Hanging Lake is an incredible Oasis tucked into Glenwood Canyon along the I-70 Corridor in Colorado. It is truly beautiful in all seasons, and I am happy to say that I have now visited it in Summer and Winter. The conditions are very different and you’ll want to prepare appropriately. In The summer, lots of water and a forecast without rain is important. More important is to Arrive very very early or late in the day as the parking lot is small and will fill up fast. You can park several miles down the road and bike/walk the rec path to get to the trailhead, but this isn’t ideal.
The Hike in total is 2.9 Miles Round trip, and a rather steep elevation gain of 1,065 feet. Taking a moderate pace, I was able to reach the lake from the Parking lot in just over 1 hour.
In the Winter time this hike is a different animal. The parking lot is empty aside from 3-5 cars, and the trail albeit snow packed, quite slippery and hard to get up without the proper gear . I had a pair of MicroSpikes with me that can be purchased on Amazon for $69. Kahtoola MICROspikes Footwear Traction – Black Medium – 2015/16
They are very lightweight and slip over any pair of hiking shoes you might have. These are critical to getting up the trail safely, and in some spots a must as the snow is packed down to solid ice.
Once I arrived I had the environment to myself with the exception of two other photographers and a pair of outdoor enthusiasts. The Lake itself is considered it’s own ecosystem – so jumping into it, fishing, or littering the area are frowned upon to say the least. With a great deck and viewing platform in place you can find several relaxing spots to take in the view, have a snack and then head back down.
The Views are truly stunning, and yes the water is really that green/Blue/Teal!