Hike to Hanging Lake



3.2 miles

Elevation Gain

1004 ft

Route Type


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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almost 5 years ago

Scenic, yet very crowded.

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.


over 5 years ago

Beautiful but start early

Did this hike on Memorial Day 2016. First, we tried to go the prior Saturday at 5pm assuming the crowds would thin out later in the day with the risk of afternoon showers. Big mistake. There was a line of 20+ cars waiting to park (one in, one out). We decided to turn around and try again Monday morning. The parking lot was already crowded when we got there and it was completely full by 730am. The trail and the lake are both beautiful, so the hike is definitely worth it - just get an early start.


over 5 years ago

Go in the off-season

Hanging lake is one of the most beautiful spots in Colorado, but I feel like it can't be appreciated with all the crowds. Either do this hike in the fall, or early spring, and if you only have the chance during the summer, make sure you get a really early start. Having this place to yourself will be worth it.

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This is a high impact area.

We've identified this location as one that is highly affected by tourism. Consider visiting in off hours, or spreading the love and finding an equally impressive spot nearby.

Leave No Trace

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

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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Hike to Spouting Rock

2.5 mi / 2000 ft gain

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