Hike to Hanging Lake

Details

Distance

3.2 miles

Elevation Gain

1004 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

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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Known for

Photography
Hiking
Forest
Lake
Waterfall

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Reviews

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Explorer

over 5 years ago

Awesome

This is a must if you're in the area. 2 recommendations: 1. if you're not accustomed to the altitude, give yourself a few days, it's a pretty steep hike. 2. bring a bathing suit in the summer. you can't swim in it, but you can go behind the lake and get a little wet in the falls. feels great after a long hike .

Explorer

over 5 years ago

Get an EARLY start

This is a beautiful spot and a lovely hike that (good/bad/otherwise) sees thousands of hikers in the summer. Get there early or you won't find parking and try to be patient with everyone and let the ranger deal with them when they get in the water in this very fragile environment.

over 5 years ago

Iconic Colorado Lake

We got there early on a fairly rainy morning and parking was easy, however when we finished the hike, cars were circling for open spots. One of the prettiest hikes that I have ever been on for such a relatively short hike. Very steep in certain areas, but the views are spectacular. Everyone raves about how pretty the lake is, but if you turn around 180°, the views of the canyon are just as amazing. Just a fair bit of advice to the parents of young hikers out there, I highly recommend bringing a hiking backpack with a child carrier as certain areas are steep and the elevation gain can be overwhelming. All in all, a must do hike.

1610 total saves

4.7/5

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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