'Primitive trail' to Hanging Lake to open May 1, 2023

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Good news for one of our favorite hikes in Glenwood Springs



While I normally choose hikes without the need for a hiking permit, I understand the need for them after completing this hike to Hanging Lake. This lake is an extremely well preserved yet fragile area, and reduced foot traffic is the best way to allow future generations to experience this natural wonder. It was closed to due land slides last year but is re-opening this summer!

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.

Reservations to hike Hanging Lake Trail are available through the booking portal on this page. Please read all information about the Hanging Lake Trail before purchasing your permit. Hiking permits may be reserved now through September 4th, 2023.

Information centers
- Eagle-Holy cross ranger district, +1 970 827 5715
- Hanging Lake visitor information, +1 970 384 6309

Entrance fee
- $12 per person | May 1 - October 31
- $10 per person | November 1 - April 30

- No dogs
- No fishing
- No swimming or bodily contact with water
- Drones are prohibited

Best time to visit
- Spring and late Fall

Contact number of USDA
- 970-945-2521

Crews will build 'primitive trail' to Hanging Lake this spring, welcoming visitors for summer 2022

Work is set to begin this spring to build this primitive trail up to Hanging Lake and will follow the original trail as much as possible, but will involve stream crossings and crossing debris flow. 

Officials project that the trail will be opened to visitors by mid-summer.  When access to Hanging Lake reopens, there will be a $12 reservation fee, according to a release from Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) who are funding restoration efforts.