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Hike Hanging Lake responsibly

Carla Jean Whitley
cj@postindependent.com
Alan Brekke from Minnesota takes a photo Tuesday morning of the cyrstal clear water at Hanging Lake.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial beginning of summer, and we know visitors will arrive in search of the area’s treasures. One of those, Hanging Lake, is sure to see crowds as tourist season begins.

Look, we’re not going to tell you to skip Hanging Lake. We know it’s one of Garfield County’s most recognizable spots — though we also know visibility is part of the problem. The area is suffering from overuse, and the unique ecosystem is a casualty. That’s why it’s important to consider the following before setting out on the iconic hike.

  • Visit early in the morning or late in the afternoon to increase your odds of getting a parking spot. The lot fills quickly.
  • Come mid-week for smaller crowds.
  • Be prepared to wait if you arrive at a busy time.
  • Leave your dog at home.
  • Stick to the trail. Cutting across switchbacks increases erosion.
  • Stay out of the lake and off the log. This isn’t just about your safety; the oils on your skin damage the ecosystem.

Open to alternative hikes? Check out five of our favorites. 


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