Hanging Lake is a Colorado treasure and a rare example of a travertine geological formation located in the heart of Glenwood Canyon on the White River National Forest. The 1.2 mile (1.9 km) trail is steep, rigorous and rocky but rewarding. This National Natural Landmark features awe-inspiring scenery and gentle waterfalls! The Hanging Lake trail is a backcountry hike. While you don’t need to be an expert hiker, please be advised that if you have physical limitations, you will find the hike challenging. At the beginning and end of the hiking trail it is steep, rugged and rocky. In just over a mile, the trail gains elevation of 1200 feet (366 m). Small children and the elderly have found this hike especially difficult.
PERMIT COST AND RESERVATION TIMES
The permit cost is $12/per person.
- Hikers will self-drive and park in the Hanging Lake rest area. The permit cost is for each person in the party.
- Hikers will be asked to present their permit upon arrival to the Hanging Lake rest area, only people with permits will be allowed to park in the Hanging Lake rest area.
- Hiking permits are available for hourly reservations starting at 6:30 am – 5:30 pm. Hikers will not be allowed to access the trailhead after 5:45 pm.
Fees pay for the reservation service, visitor information, trail supervisors, sanitization of touch-areas and restrooms, conservation and interpretation services during your visit. It also covers maintenance, additional staffing and communications.
RESCHEDULE OR CANCELLATION INFORMATION
Due to recent rock and mudslides in Glenwood Canyon, the Hanging Lake Trail is closed and new reservations are not being taken at this time.
Reservations may be cancelled at any time, however there is an opportunity for visitors to donate their reservation fee to a restoration fund for Hanging Lake, the trail, and welcome area. Non-cancelled reservation fees will be remitted to the City of Glenwood Springs for use in professional and volunteer restoration of the Hanging Lake recreation area.
For those who wish to cancel their reservation, please review your confirmation email and follow the cancellation instructions, or email [email protected] and a refund will be issued in a timely manner.
- Reservations cannot be cancelled or rescheduled within 48 hours of your departure day.
- To change or reschedule your reservation before 48 hours of your departure day please use the online reservation portal.
- All confirmed reservations will receive detailed cancellation policies via email.
- Hanging Lake Rest area access will operate under the safety guidelines developed by Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). Guests will be notified of this policy in their reservation confirmation email.
There is no westbound exit for Hanging Lake! If traveling west on Interstate 70, take the Grizzly Creek exit #121 and head back to the east on I-70 to Hanging Lake exit #125. If traveling eastbound, take I-70 exit #125.
- Hanging Lake trail climbs up a steep canyon to reach the lake. The trail continuously climbs 1200 ft. (366 m) to reach the lake.
- Walking off the trail and short cutting switchbacks is not permitted.
- There is no restroom at the lake. Use facilities at the trailhead before hiking.
- Always wear sturdy footwear, not flip flops.
- Pack it in and pack it out. Respect the area by taking your trash with you.
- Bring plenty of water.
- Be advised that there is no cell service on the trail.
- Standing on the log, swimming and fishing in the lake are prohibited!
- In accordance with FAA safety and Forest Service guidelines, drones should not be flown in the Hanging Lake area.
- From October through April: The trail may be icy all winter. Please be prepared for a steep and slippery trail with compacted ice and snow. Traction footware is recommended.
- Dogs and/or other pets are NOT allowed on the Hanging Lake trail or at the Hanging Lake Welcome Center. Find pet boarding options HERE!
- Read the Happy Hiker’s Guide to Glenwood Springs Trail Etiquette HERE!