the Hanging Lake Rest Area; only those with permits will be allowed to park.

The Hanging Lake Partners caution that health and safety measures may be revised throughout the high season. Hanging Lake hikers will always receive the most current updates and safety procedures with their permit confirmation email.

Plan for Summertime Travel in Glenwood Canyon

Construction impacts will be much lighter on Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon compared to Summer 2020. To ensure safety, motorists should plan for occasional lane closures, obey reduced speeds and drive with caution. Motorists should also pay close attention to weather forecasts, due to the potential for debris flow, mudslides or rockfall. If there is rain in the forecast, be prepared for a safety closure in Glenwood Canyon that will affect I-70, rest areas and the Glenwood Canyon bike path. Drivers should refer to cotrip.org for the latest road conditions and route options. CDOT advises motorists to be wary of using GPS navigation apps for searching alternate routes, as not all platforms provide up-to-date information. Travelers should avoid using county or forest roads as alternate routes, as road conditions may not be favorable. CDOT also recommends that travelers bring an emergency kit, with water, snacks, a flashlight and a blanket, as mountain
conditions often change suddenly in the fall season.

About Hanging Lake

Hanging Lake is designated a National Natural Landmark located in the White River National Forest in Glenwood Canyon about seven miles (11 km) from Glenwood Springs. The 1.2-mile (1.9 km) path is steep and leads to a crystal-clear lake and waterfalls. Because of its rare and fragile shoreline composed of travertine deposits, it is considered a rare geological wonder. To enhance the hiking experience, prevent damage to the trail and protect the environment for future generations, a reservation system was implemented in 2019.

About Glenwood Springs

The Land of Water, where world-famous hot springs meet year-round outdoor adventures. For more information and to plan a trip: visitglenwood.com.

Glenwood Springs is located 160 miles (257 kilometers) west of Denver on I-70. An online media room is available at visitglenwood.com/media.

Photos and B-roll video footage available upon request linked in the media room.

About the White River National Forest

Home to Hanging Lake and other Colorado icons, the 2.3-million-acre White River National Forest is a world-renowned recreation destination. With more than 10 million visitors per year, the White River is the most-visited recreation forest in the country. www.fs.usda.gov/whiteriver

Media Contacts:

Lisa Langer

Director of Tourism Promotion
Visit Glenwood Springs

Leanne Veldhuis

District Ranger
Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District
White River National Forest