Public access to Hanging Lake and its trails will be limited this summer for trail reconstruction work

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
The Hanging Lake trailhead exit in Glenwood Canyon on Friday, Aug. 21, 2020.

Access to Hanging Lake and nearby Glenwood Canyon trails will be limited starting in May as crews begin to renovate trails damaged during the Grizzly Creek fire and subsequent mudslides in its burn scar. 

The multi-million dollar renovation will make the area better equipped to withstand high water and debris flows, according to the U.S. Forest Service. The 1.2 mile trail will feature seven new bridges and a boardwalk at Spouting Rock, a natural waterfall above Hanging Lake, to reduce erosion from foot traffic. Crews will also replant native vegetation and better define path boundaries. 

Starting May 1, the Hanging Lake Trail will be closed on weekdays, with occasional weekend closures when bridge replacement starts later this summer. Construction is expected to last through fall.

Visitors are still required to get reservations, which are released every Tuesday for the following, from the trail’s website

When the Grizzly Creek fire tore through 32,000 acres in and around Glenwood Canyon in 2020, Hanging Lake was largely spared, except for burn damage to parts of the trail.

But a year later, intense rain swept mud across Interstate 70 and surrounding areas, and heavy debris flow caused major damage to Hanging Lake trail, making it nearly impossible to navigate safely. The damage caused park officials to close Hanging Lake to the public for a year.

The new renovations are being funded by multiple sources, including Great Outdoors Colorado, Colorado Parks and Wildlife State Trails Program, the City of Glenwood Springs and the USDA Forest Service.