1,000 feet up the steep walls of Glenwood Canyon there hides away a basin full of water the color of Paris Green, waterfalls roaring near the fragile shoreline of travertine, the bottom of the lake fully visible through crystal clear waters.
Discovered by a gold hunting prospector, Hanging Lake was a private homestead and family retreat until falling into the hands of Glenwood Springs in 1910. Protected by the White River Forest Service, this is a popular stop for those willing to take a short but steep hike to see the trout-filled, glacially formed watery haven seemingly suspended from the side of the canyon.
Just a few hundred yards behind Hanging Lake is yet another waterfall, Spouting Rock, which jets through holes in the canyon walls.
Know Before You Go
The lake is reached via a trailhead located near I-70 in the bottom of the canyon. Be aware! You cannot reach the Hanging Lake parking lots from westbound I-70. You will need to head to exit 121, go underneath the interstate, then double back and take the exit from the eastbound lanes. Similarly, there is no entrance to eastbound I-70 from the trailhead.This is a VERY popular hike in Colorado, as the trailhead is right off the interstate and it is a short hike. If you are visiting during the summer months, both parking lots are usually full before 8:30 AM, and there is nowhere else to park - you will need to make alternate plans, wait a while in Glenwood Springs and return later, or rent bicycles in Glenwood Springs and bike in. You cannot park on the I-70 ramps, and it is frowned upon to sit around idling while waiting for a spot to open up - you will block traffic and emergency access should it be needed. RVs and trailers are not allowed.The trail follows Dead Horse Creek, a tributary of the Colorado River and ascends some 1,000 feet