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Hanging Lake Trail

Garfield County, Colorado
Distance1.5mi
Elevation Gain1,294ft
Trailhead Elevation6,120ft
Top7,189ft
Elevation Min/Max6100/7189ft
Elevation Start/End6120/6120ft

Hanging Lake Trail

Hanging Lake Trail is a hiking and biking trail in Garfield County, Colorado. It is within White River National Forest. It is 1.5 miles long and begins at 6,120 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 3.2 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,294 feet. The Auto, Truck/Camper/Bus, and Auto parkings are near the trailhead. The Auto, and Hanging Lake Trail parkings can be seen along the trail. There are also restrooms along the trail. This trail connects with the following: Glenwood Canyon Trail.

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Hanging Lake Trail Trip Reports

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Auburn Township, OH
Pathfinder | 148 pts
5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars
1/1/2019
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Shreveport, LA
Pathfinder | 63 pts
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10/18/2018
Absolutely beautiful. Very steep. Saw several people wearing Ugg boots and flats...this can truly be an ankle breaker so dress accordingly and bring lots of water!
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Morrison, CO
Explorer | 41 pts
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7/14/2018
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Aurora, CO
Trailblazer | 1112 pts
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7/10/2018
This is an insanely popular trail so get here early if you hope to find parking. Honestly, though, it is a must-do hike. The views of the pristine Hanging Lake are absolutely beautiful!
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Norridge, IL
Adventurer | 321 pts
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7/19/2013
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Gypsum, CO
Pathfinder | 90 pts
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9/15/2007
Don't let the short distance fool you...this hike is tough but the payoff makes all the effort worthwhile. The lake is incredible; you will not be disappointed. This is the hike I take all of our visitors on so they can understand why I live here.
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Alameda, NM
Pathfinder | 60 pts
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7/18/2006
Good climb to get to the lake. Very beautiful area at the top. Also, very visited. Although it's a sensitive area with a very unique and fragile ecosystem, Hanging Lake gets a lot of visits from people which leads to some litter and people not adhering to the rules of the trail, namely no swimming in the lake.
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oakdale, NY
Pathfinder | 80 pts
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6/11/2006
pretty steep climbs, not dangerous. beautiful views and the lake is pristine. take your time if you are not adjusted to attitude and bring plenty of water. great photos on the way.
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Castle Rock, CO
Explorer | 20 pts
4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
4/24/2006
Nestled in the middle of Glenwood Canyon this trail is nestled away a bit. However it is very accessible by car or bike. I chose to bike the canyon which is both beautiful and a very pleasant ride with rafters and kayakers on the rapids and the trains across the river. The trail head starts in a oasis style area where trees and a small stream enter the river. The hike itself is not long but is rocky and steep at times. This is a very well used trail. Once you reach the top hanging lake sits in pristine form. The water is so clear its like looking into a geyser. People respect its beauty and they did a nice job with walking bridges railings. Up further is a series of waterfalls. This is a nice day trail. Does not take very long. I recommend including it in a bike ride through the canyon.
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Kensington, MD
Pathfinder | 90 pts
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7/6/2005
Excellent, but strenuous hike. Plenty of areas to rest on the way up. Recommend taking a walking stick for the trip down (hard on the knees). Stunning lake - well worth the effort.
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Hanging Lake Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Maryann Gaug
"A must-see in the Glenwood Canyon area, turquoise-colored Hanging Lake nestles in a bowl amid limestone and sandstone cliffs. The trail is an extremely popular and steep climb up a narrow canyon, winding through thick vegetation and trees, passing miniwaterfalls and cascades. The final section takes you up big rock steps complete with metal handrails. A boardwalk on the south end of the lake helps to protect the fragile environment. Across the lake aptly named Bridal Veil Falls tumble down a cliff. Be sure to take a side trip to Spouting Rock, where water spouts from the side of the cliff." Read more
Best Hikes with Kids Colorado (The Mountaineers Books)
Maureen Keilty
"It is little wonder that Hanging Lake, unforgettably beautiful and located just off I-70, is one of Colorado’s most popular hiking destinations. The trail climbs 1000 feet along a geologic fault line to reach the turquoise lake and waterfalls. Frequent rest stops (benches are provided) to examine the changing terrain make the hike less strenuous. The fragile environment here, coupled with its heavy use, means hikers should take extra care to leave no trace." Read more
100 Classic Hikes in Colorado (The Mountaineers Books)
Scott S. Warren
"True to its name, Hanging Lake is tucked away on a high ledge in a narrow canyon. Scenic, to say the least, this precious jewel of a lake offers a just reward for all who hike the steep but short trail up." Read more

Trail Information

Garfield County
Nearby City
Kid-friendly
Accessibility
Waterfalls
Features
For current conditions and more information, contact the Eagle Ranger District, www.fs.fed.us/r2/whiteriver or (970) 328-6388
Local Contacts
White River National Forest; USGS Shoshone
Local Maps

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