!Permits to hike Hanging Lake have been suspended through May 31, 2020!

Access to Hanging Lake Rest Area and Hanging Lake Trail is currently closed. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we all work together to minimize the impacts and spread of COVID-19.

Hanging Lake is one of Glenwood Springs’ most popular geologic wonders. Visitors travel from all over the world and view its pristine, turquoise waters and sparkling waterfalls. The hike is a steep, 1-mile with variable terrain but the views at the top are well worth the effort.

A reservation is required to access Hanging Lake. 

The trail is limited to 615 people a day. Hikers access the trail by way of the Hanging Lake Express’ shuttle system or by a biking/hiking reservation to the trailhead. The Hanging Lake shuttle and reservation system provides efficient visitor transportation and protect a National Natural Landmark!

Make reservations by visiting www.visitglenwood.com/hanginglake, or by phone: (970) 384-6309.


Not sure what to expect? Watch this video and read this list of recommendations to prepare yourself. Click here to read the rules of visiting Hanging Lake.


Have more questions? See below for additional FAQ’s.

Hanging Lake FAQ’s:

Question: How much are Hanging Lake reservations?

Answer: Shuttle reservations cost $12 per person. There’s an online reservation system for convenient trip planning. The reservation system reduces visitors on the trail for enhanced hiker experience. There’s a dedicated welcome center for parking and shuttle pick-up in Glenwood Springs. There’s on-site maintenance, ranger presence, visitor information services and interpretation on the trail and at the Hanging Lake Welcome Center.

Question: Where do I go to make a reservation to visit Hanging Lake? 

Answer: Make reservations at www.visitglenwood.com/hanginglake.

Question: Where can I get more information to plan my trip?

Answer: Visit www.visitglenwood.com/hanginglake . Call the Hanging Lake Information line at (970) 384-6309 for more information. Send inquiries to info@hanginglakeexpress.com.

Question: When does the shuttle run?

Answer: The shuttle season operates May 1 – Oct. 31, daily.

Question: Where do I park and get on the shuttle?

Answer: Shuttles depart from the Hanging Lake Welcome Center located at 110 Wulfsohn Road in Glenwood Springs, CO. Parking is free at the Hanging Lake Welcome Center.

Question: Is there group size limit for reservations?

Answer: There is a limit of twenty people per group reservation. Call (970) 384-6309 to make arrangements for larger groups.

Question: Are special rates available for children, seniors and military?

Answer: There are not currently special rates for children, seniors and the military.

Question: Is there a season pass for locals?

Answer: There is not a season pass option for locals. All visitors must make a reservation for $12.

Question: How long do I get to hike at Hanging Lake and catch the return shuttle?

Answer: Visiting Hanging Lake by shuttle allows for a three hour hike time there and back with additional time for photos and picnicking. All visitors are guaranteed a return shuttle after a three hour visit to Hanging Lake. You’ll take a standby shuttle if your end up hiking longer or shorter than 3 hours.

Question: Are dogs allowed at Hanging Lake and at the Hanging Lake Welcome Center?

Answer: Dogs and other pets are not allowed on the Hanging Lake Trail or at the Hanging Lake Welcome Center. Visit www.visitglenwood.com/hanginglake for dog-boarding options.

Question: Are there restroom facilities at the Hanging Lake Welcome Center or at Hanging Lake?

Answer: Restrooms are available at the Hanging Lake Welcome Center. Find additional amenities at the Welcome Center including a water fountain, gift shop and visitor information services.

There is a restroom at the Hanging Lake trailhead along with a water fountain and picnic tables. Restroom facilities and drinking water are not available along the trail or at the lake. Hikers will want to pack water and snacks and remember to pack it out and Leave No Trace!

Question: How long is the Hanging Lake trail?

Answer: The hike to Hanging Lake is 1.2 miles with over 1,000 feet of elevation gain. The trail is a moderate to difficult hike and hikers should be prepared for elevation, strenuous climbs, and rocky conditions. Visitors should bring water, snacks, sunscreen, appropriate footwear and clothing.

Question: Is there cell service at Hanging Lake?

Answer: There is no cell service at Hanging Lake. The area is staffed in case of an emergency during the peak season.

Question: Do I need a reservation year-round?

Answer: A reservation is required to visit Hanging Lake either via shuttle, hiking or biking. There is a daily limit of 615 visitors per day. The Forest Service and H2O Ventures provide onsite visitor services and compliance daily.

Forest Service Rangers patrol the trail and parking area ensuring visitors have obtained a reservation.

Question: Do I need a reservation to bike to the trailhead to visit Hanging Lake?

Answer: Bikers and hikers need a reservation and can bike to the trailhead and hike to the lake, year-round at any time.

Question: Will I be able to access the Hanging Lake parking lot?

Answer: The shuttle operates from May 1 through October 31. The parking lot closes to all vehicles except for Hanging Lake shuttles, emergency vehicles or other authorized vehicles. Take-outs of larger boats, SUPs and rafts is not possible during this time period.

The parking area is reserved for emergency vehicles, authorized vehicles and for visitors hiking to Hanging Lake during the off-peak season.

It is recommended that those wishing to utilize the Glenwood Canyon bike path do so from another Glenwood Canyon access point such as Grizzly Creek, No Name or Bair Ranch.

A reservation is required to hike to Dead Horse.

Question: I don’t want to hike to Hanging Lake but I do want to utilize the Glenwood Canyon bike path, do I need a reservation?

Answer: You will not need a reservation if you are not hiking to Hanging Lake.

Question: What is the ultimate goal of the Hanging Lake Management Plan and the reservation system?

Answer: The overall goal is to create and implement a management system for the Hanging Lake Area that is sustainable and achieves these goals:

  • Protects natural resources
  • Manages congestion
  • Enhances public safety
  • Improves visitor experience
  • Supports local tourism

Question: Will any of the revenue collected directly benefit Hanging Lake?

Answer: The revenue benefits Hanging Lake. At least 5% of overall revenue goes back toward the partnership and long-term sustainability of operations and management of Hanging Lake and stewardship of this special place.

The partnership allows for the City and the Forest Service to cost share. The partnership cooperatively develops, plans, and implements projects that are mutually beneficial to the Hanging Lake area and provide local residents, as well as the American public, with high quality recreation experiences and excellent customer service.