|Hanging Lake in summer|
From Glenwood Springs, drive east on I-70 nine miles to the Hanging Lake exit (exit 125). This exit is only accessible from the eastbound lanes, so drivers coming from the east will have to exit and turn around at exit 121 (Grizzly Creek) to get there. Park at the large rest stop (which will fill despite its size on a busy summer weekend) and hike .5 mile east along the Glenwood Canyon Bike Path to reach the trailhead.
|Hanging Lake Canyon in winter|
While this hike is on a solid trail the entire way, it is important to note that it is strenuous. Many people undertake this hike thinking that it's going to be a casual journey; it is not. You will probably pass many un-shapely humanoids struggling and complaining their way up this trail. For a true hiking enthusiast, however, making it to the lake shouldn’t be a problem.
The trail follows Deadhorse Creek up the northern side of Glenwood Canyon, passing many rapids and waterfalls along the way. There are several footbridges and plenty of shady places to stop and rest. The trail becomes considerably steeper near the end as you circumnavigate Bridal Veil Falls just below Hanging Lake proper. The very last pitch is the steepest, and steps have been cut into the stone to help you along. In addition, a handrail has been constructed for protection. Despite these safety features, it seems like several people get injured up here every year.
|Spouting Rock above Hanging Lake|
For those seeking a little adventure, a spur trail climbs up and around the main waterfall to Spouting Rock, a peculiar waterfall which partially erupts directly from the cliff. You can walk behind the waterfall here for a unique perspective and even stand under it if the water is low enough. Take caution, however, this plunge generates some powerful forces!
The nearest camping is at the Glenwood Canyon Resort off the No Name Exit in Glenwood Canyon (a few miles west of Hanging Lake). Here you will find cabins, showers, and slightly overpriced tent sites.
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