Hanging Lake Hike - Get Reservation and Permit on VisitGlenwood.com (2023)

Frequently Asked Questions about Hanging Lake

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.

(Video) Hike to Hanging Lake

Do I need a reservation to bike to the trailhead to visit Hanging Lake? CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE!

CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE! 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 Rest Area. Animals may NOT be left in vehicles while hiking. Please visit visitglenwood.com/dog-daycare/for dog-boarding options.

Can I bring my emotional support animal (ESA) on the trail?

(Video) Temporary Hanging Lake trail to open next month

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 notavailable along the trail or at the lake; please pack water and snacks with you and remember to pack it out andLeave 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?

  • At this time, there are not special rates for children ages 3+, seniors and military.
  • Please call for information about children under two years of age.
  • Please call for group or special interest requests.
(Video) Tickets Available To Hike Up To Hanging Lake During Off Season

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:

  • Protect natural resources
  • Manage congestion
  • Enhance public safety
  • Improve visitor experience
  • Support local tourism

Care for Hanging Lake

Hanging Lake was formed by a geological fault which caused the lake bed to drop away from the valley floor above. Over the years, water flowing over Bridal Veil Falls has deposited dissolved carbonates to build up the fragile lake edge. Because of its uniqueness, the area was designated a National Natural Landmark by the Secretary of the Interior in 2011.

Over the years the popularity of the area has increased leading to vegetation and trail damage and overcrowding. A management plan was put in place in 2018 to protect this natural wonder into the future. A percentage of the fees collected for reservations will be reinvested into the long-term stewardship and sustainability of Hanging Lake. The implementation of the permit system, environmental education and interpretation program will help visitors play an active role in protecting the ecological health of Hanging Lake, improve the visitor experience and support the local tourism economy.

(Video) Hanging Lake + Rocky Mountain National Park + MORE - Timed Entry!

Care for Colorado Principles

Know Before You Go

  • This land really is your land. Our state and federal agencies manage 42 percent of Colorado’s majestic landscape, and our cities and counties maintain even more. Learn about and respect the spaces we all own, share and sing about.
  • Stay back from the pack. Find your way to less-visited and off-peak destinations to minimize down time and maximize your connection with special places.
  • Bring along reusable water bottles or hot drink tumblers to limit waste and stay hydrated in our dry climate.

Stick To Trails

  • With 39,000 marked trails and 13,000 designated campsites, there’s no need to venture beyond. By sticking to these areas and camping at least 200 feet from lakes, rivers and streams, you’re helping natural areas stay natural.
  • Even though shortcuts can be tempting, please don’t take them. A few extra strides on the path will protect plants and the homes of the true locals.

Trash the Trash

  • Pack it in, pack it out. Or pick it up to leave a place better than you found it. Put litter, even crumbs, peels and cores in your nearest waste/recycling bin.
  • Wash yourself, your dog or whatever else needs cleaning at least 200 feet from waterways, and use biodegradable soap. A bubble bath is no treat for fish.

Leave It As You Find It

  • Leave plants, rocks and historical items as you find them so others experience the joy of discovery.
  • Any of our 750 different species of wildflowers will live forever in a photo. Snap away, but only with a camera.
  • Colorado is beautiful all on its own. Building structures or campsites on public land isn’t cool. Keep it pristine for everyone to enjoy.
  • Treat all living things with respect. Carving or hacking plants and trees may kill or disfigure them.

Be Careful With Fire

  • Colorado’s low humidity has perks, but can create dry, dangerous conditions. Keep campfires small and manageable to avoid sparking wildfires.
  • When putting out a fire, water it until you can handle the embers. Never let a fire burn unattended.
  • Use care when smoking in Colorado’s dry climate. Always put cigarettes out completely and don’t leave your butts behind.
  • Always check for local fire restrictions.

Keep Wildlife Wild

  • Colorado is home to tens of thousands of furry, scaly and feathered creatures. To keep them – and you – safe, don’t approach them.
  • It is not adorable to feed wild animals. You could alter natural behaviors, exposing them to predators or even euthanasia.
  • Keep your furry buddies leashed when enjoying dog-friendly trails, and pack out their waste. All the way to a trashcan.

Share Our Trails & Parks

  • Chances are you’re not out in nature to people watch, so try out the lesser-known paths and sites.
  • Silence your cell phone before stepping into nature and speak softly without using the speaker function.
  • Be considerate when passing others on the trails and yield to the uphill hiker and biker – they need the momentum.
  • Listen to nature. Keep your voice and music soft so all can enjoy the peace of Colorado.

Contact Information

We are committed to answer all questions & concerns!

(Video) Hanging Lake 4K

Please make sure to check out the FAQs above before calling or emailing:

Hanging Lake Express is provided by H2O Ventures.


Do you have to make reservations for Hanging Lake? ›

You need to make reservations to access Hanging Lake.

The trail is limited to 615 people a day via an online reservation system. The reservation system is in place to preserve and protect this natural beauty.

Is Hanging Lake open to hike? ›

Hike Hanging Lake: Permits & Information. Reservations to hike Hanging Lake Trail are now open and are available through the booking portal on this page below. Please read all information about the Hanging Lake Trail before purchasing your permit. Hiking permits may be reserved now through April 30th, 2023.

Is Hanging Lake open 2022? ›

Outdoors | Crews will build “primitive trail” to Hanging Lake this spring, reopening still on track for summer 2022.

