In recent years, Hanging Lake outside of Glenwood Springs has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in the state, playing host to photographers, hikers, and roadtrippers alike. While we love to see people getting excited about exploring Colorado, the huge traffic increase to this site is leading to permanent changes to Hanging Lake’s already fragile ecosystem. If you're stopping by for a visit, follow the rules and treat this stunning destination with respect.

RELATED: Don’t let these palm-sized owls go extinct!

The lake attracts over 130,000 visitors throughout each year.

RELATED: This Colorado waterfall is over 300 feet tall!

Though both swimming and dogs are prohibited, these rules are broken regularly, thus making up for a large portion of the damage.

RELATED: Colorado's most dangerous drive!

Litter left behind by visitors is also having an impact. Remember, if you pack it in, pack it out.

RELATED: This hike will get you over your fear of heights! 

Hanging lake

A post shared by Jerry Sukuan Liu (@jerrysukuanliu) on Nov 27, 2016 at 7:12am PST

Unless visitors start to take better care of the area and follow the rules, Hanging Lake is at risk of ecological disruption.

RELATED: Colorado's Great Crane Migration!

If you’re planning a visit, make sure you take care of the area for generations to come.

RELATED: Venomous Spiders in Colorado!

Hanging Lake beginning its nap for the winter. Unbelievably peaceful and serene.

A post shared by Josh Mattson (@joshuamattson) on Dec 8, 2016 at 2:51pm PST

RELATED: Check out Colorado's Bluest Lakes!