Hanging Lake Frequently Asked Questions | Visit Glenwood Colorado

Hanging Lake FAQs

What is Hanging Lake? Hanging Lake was formed by a geologic fault which caused the lake bed to drop away from the gently sloping valley above it. Water flows into the lake over Bridal Veil Falls.  It was named a National Natural Landmark in 2011. Since then it has become a popular Colorado tourist destination with over 100,000 visitors per year.

Where is Hanging Lake? Hanging Lake is situated in the White River National Forest in Glenwood Canyon, approximately seven miles east of Glenwood Springs and 155 miles west of Denver, Colorado.

How do I get to Hanging Lake? Travelling eastbound on I-70 from Glenwood Springs, access Hanging Lake via Exit 125.  If travelling westbound, keep in mind there is no direct access, drivers should follow I-70 west to Exit 121 for Grizzly Creek to Hanging Lake, then return to I-70 eastbound taking Exit 125 for Hanging Lake.

What are the Hanging Lake hours? Hanging Lake is open daily, year-round with the exception of a few days during the year when it is closed for trail and rest area maintenance. Even though the trail is open 24 hours per day, the best time to visit is during the daylight when the steep trail is easier to navigate. The spring through fall months are optimal seasons for hiking Hanging Lake; icy conditions persist during the winter months and may require special equipment.

Is there an entrance fee? No.

What is the elevation of Hanging Lake? The elevation of Hanging Lake is 7,323 ft. The trailhead begins at an elevation of 6,387 feet above sea level and climbs 936 feet over approximately one mile.

How big is Hanging Lake? Hanging Lake measures 1.5 acres in area and is 25-feet deep at its center.

What about parking at Hanging Lake? Because Hanging Lake is such a popular hike, the parking lot at the trailhead fills up quickly. If no parking is available, you must leave and return another time. Tickets will be issued to vehicles that park illegally.

How long is the hike to Hanging Lake? It varies. The duration of the hike depends on many factors including the individual fitness of the hiker, the number of hikers on the trail and weather conditions.

Is Hanging Lake a loop trail or an out-and-back trail? Hanging Lake is 1.2 miles one way or 2.4 miles round trip.

How hard is the hike to Hanging Lake? Hanging Lake is a well maintained trail with foot bridges over river crossings; however it is a steep and strenuous hike that at times requires careful foot placement, walking over and through boulder fields and holding onto hand rails on precipitous sections of the trail.

Can I bring my dog? No.

Are there facilities at the top? There are no facilities at Hanging Lake; no restrooms, no concessions and no trash cans. Restrooms are located near the parking lot at the trailhead along with waste containers.

What should I bring on my Hanging Lake Hike? Always hike prepared. Wear appropriate hiking footwear; do not attempt to hike Hanging Lake in flip flops. Bring adequate water/hydration and energy bars or snacks. Wear protective clothing and sunscreen.

Can I get in the water at Hanging Lake? No. There is no swimming or wading in the lake.

What activities are permitted in Hanging Lake? There are no activities allowed on or in Hanging Lake.

Can I walk out on the log? No. Walking on the log is unsafe and strictly prohibited.

What other activities are available at Hanging Lake? The nearby trail to Spouting Rock is worth the extra effort, but please stay on the trail.

Where can I see images of Hanging Lake? See pictures of Hanging Lake here.