Hanging Lake opens to the public once again

Glenwood Springs Mayor Jonathan Godes speaks during a Hanging Lake reopening event Friday.
Ray K. Erku/Post Independent

Though rain caused a flash flood watch and temporarily closed down all rest areas and trails in Glenwood Canyon on Friday, the U.S. Forest Service officially opened a primitive trail to Hanging Lake.

Gov. Jared Polis and Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., helped usher in the reopening, joining Glenwood Springs Mayor Jonathan Godes and USFS officials and more in a ceremonial ribbon cutting held at the Glenwood Springs Community Center.

The event was originally slated to be held at the trailhead, but was moved because of a flood watch through the canyon Friday.

Polis called the reopening of Hanging Lake “a milestone.”

“This is really one of Colorado’s treasures,” Polis added. “And for residents of Colorado, also an economic driver; for people who visit from across the country, across the world, spend money in our stores and restaurants.

“Today is really the next chapter.”

Historic flooding nearly a year after the Grizzly Creek Fire destroyed the Hanging Lake Trail, forcing the area’s closure in July 2021.

Throughout 2022, however, the Forest Service partnered with Summit to Sea trail builders to repair and replace two bridges and construct a temporary, primitive trail at Hanging Lake.

Boebert praised all the investments made by the community.

“When we saw three of Colorado’s largest wildfires and 2020, that was devastating for us all, and we all collectively worked together to mitigate those,” she said. “I applaud the U.S. Forest Service and even the Department of Transportation for quickly reopening I-70.

“We certainly have an economic downturn whenever I-70 is closed down for any period of time.”

A permit is required to hike Hanging lake. Go to to make reservations to hike Hanging Trail. 

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