Discounted tickets could be offered to school groups wanting to visit Hanging Lake

Reduced rate would be available May, September and October to classes not individual students

A CDOT employee shovels snow outside of the Hanging Lake rest stop.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

Pending approval from Glenwood Springs City Council, teachers will be able to bring their classes to Hanging Lake for a reduced rate of $3 per student beginning in May.

The discount won’t apply to individual students wanting to visit the national natural landmark just east of Glenwood Springs on their own, but rather classes as a whole.

“Hanging Lake has so many different educational components,” said Ken Murphy, H2O Ventures co-owner. “It’s teaching about protecting a resource, the geology of Glenwood Canyon and the uniqueness of the public-private partnership.”

Last year, the U.S. Forest Service and city of Glenwood Springs awarded H2O Ventures the contract to run the Hanging Lake shuttle service, which launched May 1.

The seasonal shuttle service was part of a larger permit-reservation system, which capped the number of visitors to Hanging Lake to 615-people per day.

The price for a peak-season reservation from May 1 – Oct. 31 costs $12 per person and includes a shuttle to the trailhead. An off-peak reservation from Nov. 1 – Apr. 30 costs $10 per person.

According to Murphy, the discounted rate would apply to elementary school classes all the way up to students pursuing a higher-education degree.

The reduced rate will be available to classes Monday through Friday during May, September and October.

“Anytime we can reduce barriers for children to be able to experience the outdoors and a natural wonder like Hanging Lake, we should take it,” Mayor Jonathan Godes said.

Based on the number of visitors to Hanging Lake during the 2019 peak season, Murphy was confident the trail could accommodate the additional field trips.

According to Murphy, in May 2019 the trail had a daily average of 327 hikers. Additionally, during September and October the trail had a daily average of 357 and 217 hikers respectively.

“I support the discount,” Councilor Charlie Willman said. “I think it’s good and am glad we are able to offer it.”

According to the contract, in order for educators to be able to utilize the student discount, the field trip must have an educational component.

Additionally, student discount tickets must be purchased through the school hosting the trip and may not be purchased online.

“Nobody is generating revenue from these school groups or these educational components,” Murphy said. “Part of that $3 also goes back into the resource.”

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