Every Thursday, I will be posting a photo from my travels and a spotlight on the location. Today’s Spotlight Thursday is from my time living in Fort Collins, Colorado. One week I had some free time so I decided to drive down and hike the Hanging Lake Trail. Hanging Lake trail is hidden above the Colorado River in Glenwood Canyon. Glenwood Canyon is a unique canyon. It is one of my favorite canyon drives in the United States. Interstate 70 which runs thru the canyon was specifically designed to preserve the natural beauty of the canyon.
Parking at Hangin Lake is a major issue. Knowing this, I got to the trailhead just after sunrise. I had planned to be there at sunrise but I had a few navigation issues (and missed the exit). I was coming westbound on I-70 from Denver. To get to the Hanging Lake Rest Area, I had to drive to the Grizzly Creek exit and turn around and head east on I-70. I missed the exit after turning around so I had to try again. I was still the first person at the trailhead.
The trail to Hanging Lake is 1.2 miles each way with 936 ft of elevation gain. The trail starts at an elevation of 6,387 ft so it is not an easy hike for those not acclimated to the elevation. The trail is steep but the Hanging Lake is well worth the effort. The trail ends at a small alpine lake that is crystal clear. The lake is protected and no swimming, dogs or fishing is allowed. This allows the lake to stay clean and clear.