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

In accordance with the Colorado Governor’s Executive Order and the US Forest Service directives, 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, with people coming for miles to view its pristine, turquoise waters and sparkling waterfalls. Located in Glenwood Canyon, it’s a steep mile hike up variable terrain, but the views at the top are well worth the effort.

A reservation is required to access Hanging Lake. 

 In order to preserve and protect this natural beauty, the trail will be limited to 615 people a day by way of 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 while protecting a National Natural Landmark!

You can now reserve spots for the shuttle and for hiking/biking. Reservations can be made by visiting www.visitglenwood.com/hanginglake, or by phone: 970-384-6309.





Not sure what to expect? Watch the video above 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 does it cost to visit Hanging Lake?

Answer: A reservation for the shuttle costs $12 per person. The experience includes: an online reservation system for convenient trip planning, reduced visitors on the trail for enhanced hiker experience, a dedicated welcome center for parking and shuttle pick-up in Glenwood Springs, 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: Reservations can be made online at www.visitglenwood.com/hanginglake.

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

Answer: For more information please visit www.visitglenwood.com/hanginglake or call the Hanging Lake Information line at 970-384-6309. Email inquiries can be made at info@hanginglakeexpress.com.

Question: When will the shuttle run?

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

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

Answer: Shuttles will depart from the Hanging Lake Welcome Center located at 110 Wulfsohn Road in Glenwood Springs, CO.  Free parking is also available at the Hanging Lake Welcome Center.

Question: Is there group size limit for reservations?

Answer: Yes, there is a limit of twenty people per group reservation, larger groups must call 970-384-6309 to make additional arrangements.

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

Answer: At this time there are not special rates for children, seniors and the military.

Question: Is there a season pass for locals?

Answer: At this time there is not a season pass option for locals. All visitors must make a reservation for $12.

Question: How long do I have to hike to 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 have a guaranteed return shuttle after a three hour visit to Hanging Lake. Hikers that take shorter or longer than three hours will be on standby to get back on the next available shuttle.

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

Answer: No, dogs and/or other pets are not allowed on the Hanging Lake Trail or at the Hanging Lake Welcome Center. Please 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: Yes, there are restroom facilities available at the Hanging Lake Welcome Center. Additional amenities at the Welcome Center include a water fountain, gift shop and visitor information services.

Restroom facilities are available at the Hanging Lake trailhead along with a water fountain and picnic tables. Restroom facilities and drinking water is not available along the trail or at the lake; please pack water and snacks with you 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 a moderate to difficult hike up into a narrow drainage for 1.2 miles with over 1,000 feet of elevation gain. It is important that hikers are prepared for elevation, strenuous climbs, and rocky conditions. Bring water, snacks, sunscreen and appropriate footwear and clothing.

Question: Is there cell service at Hanging Lake?

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

Question: Do I need a reservation year-round?

Answer: Yes, during the peak season, May 1-Oct. 31, 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 will provide onsite visitor services and compliance daily.

During off-peak season, Nov. 1-April 30, a reservation is required to visit Hanging Lake via independent vehicle, hiking or biking. Forest Service Rangers will patrol the trail and parking area to ensure visitors have obtained a reservation.

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

Answer: Yes, bikers/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: When the shuttle is in operation from May 1 through October 31, the parking lot will be closed except for Hanging Lake shuttles, emergency vehicles or other authorized vehicles. Take-outs of larger boats, SUPs, and rafts will not be possible during this time period.

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

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.

Visitors who want to hike to Dead Horse, located along the Hanging Lake trail, will still need to purchase a reservation to do so.

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: No, 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 of this management Plan is to create and implement a management system for the Hanging Lake Area that is sustainable and achieves these goals:

  • Protect natural resources
  • Manage congestion
  • Enhance public safety
  • Improve visitor experience
  • Support local tourism

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

Answer: At a minimum, 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 and to cooperatively develop, plan, and implement 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.