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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



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.



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 .



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.

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.



This is a quintessential Colorado hike that takes you to one of the most spectacular lakes around. If you've flipped through a Colorado landscape calendar chances are you've seen a shot of this lake. There is a fallen log in the middle of the lake that looks inviting for walking onto, but please please PLEASE do not walk on the log. The Forest Service has put up signs that walking on the log is not allowed. Not only is this for safety reasons, but also because the ecosystem surrounding the lake is extremely fragile. Walking on the log can introduce contaminates into the water which can degrade the clarity of the lake. I know the log looks inviting, but if you respect nature and want to keep the area preserved for other to enjoy, stay on the boardwalks.

FYI No dogs on this trail. I'm a dog owner but it's for good reason due to high use and narrow spots for passing. This place can be just as amazing in the winter but make sure to bring some micro-spikes.

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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