A couple days ago we ventured west near Glenwood Springs to hike hanging lake - a really touristy, busy and regularly hiked spot but that didn't stop us from getting our exercise and photography in. Actually to be honest it almost stopped us right in our tracks when we arrived at the parking lot (casually late) as we do - it was totally full by 10AM. Luckily we squeezed the car into a space that we didn't think would work - but teamwork got us thru it. This location bothers me for that reason some times so be sure to plan to get up and be there early - it's located near Glenwood Springs, click here for Hanging Lake's pin.
A good way to break yourself into hiking for the season - Hanging Lake is about 2.4 miles round trip and your going up the entire direction heading into the lake. Be sure to stretch your legs, wear solid shoes, pack a lunch and bring plenty of water - we made the lake our lunch spot for the day. It's a very busy hike so expect to be waiting to the side while other hikers descend from the lake - we saw a lot of people coming down as we went up, maybe they saw the few looming rain clouds on the valley horizon. I stopped along the way to take a few images - it helps to take breaks and lets groups move along then continue your trek as the trail opens up a bit. Here are a few images I was able to snap that day
The trail as it climbs upwards follows a creek - which is fed by the lake above Hanging Lake. It's peaceful to listen to the creek, stop take in each moment as you pass thru this lush green valley things you will see along the way: curious chipmunks, a small wooden cabin, colorful red rocks, large boulders and colorful views. We arrived to the top of the lake where the waterfall meets the creek with our lunch from our favorite deli back in Edwards, Colorado - enjoyed lunch sitting listening to the waters crashing from the falls above... I always recommend going to the top because the view is most certainly better from the top. Most tourists stop at the lake and think that this is the only marvel here - continue on up you'll find a remarkable waterfall plus a view that tops all the ones down below lake side.
A very iconic spot be sure to pack the camera - the view above is one of the most widely captured images throughout the entire Glenwood valley area. We ate lunch - let our food settle and then we began our trek back down the 1.2 miles of decline. The way down seemed to aggravate my knees and I am usually a really sturdy hiker but for some reason all the stepping down and ankle twisting seemed to really bother my legs and knees by the end of this hike in particular. I've complete a few 14ers in the past but this hike always seems to create a special burn in the legs - you'll see what I mean. The way down goes quick but we made sure to stop when we needed to peek at the creek and snap a few more photos like the one below...
If you don't mind dodging a few groups of people and a somewhat busy trail for a spectacular view, waterfall plus lake and a wonderful lunch spot then be sure to check out Hanging Lake near Glenwood Springs, Colorado.
Thanks for reading... stay tuned for more adventures coming soon