How much time needed for Hanging Lake? ›

The trail is great for hiking and normally takes 2-4 hours. This steep hike has many large rocks and steps.

What is the best time of year to visit Hanging Lake? ›

The best time to visit the lake is spring to late fall because hiking to the lake in icy winter conditions may be quite dangerous. Whereas the months from April to October are the most comfortable and safe to hike, these are also the most crowded.

Is Hanging Lake currently open? ›

The trail to Hanging Lake is a steep and rocky 1.2 mile scenic trail climbs 1,000 feet up from the bottom of Glenwood Canyon up through Deadhorse Creek Canyon to Hanging Lake.
At a Glance.
Current Conditions:The temporary trail is open and reservations are available at www.visitglenwood.com
8 more rows

Why can't you go in Hanging Lake? ›

The lake's fragile edge is built up from dissolved carbonates which are deposited on the shore as the water flows over. Body oils, lotions, and skin cells that seep into the water stop this deposition. This is why swimming is not allowed at the lake.

Can kids hike Hanging Lake Trail? ›

The hike to Hanging Lake can be a great one for kids. It offers a spectacular visual reward after a vigorous climb.

Is Hanging Lake worth it? ›

Hanging Lake is one of Glenwood Springs' most popular geologic wonders. Visitors travel from all over the world and view its pristine, turquoise waters and sparkling waterfalls. The hike is a steep, 1-mile with variable terrain but the views at the top are well worth the effort.

Are there bathrooms at Hanging Lake? ›

Answer: Yes, there are restroom facilities available at the Hanging Lake Welcome Center. Additional amenities at the Welcome Center include a water fountain, gift shop and visitor information services. Restroom facilities are available at the Hanging Lake trailhead along with a water fountain and picnic tables.

What is the waterfall above Hanging Lake? ›

Spouting Rock (7,323 ft) is a water fall gushing through rocks that flows into Hanging Lake. The site is located at the top of the Hanging Lake Trail (1.2 miles) right before the boardwalk to Hanging Lake (7,175 ft). The trail to Spouting Rock is only about 100 yards.

Can I drive to Hanging Lake? ›

Getting to Hanging Lake Colorado

Hikers can either self-drive and park at the Hanging Lake Rest Area; alternatively, visitors can bike or hike along the Glenwood Canyon Recreation Path to the trailhead. Both permits are identical in cost and time slot inventory.

Did Hanging Lake burn in the fire? ›

Copter4 flew over the typically pristine lake, known for its crystal clear water in the heart of the White River National Forest. The Grizzly Creek Fire burned close to Hanging Lake last year. The wildfire did burn through some of the lower Hanging Lake Trail but much of the area surrounding the lake was spared.

Why is Hanging Lake so special? ›

Hanging Lake is the perfect example of a place that has the potential to be ruined. According to the town of Glenwood Springs, Hanging Lake is a rare example of a lake formed by travertine deposition where the natural geologic and hydrologic processes continue to operate as they have done for thousands of years.

How long is hanging gardens hike? ›

Distance: 1 mile (1.6 km) round-trip

This hike leads you to a luxuriant Hanging Garden on a mesa high above Lake Powell.

Who owns Hanging Lake? ›

Under the ownership of Glenwood Springs, the area became known as Hanging Lake Park and soon began attracting visitors from across the state.

How hard is Hanging Rock trail? ›

The Hanging Rock Trail is rated moderate for some steep and rocky stretches close to the peak.

Does Hanging Rock have a waterfall? ›

5-5-07 Hanging Rock State Park lies in the Sauratown Mountains, north of Winston Salem, NC and east of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The park is home to several nice waterfalls and smaller cascades and is a very popular place on week ends.

How long is the Hanging Rock summit walk? ›

Hanging Rock Summit Walk is a 1.8km, grade 3 circuit hike located in the Hanging Rock Reserve, Victoria. The hike should take around 1 hr to complete at a leisurely pace.

Can you drive up to Hanging Lake? ›

Getting to Hanging Lake Colorado

Hikers can either self-drive and park at the Hanging Lake Rest Area; alternatively, visitors can bike or hike along the Glenwood Canyon Recreation Path to the trailhead. Both permits are identical in cost and time slot inventory.

Why is Hanging Lake Colorado closed? ›

The trail opened back up in May 2021 only to close again three months later, when flooding sent debris sliding down the canyon sides, into the lake, and onto the trail. There is good news for those who've longed to experience the magic of Hanging Lake.

Can you get in the water at Hanging Lake? ›

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. Dogs and/or other pets are NOT allowed on the Hanging Lake trail or at the Hanging Lake Welcome Center.

How hard is it to hike to Hanging Lake? ›

The Hanging Lake Trail is marked 'difficult' and with good reason. Although it's only a little over a mile long, that mile traverses 1,000 feet up the canyon and it is a challenging trek. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and pack more water than you think you need if you plan to tackle the trail.

How do I make a reservation at Hanging Lake? ›

Visit www.visitglenwood.com/hanginglake, or call Hanging Lake visitor information: (970) 384-6309.

Did Hanging Lake get burned? ›

Copter4 flew over the typically pristine lake, known for its crystal clear water in the heart of the White River National Forest. The Grizzly Creek Fire burned close to Hanging Lake last year. The wildfire did burn through some of the lower Hanging Lake Trail but much of the area surrounding the lake was spared.


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