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Hanging Lake

Glenwood Springs, Colorado

based on 23 reviews



3.06 miles

Elevation Gain

1168 ft

Route Type



Added by Nicola Easterby

The trail to Hanging Lake offers an amazing view of cascading waterfalls surrounded by pine tree lined cliffs and hanging plants. This Glenwood Springs icon is only a 3-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.

Note: This hike requires permits. Visit the Glenwood Springs website for more information and to reserve yours. 

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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Hanging Lake Reviews



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.



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.

Leave No Trace

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


Spouting Rock via Hanging Lakes Trail

Hike the Grizzly Creek Trail

Relax at Glenwood Hot Springs

Camp at Deep Creek Campground

Camp at Dotsero Crater

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