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Hanging Lake Trail Closed To Repair Damage From Overcrowding

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) - Rangers are trying to repair the damage overcrowding is causing at the popular Hanging Lake Trail near Glenwood Springs.

The trail will be closed for five days.

Hanging Lake
Hanging Lake (credit: CBS)

Besides the regular maintenance, volunteers will also put in barriers to protect the historic resources.

The trail in Glenwood Canyon has been targeted by hikers who leave behind graffiti, trash and dog waste.

Hanging Lake Vandalism 1 (Forest Service)
(credit: U.S. Forest Service)

Now, there's a campaign on Instagram to shame those who don't treat the wilderness with respect.

It's not a new problem on the trail, but one that is getting worse the more people visit the outdoors.

(credit: CBS)

Last week, volunteers found graffiti painted on rocks and trees at Hanging Lake.

Hanging Lake Vandalism 4 (Forest Service)
Hanging Lake vandalism (credit: U.S. Forest Service)

The Forest Service says graffiti, illegal parking and swimming are issues that had them considering closing the trail until ranger patrols start at the end of May.

Hanging Lake Vandalism 3 (Forest Service)
(credit: U.S. Forest Service)
Hanging Lake Vandalism 2 (Forest Service)
(credit: U.S. Forest Service)

The agency said it is working on a long-term solution to all the issues.

hanging lake trail
(credit: CBS)

Nearly two years ago, a gate was installed at the trail head that is closed when the 112-space lot is full. The Forest Service manages the parking during high-use times.

The White River National Forest said that Hanging Lake had 137,000 visitors last year.

Hanging Lake
Hanging Lake (credit: CBS)

There have been increasing complaints of trail overcrowding and hikers exhibiting inconsiderate behavior like blasting music and using inappropriate equipment on the trails.

Hanging Lake Trail
Hanging Lake Trail (credit: CBS)
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