View Full Version : Hanging Lake, Glenwood Springs CO

04-18-2004, 01:37 AM
Has anyone ever been to this place? It's located just near Glenwood Springs, CO and Glenwood Cannon. The Colorado River is at the base of the hike. Here is a link to a website with some good pics and discriptions - LINK (http://www.imagesofcolorado.com/hanginglake.html)

The reason I ask is this. I hitch hiked around the country several years ago. My favorite place was Glenwood Springs, CO. The town was great, people great, the mountains high/great, and Hanging Lake has to be one of the most amazing places I've ever been to.
I'am just curious if anyone else has a story about this great place or the surrounding area.

04-19-2004, 01:14 PM
Yes, I was there 3 years ago in the middle of July. We spent 2 nights at the Hotel Denver (Brew Pub) (http://www.thehoteldenver.com/) . I visited the White River National Forest office in Glenwood Springs and they suggested going to Hanging Lake. They did warn me it would be busy. There’s easy parking with a great rest room with an exit on I-70.

I was totally bummed out by the amount of litter strewn adjacent to the trail. I took out way too much stuff. There were way too many people. Some were attempting to walk on submerged logs into the lake and falling onto the fragile vegetation. I think we did this mid week too. Find some longer trails that aren’t as popular with more difficult access. All in all it’s a beautiful hike and a nice destination. The waterfall is impressive. The water is crystal clear.

We hiked up to Doc Holliday’s grave in town too. Kind of cool cemetery. The Hot Springs were worth the trip. Go to Aspen and Hike the Maroon Bells instead. They regulate the access in the summer you have to ride a bus up from town. These areas get more use than Mountains in NH.

Have fun,


04-19-2004, 11:28 PM
I too thought it was very crowded!

The large log that goes to the center of the "lake" has been there for many many years. Why where you bothered by people walking on it? As far as "fragile" vegitation, I wouldn't worry about that area either. With the warm seasonal climate and the wet area the vegitation grows rather quickly. It's not like mountain tops in the Whites where the vegitation is really fragile.

I have to admit I think an area like that should have a lot of people going to enjoy it. The place is amazing! It made me happy for 2 days after I was there. It's been 2 years and I still think about it.

When I went I did not park off of Rt. 70. I mountain biked from town (after going up to to Doc Hollywood Grave) and then hiked up from the trail head. A little note - Doc Hollywood is not actually in that grave. There is an unmarked stone near by where he is. A local was telling me he was scared of people going and digging him up. Weird huh!?

I also went white water rafting there. That was pretty much one of the coolest thing I've done period!

Another think I did was mountain bike over 11,000 feet! Having very little resistance through the air was an odd feeling. And NO I did not hike up to 11,000 with a mountain bike. I hitched a ride with someone that owned a high mountain camp. That was the scariest 4X4 trip ever. The jeep trail went up along the side of the cliff. There where times when I was staring out of the passenger side window looking almost straight down a couple hundred feet!

JOD - Did you go in the large hot spring pools or did you go to the free ones beside the CO River? The large pools where way too expensive for me at that time. I was in town for about a month. I went in the springs about 20 times. The last time I got hives all over my body. So itchy!

Overall the town, the hostel, the cannon, Hanging Lake, the river, the hot springs, the mountain biking, the caves, the very cool locals, the the WOW an awsome place!

Now I just have to convince my wife and kids to move out there!

04-20-2004, 10:28 AM
Maybe I should clarify what bummed me out about the kids walking out on the log in the “lake.” It wasn’t so much the act of going out on the log, it was the fact these kids had no balance and kept falling off into the lake. I was reading about the vegetation in the pond stating it was fragile. They kept breaking off big chunks of the vegetation. What really got me started was the amount of trash next to the trail the whole way up.

When I go hiking in NH, I pick out trails that get lower use. If I plan to hike a popular trail I try to go on less crowded days. I don’t mind hiking with other folks on the path, but the trash gets me on the warpath. LNT has to be spread to the masses.

When we left Colorado, my wife bought me a hiking t-shirt that says “Colorado, tread lightly”

We went to the big hot springs by the river next to the pedestrian bridge. We got admission passes with our room. It’s a short walk over the bridge.

I knew Doc Holliday was actually buried close by and not in the marked grave. I was more impressed by the miners that died in cave-ins. There’s a family of brothers that all got killed buried next to each other.

I’m with you about moving to the area. My wife (RN) could find work there easier than I. My company has an office in Denver… Family keeps us close to here.


04-20-2004, 11:03 AM
It is a beautiful spot. I agree that it is way to crowded. The first time wwe did it was in the middle of summer. I was amazed by the amount of people. Most were in jeans with no water and it was hotter than h... out. I even saw a couple of people dragging a stroller. Funny stuff. Most people see that the hike is only a mile and think it is easy. It is a tough mile but well worth it. I have seen pics of the upper and lower falls in spring and it looks amazing. The upper falls were just a trickle through the hole. In spring they go right over the top of the rock wall. The bad thing about the kids on the tree is that I really dont want them in my pics. The last time I was there a couple was sitting right below the falls. They just sat and sat. Did not even realize that a group of about 20 on the boardwalk was ready to start throwing rocks at them to get them to move.

The brewery in town has great beer. Just dont stay at the campground on the river on the east side of town. Trains go by every hour or so and you cant get any sleep.:p

04-22-2004, 11:03 PM
I'm in agreeance with all JOD! I don't remember seeing trash and thats something I tend to see. It may have been either a good day when I was there or a bad one when you where there.

I never heard about the miners. Thats something I would have been very interested in.

LNT should be common sense, but to some people it is not.

If you ever get back to Glenwood Springs. Walk along the river opposite of the large hot springs pool. You will go maybe a quarter mile. There are some small rocky natural hot springs that are cooled off a little by the CO River. You can see the water just seep out of the dirt. The water is something like 120F when it comes out (maybe hotter I can't remeber). It's nice to be next to the river. When you get too hot you just jump over the rocky area to the river and cool off. When the train goes by your sappose to moon it (i.e. the COG).

Maybe I'll move there when I retire in 45 years. Hopefully it's as nice as it is now.