Hanging Lake management plan delayed as busy summer expected on famed Colorado trail

Hikers take in Hanging Lake in Glennwood Canyon, east of Glennwood Springs, Colo., Monday, Aug. 8, 2016, after making the steep 1.2-mile trek to the lake. The popular trail closes Saturday, Sept. 10 for trail repairs. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)

Want to hike to Colorado’s famed Hanging Lake this summer? You might want to get in line soon.

Ahead of the busy season from May 1 to Oct. 31, the second-year online reservation system launched Feb. 1. It’ll cost $12 for a permit and shuttle ride from the Hanging Lake Welcome Center in Glenwood Springs to the trailhead off Interstate 70. If you’d rather opt to bike to the trail, then the charge is $10.

Rising through Glenwood Canyon to the waterfall-fed emerald lake, the steep trail has long been feared loved-to-death. When permits were announced for 2019, a study showed as many as 1,300 people a day were visiting.

The reservation system is aimed at cutting that to 615 a day at most.

The system’s operator, H20 Ventures, recently told the Glenwood Springs Post Independent that June and July days last year averaged more than 500. Less than half that number on average bought permits for days in May, August, September and October.

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