May 1st – October 31st
Self-Park at Trailhead – Hanging Lake Rest Area
(I-70 Eastbound Exit 125)
Each hiker requires a permit – $12/person
How has the Grizzly Creek Fire of 2020 affected the Hanging Lake hike?
While Hanging Lake itself was not burned in the Grizzly Creek Fire, the fire burned much of the area above the lake and trail. Some areas of the trail were also burned, as was a large portion of Glenwood Canyon. Public safety continues to be the priority, and there is a long-term risk of post-fire flooding and debris flow. The White River National Forest has worked with a number of stakeholders including the Colorado Department of Transportation on short and long-term mitigation measures. Hikers holding permits to use the trail will receive detailed information regarding emergency procedures.
The Forest Service won’t know for a while what long-term impacts will be because the health of Hanging Lake is directly tied to hydrology of the area. Fire-related erosion and runoff getting into the fragile lake ecosystem is a major concern. The Forest Service is working with experts on mitigation efforts to protect the area. For donations to help with trail maintenance in Glenwood Canyon check out the Glenwood Canyon Restoration Alliances:
Donate to the Glenwood Canyon Restoration Fund!
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 with over 1,000 feet 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.
Do I need a reservation to bike to the trailhead to visit Hanging Lake?
Yes, bikers/hikers need a reservation and can bike to the trailhead and hike to the lake, year-round at any time.
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. Parking for bicycle access for Glenwood Canyon is not available at the Hanging Lake exit.
Are dogs allowed at Hanging Lake?
No, dogs and/or other pets are not allowed on the Hanging Lake Trail or at the Hanging Lake Welcome Center. Please visit visitglenwood.com/dog-daycare/ for dog-boarding options.
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.
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!
Is there cell service at Hanging Lake?
There is no cell service at Hanging Lake. The area will be staffed in case of an emergency during the peak season.
Are there special rates for children, seniors, military or groups?
Will any of the revenue collected directly benefit Hanging Lake?
Revenue goes toward the partnership and long-term sustainability of operations and management of Hanging Lake and stewardship of this National Natural Landmark.
The partnership allows for the City of Glenwood Springs 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 and visitors 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 implement and maintain the Hanging Lake Area to achieves these goals:
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