Hiking to Hanging Lake

April 20, 2009 at 7:41 pm

On Monday morning we had to pack up and head home. The weather in the mountains was beautiful, but I was feeling grouchy and a little depressed about going back to “real life.” After picking fights with both TJ and Mark for no reason, and then having a little emotional breakdown, I pulled the car off the highway and decided that a hike sounded good. We all needed a few more hours in the mountains, and another dose of endorphins (some of us more than others).

Trail is difficult! I'm ready to hike.

There’s pictures from the hike in the gallery.

We knew next to nothing about this trail. I’d seen signs for it as we drove through Glenwood Canyon, and one of our neighbors had declared the Hanging Lake trail to be his favorite in the entire state of Colorado. So we read all of the signs at the rest stop, and figured out that the trail started around the corner, was 1.2 miles long and rose in elevation from 6,XXX and 7,102 ft (as was written on the sheet of paper at the trailhead). We packed up water, cameras and lunches and headed out for the hike.

TJ and Mark climb the rocks and steps to the high lake

The trail was steep and rocky, but well maintained. The last 0.3 miles of the trail were covered in ice and snow. And the last few feet were very steep climbing up a blocky ledge system. Once over the ridge and on top of the canyon, you pop out and get your first view of the lake.

Waterfalls into Hanging lake

The lake sits high above Glenwood Cayon, filled with crystal clear water, surrounded by waterfalls running with spring snow melt, and crowned by granite cliffs. The lake is so beautiful, that planners re-routed the interstate though two tunnels rather than disturb the spot. We loved sitting next to this clear alpine lake on the sunny and beautiful afternoon. I ran around taking pictures of the waterfalls, and TJ and Mark watched trout in the deep, clear lake dart out of the shadows and eat insects off the surface.


We spent a quiet hour next to the lake, eating our lunches, and getting just a little more sunburnt. The hike out was quick and we were back in the car, driving though the mountains in what seemed like no time. Everybody was definitely feeling better.