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Colorado's Hanging Lake Trail gets upgrades to make sure it stays stunning for years to come

There will be some changes coming to Hanging Lake Trail this fall. The U.S. Forest Service has approved improvements to the trail designed to ensure long-term trail sustainability and ecological restoration. 

Hanging Lake CBS

The trail and bridges that suffered significant damage following the 2021 rock and mudslides in Glenwood Canyon will be re-engineered including the relocation of six of the trail's seven bridges to better accommodate water and debris flows. Two of the bridges will be relocated to provide better stream clearance. 

Three years ago, the trail was closed to the public due to rock and mudslides in Glenwood Canyon that damaged part of the trail and left Hanging Lake brown from the runoff. The mudslides happened a year after the Grizzly Creek Fire burned along I-70, close to Hanging Lake. 


"This work would not be possible without the support of our partners," said White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams in a statement. "These repairs and improvements will ensure that we continue to provide a world-class visitor experience at this iconic Colorado location for decades to come."

Other improvements include building a boardwalk at Spouting Rock to reduce erosion, rock work, debris removal, and native seeding and planting to stabilize stream banks and reduce erosion. 

The trail has been so popular that the Forest Service has made changes in recent years, like instituting a paid permit-entry system to control the number of people on the 1.2-mile trail at one time.   

Trail closures could be necessary as work continues. 

The project is funded through Great Outdoors Colorado, Colorado Parks and Wildlife State Trails Program, the National Forest Foundation, City of Glenwood Springs, and the USDA Forest Service. 

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