Nov 1st – April 30th
Park & Hike from the Trailhead during the Off-Peak Season
Reservation includes Day Permit
How should I prepare to hike the trail?
The Hanging Lake trail climbs up a steep canyon for 1.2 miles (1.93 km) with over 1000 feet (305 m) of elevation gain. The hike is strenuous and the trail is ice covered and slippery all winter long. All hikers need mini-crampons and hiking poles to safely reach the lake.
Most people take 3 hours or more to complete the hike.
Why mini-crampons & hiking poles?
We do not advise hiking the Hanging Lake Trail without poles and winter traction devices for your boots. The trail is steep and slippery.
Find hiking poles and mini-crampons in Glenwood Springs:
Rent them in person at Glenwood Adventure Company (723 Cooper Ave, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601, (970) 945-7529),
or Purchase them at Summit Canyon Mountaineering (205 6th Street, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601, (970) 945-6994)
Where do I go to make a reservation to visit Hanging Lake?
Reservations can be made online on this page visitglenwood.com/hanginglake.
How much does it cost to visit Hanging Lake?
The Cost for the Day Permit during the Off-Peak Season is $10/Person.
The Cost for the Reservation during the Peak Season is $12/ Person.
Fees pay for the reservation service, shuttle operations during the peak season, visitor information, conservation and interpretation services during your visit. It also covers maintenance, ranger presence, staffing and communications.
Where can I find hiking poles, mini-crampons, boots and other hiking equipment?
How long is the Hanging Lake trail?
The hike to Hanging Lake is a moderate to difficult hike up into a narrow drainage for 1.2 miles (1.93 km) with over 1,000 feet (305 m) of elevation gain. It is important that hikers are prepared for elevation, strenuous climbs, and rocky conditions. Bring water, snacks, sunscreen and appropriate footwear and clothing.
From October through June: Please be prepared for winter trail conditions of snow and ice. Hiking poles and crampons are recommended.
Is there group size limit for reservations?
Yes, there is a limit of twenty people per group reservation, larger groups must call 970-384-6309 to make additional arrangements.
Do I need a reservation year-round?
During off-peak season, Nov. 1-April 30, a reservation is required to visit Hanging Lake via independent vehicle, hiking or biking. Forest Service Rangers and/or staff patrol the trail and parking area to ensure visitors have obtained a day pass. Be prepared to present your permit to an authorized agent or Forest Service Officer upon request.
During the peak season, May 1-Oct. 31, a reservation is required to visit Hanging Lake either via shuttle, hiking or biking. There is a daily limit of 615 visitors per day. The Forest Service and H2O Ventures provides onsite visitor services and compliance daily.
Can I cancel or reschedule my reservation?
Do I need a reservation to bike to the trailhead to visit Hanging Lake?
Please keep in mind that Glenwood Canyon Bike Path is frequently closed during the winter months and in spring!
Bikers/hikers need a reservation year-round to bike to the trailhead and hike to the lake.
Are there restroom facilities at Hanging Lake?
Restroom facilities are available at the Hanging Lake trailhead along with a water fountain and picnic tables. Restroom facilities and drinking water are not available along the trail or at the lake; please pack water and snacks with you and remember to pack it out and Leave No Trace!
Are there special rates for children, seniors and military?
At this time there are not special rates for children, seniors and the military. Please call the Hanging Lake Welcome Center for special requests and Babies under two years of age.
Is there cell service at Hanging Lake?
There is no cell service at Hanging Lake. Make sure to print your day pass or screenshot/save on your mobile phone to present to authorized staff at the trailhead.
I don’t want to hike to Hanging Lake, but I do want to utilize the Glenwood Canyon bike path, do I need a reservation?
No, you will not need a reservation if you are not hiking to Hanging Lake.
Will any of the revenue collected directly benefit Hanging Lake?
At a minimum, 5% of overall revenue goes back toward the partnership and long- term sustainability of operations and management of Hanging Lake and stewardship of this special place.
The partnership allows for the City and the Forest Service to cost share and to cooperatively develop, plan, and implement projects that are mutually beneficial to the Hanging Lake area and provide local residents, as well as the American public, with high quality recreation experiences and excellent customer service.
What is the ultimate goal of the Hanging Lake Management Plan and the reservation system?
The overall goal of this management Plan is to create and implement a management system for the Hanging Lake Area that is sustainable and achieves these goals:
Can I bring my emotional support animal (ESA) on the trail?
Although your animal may serve critical functions for you, ESAs, comfort animals, and therapy dogs are not service animals under Title II and Title III of the ADA.
ESAs are not recognized by the Americans with Disabilities Act and therefore are not allowed in areas that do not allow dogs, including the Hanging Lake trail. There are multiple kennel services in Glenwood Springs that can care for your animal while you hike to Hanging Lake. In addition, there are miles of trails throughout the White River National Forest that do not have restrictions on pets that may be a better fit for your needs.
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