GLENWOOD SPRINGS – The National Forest Service announced it will implement its plan starting next May to manage visitation at one of Colorado’s most popular hiking destinations, Hanging Lake.
The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) will begin capping the number of visitors to the breathtaking canyon hike at 615 per day, each day of the year. Moving forward, hikers will have to reserve their spots using a fee-based reservation system.
The USFS also said it and the City of Glenwood Springs will provide a seasonal shuttle system to manage crowds at the Hanging Lake rest stop and parking lot located off of I-70 in Glenwood Canyon.
“The Forest Service is excited about the opportunity to partner with the City of Glenwood Springs to effectively manage Hanging Lake and improve the visitor experience for everyone,” said Aaron Mayville, District Ranger in a news release. “We are currently working out the details for the transportation and reservation system, but expect to begin shuttle operations in May of 2019.”
The Forest Service said it expects the natural ecosystem of the lake and trail to improve after the visitor cap is implemented.
In 2017, trail data showed approximately 184,000 people visited the lake, a 23 percent increase in one year.