Hanging Lake’s Human Problem

Hanging Lake

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.

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

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Hanging Lake’s Human Problem

Water drips down icicles into Hanging Lake near Glenwood Springs Sunday, January 26, 2015. Even in winter, the steep 1.2 mile hike to the lake is accessible, though best traveled with crampons or snowshoes. With more than 131,000 visitors per year, the trail is one of the most hiked in Colorado. Michael Ciaglo, The Gazette

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

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Hanging Lake’s Human Problem

Hanging Lake. Photo Credit: Irwin Badeaux

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

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

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


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