The hike from the parking lot to Hanging Lake is 1.38 miles / 2.22 km and gains over 1200 ft. / 366 m in elevation.  In total, this out and back hike is 2.76 miles / 4.44 km in length.  It is important to be well prepared, as the trail is rated at a Moderate / Difficult level.

There are restrooms with a water fountain and picnic tables located at the Hanging Lake trailhead. However, there are no restroom facilities or drinking water available along the trail or at the lake. It is important to remember to bring enough water and snacks for the hike, and to pack out all waste and follow Leave No Trace principles.

Yes, this is a great option during the summer months.  As with all visitors to Hanging Lake, this option does require a permit.  It is strongly encourages to first check in with the Hanging Lake Adventure Co-op to get the latest update on the status of the Glenwood Canyon Recreation / Bike Path.  At times, weather conditions and trail maintenance can cause closures that make this option non-viable.  It is important to have an alternative, and non-commercial (private vehicles are only permitted to enter the Hanging Lake Rest Area), driving option if your reservation coincides with a trail closure.

A reservation is not necessary to utilize the Glenwood Canyon bike path.. However, please note that there is no parking available at the Hanging Lake exit specifically for access to  Glenwood Canyon.

No, dogs (or any other pet) are not allowed on the Hanging Lake Trail or Hanging Lake Rest Area.  Additionally, animals are NOT allowed to be left in vehicles while hiking.  Please click here to view Dog-Boarding options.

Although your emotional support animal (ESA) may provide important support for you, they are not considered service animals under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and are therefore not permitted in areas that do not allow dogs, such as the Hanging Lake trail. If you plan on hiking to Hanging Lake, you will need to make arrangements for the care of your ESA. There are several kennel services in Glenwood Springs that can take care of your animal while you are on the trail. There are also many other trails in the White River National Forest that do not have restrictions on pets that may be a better fit for your needs.

Hiking is the best way to fully appreciate the unparalleled beauty of the area, particularly in July when the alpine meadows are in full bloom or in late September when the aspen trees turn amber yellow. Road cycling enthusiasts enjoy riding their bikes up Maroon Creek Road, and campers can find peaceful solitude in the small National Forest Service campgrounds that can be found along the hiking trails beyond the lake.

There is no cellular coverage at Hanging Lake. During peak season, the area is staffed in case of emergencies.

Currently, there are no reduced rates available for children ages 3 and up, seniors, or military personnel. However, you can call to inquire about rates for children under two years of age. For group or special interest requests, you can also call for more information.

Proceeds from the revenue collected are used to support the partnership and long-term sustainability of Hanging Lake, including the operations and management of the site as well as its stewardship as a National Natural Landmark. The partnership between the City of Glenwood Springs and the Forest Service allows for cost sharing and collaboration on projects that benefit the Hanging Lake area and provide high quality recreational experiences and customer service to local residents and visitors.

The main objectives of the Hanging Lake management plan and reservation system are to protect natural resources, manage congestion, enhance public safety, improve the visitor experience, and support local tourism. These efforts aim to ensure the long-term sustainability of the Hanging Lake area and provide a high-quality recreational experience for all visitors.

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This adventure can be booked online by clicking the BOOK ONLINE NOW button.


A helpful HL Co-op guide is ready to help facilitate this reservation by calling 970-945-6605


Visit the HLA Co-Op Basecamp at:



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