Hanging Lake in Glenwood Canyon

Hanging Lake is one of the most popular hiking destinations in Colorado, and for good reason.  There are few places in the world that can compare to this geologic wonder.  The entire hike, round trip, is approximately 2.5 miles and about 2 hours of hiking time.  But do not be fooled by the short distance, the hike to the lake is a rigorous uphill climb. The uphill climb to the lake gains 1200 ft from the parking area. Children and elderly persons struggle with this hike.

Permits Are Required

The cost is $12 per person and includes parking. No vehicles over 25 feet in length are allowed in the Hanging Lake rest area. Hikers will be asked toHanging Lake waterfall present their permits upon arrival. Only those with permits are allowed to park in the Hanging Lake rest area. Get your permit here.

Reservations cannot be canceled within 48 hours of your departure day. Please use the permit portal to make reservation changes.


The fragile shoreline of the lake is composed of Travertine, (a terrestrial limestone deposited around mineral springs) created during the Leadville formation through which Dead Horse Creek flows, is deposited on rocks and logs, creating travertine layers.

Hanging Lake is located on a fault line and was formed when the lake's valley floor sheared off from the fault and dropped to the now shallow lake bed. The turquoise colors of the lake are dissolved carbonate minerals in the water.

How to drive to Hanging Lake

If heading west on I-70, you must take the Grizzly Creek exit 121 and then head back east on I-70 to Hanging Lake exit 125.

Some Rule to Remember

  • Leave your pets at home.  Dogs are not allowed on the trail, at the lake, nor are they allowed to be left in vehicles at the trailhead.

  • No off-trail hiking or shortcuts to the lake.

  • Wear sturdy shoes, no flip-flops.

  • Pack out any trash.

  • Bring lots of water.

  • There are no restrooms at the lake.

  • No cell service on the trail.

  • No swimming, standing on the log, or fishing at the lake.

  • No drones.

  • During winter the trail will be icy.

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