• Hanging Lake in Glenwood Springs, Colorado

Hanging Lake in Glenwood Canyon

Hanging Lake is a crystal-clear, travertine lake located high atop the cliffs of Glenwood Canyon. Suspended on the edge of Glenwood Canyon‘s cliffs, the clear turquoise lake and the waterfalls that spill into it are a breathtaking sight after the rigorous uphill climb. The mile-long hike is steep and rigorous, but rewarding once you see the natural beauty that awaits you at the top. Hanging Lake is a geologic wonder and is popular with travelers for its awe-inspiring beauty and gentle Colorado waterfalls!

Contact Information

Hanging Lake Welcome Center
Physical location will open on May 1, 2019!
[email protected]

Updates on Management Changes:

Read latest press release 2/22/2019: Forest Service and City of Glenwood Springs announce prices and operator for Hanging Lake shuttle

Utilizing collaborative partnerships, the Hanging Lake Area Management Plan has been finalized and with it a way forward to protect this unique resource.

A shuttle and reservation system will begin on May 1, 2019.
Reservations can be made on this page, starting on April 1, 2019.


Hanging Lake Express is provided by H2O Ventures.

Care for Hanging Lake

This precious natural wonder is one we all must work together to protect by respecting the rules. Before heading to Hanging Lake, please download the regulations. Help yourself prepare with this handy list of recommendations as well as with the following FAQs and information below.

Hanging Lake Trail FAQs

Did You Know?

Hanging Lake is a rare example of a lake formed by travertine deposition! Here, the natural geologic and hydrologic processes continue to operate as they have done for thousands of years. Hanging Lake was designated a National Natural Landmark by the Secretary of the Interior in 2011.

Strictly Prohibited at Hanging Lake

There are NO exceptions for the following activities at Hanging Lake:

  • Swimming
  • Dipping body parts into the water
  • Standing under or on top of waterfalls
  • Walking on the fallen trees within the lake itself
  • No Dogs
  • No Fishing
  • Parking Illegally (see Parking Information)

This is because of the detrimental effects of introducing unnatural elements into the delicate ecosystem.

No dogs are allowed on the trail or at the lake. Fishing is also prohibited.

Difficulty Level

Although only a mile in length, the trail is steep and very rocky. Hikers should wear sturdy shoes with good tread. Be aware that there is little to no mobile phone coverage. Bring water as there is no potable water available. Be aware that in winter the trail can be very icy. Crampons are recommended.

  • Trail Length: 1.2 miles (one way)
  • Trial Difficulty: More Difficult-steep and rocky
  • Trail Use: High Use
  • Average Time Round Trip: Allow for 2-3 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 1,000 ft.

Leave No Trace

Learn about the Care for Colorado Principles by watching this fun video!

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