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Hike to Hanging Lake

Glenwood Springs, Colorado

4.7/5
based on 22 reviews

Details

Distance

3.2 miles

Elevation Gain

1004 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Description

Added by Nicola Easterby

Get an amazing view of cascading waterfalls surrounded by pine tree lined cliffs and hanging plants. This Glenwood Springs icon is only a 2.4 mile roundtrip hike. If you get hot, you can cool off from the waterfall at Spouting Rock.

Hanging Lake is a beautifully unique natural wonder. Surrounded by dramatic, pine tree lined cliffs, a unique community of hanging plants thrive beside waterfalls cascading in to this glimmering turquoise pool of water. If this isn’t enough to entice you- the trail leading up to the lake is rather delightful.

Following Dead lake creek, there is no shortage of photo opportunities along the way. Dramatic, pine tree lined cliffs, tinkling brooks, and one particularly unique landmark that shouldn’t be missed- Spouting Rock. Found just behind Hanging Lake, it boasts a waterfall that spouts directly from the face of the cliff. The erosion of the water has created a shallow cave, meaning you can basically stand under the flowing water- what better way to cool off after your hike!

Here are the coordinates for Hanging Lake: 39.60165°N 107.191997°W. The trailhead is located along the Glenwood Canyon Bike & Pedestrian Path. Be aware, parking at the trailhead is limited as this is a very popular trail. Try to arrive early in the morning or on a weekday to avoid the parking lot being full. If it does turn out to be full, there is a plan B. You can exit and park at Bair Ranch, then follow the Glenwood Canyon Bike and Pedestrian Path for a few miles until you reach the bottom of the trailhead.

No dogs allowed on the trail. 

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Features

Photography
Hiking
Forest
Lake
Waterfall

Reviews

Took my family (an 11 and 8 year old). They loved it. The view of the lake was outstanding and the waterfall was a cant miss

This was one of the best hikes I have done in a long time. Just enough challenge that makes you feel accomplished at the top, also short enough that a family can enjoy. This hike had spectacular views throughout especially during fall with the changing colors. It amazed me that whenever I needed some encouragement. I would just behind me and see all the rock steps I had to take to get here. At the top is the lake, with a water color that cannot be matched. An incredible iridescent blue with green tints are my best description. Make sure to stop by spouting rock either on the way up or down. It is a sight to see.

This hike is short for Colorado standards, making it extremely popular with everyone going through the area. Knowing that, any sunny day or any weekend are going to be jammed packed. If you pick some less popular hours, this place delivers without fail. The waterfalls are truly incredible. The hike is short, but its a lot of scrambling up loose rock. You don't need to go all out - I hiked it in tennis shoes as a kid - but just know it's not one of those hop out of your car and have a five minute wander to a viewpoint kind of thing.

This is a five star post for going at the right time. If you go during day or on weekends it will be so packed, and you will be miserable. I arrived before sunrise and had the hike up to myself. The hike is short, but it's not super easy. You will be climbing elevation fast - mostly on rocks. Be prepared for a real hike, not just a stop the car and walk up in regular shoes situation. The payoff is unreal. Pretty on all levels. Remember to respect the ecosystem and you cannot bring your dog. On my way down I passed, no joke, at least 100 people. The parking lot was full. It was 8:30am on a Friday. That's how busy it gets. Go early and on a weekday for one of the most beautiful spots in Colorado.

SOOOO PRETTY!!

One of the most unique, relaxing hikes I've been on. It honestly feels like you're in the tropics... Capturing the cascading falls on the way up was a blast; must do.

We got there around 9:45 am on a Saturday in November - parking lot was about half full. Most of the crowds were on their way down so we didn't have to share the lake with many people. The elevation gain really isn't that bad, and the views at the top are more than worth it.

Went in the winter time and only ran into two other groups on the trail. It can get pretty slippery and I had to slide down some parts on my butt to avoid falling. The waterfalls are frozen / suspended and it literally looks like a winter wonderland!

This place is stunning. Even after seeing the pictures beforehand, I couldn't believe how beautiful the falls were. We went in the late afternoon in the fall on a Monday and there were very few people on the trail. Though I can see why it gets busy in the summer months - short hike with a big payoff!

This is a very very popular hike in Colorado because it is easy and so short to hike. Try not to go during the middle of the day, especially if you want good photos.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Nearby

Hike to Spouting Rock

Hike the Grizzly Creek Trail

Relax at Glenwood Hot Springs

Camp at Deep Creek Campground

Camp at Dotsero Crater

Trail Run Mushroom Rock and Red Hill