Friday, June 29, 2012

Bucket List Item Checked Off!

For several years now, I have wanted to hike up to Hanging Lake, just east of Glenwood Springs, Co. You start by hiking a quarter mile east of the Hanging Lake rest area, right along the Colorado River. So far, so good...

Then the trail turns away from the river, and goes straight up hill! It's short, only 1.2 miles, but the rise is 1020 feet. That's pretty steep. The first part is really rocky.

Up the hill a ways is the remains of where resort horses where tied decades ago while guests would hike up to the lake.

This is what most of the trail looks like. You have to pay attention to where you are walking - it's still very rocky.

Looking back down the valley that we climbed up.

Near the top, it gets REALLY steep, but there are handrails that you can use to pull yourself up.

But then, WOW! You go around the corner and there it is! Hanging Lake was formed by a geologic fault which caused the lake bed to drop away from the valley floor above.

Whoa! Wait - butterflies and flowers!

Phil went over and crawled underneath the waterfall on the right side.

The classic view!

There's a long dead tree trunk that goes across the lake. Everyone goes out on it to get their picture taken. I was a little nervous, but managed to get out there a little ways.

A short side trail goes up to Spouting Rock. A small underground stream has found a hole in the rock to flow from.

The view from the back side...

You can also get good views of Hanging Lake from the top.

And you can see more people walking out on the old dead tree.

From here, it's all downhill, but for me, going down is just as difficult as going up. But it was a great hike!


  1. I was "hanging" on your every word.

    Incredible beauty, certainly worth all the pain to get there. :c)

  2. Back in the 70's the trail wasn't well marked and I-70 was still a two lane road through the canyon and I spent 4 hours following a dry creek bed up the mountain to what I thought was hidden lake. When it started getting late in the day I headed down the hill, got in my car and headed back toward Denver Two miles down the road I saw the sign for hidden lake. It was two months before I go back and conquered my objective.

  3. That's a great hike to cross off your list. My legs hurt just looking at your pictures. Thanks for the gorgeous pictures.

  4. Congratulations on meeting your goal! That trunk looks pretty narrow - don't think I would have either the nerve or the balance to do that.

  5. Colorado is one of a few states I haven't RVed in. What a wonderful place...thnak you for sharing your story and gorgeous (as always) photos!

  6. Very beautiful hike! I only heard about it a few months ago; after seeing your pics, it's on my list too!

  7. Many thanks for such gorgeous pictures of a hike I didn't know about. It's on my Colorado list now though. I actually like these kind of fairly difficult to get to places. Usually means fewer people. I find going down harder than going up as well.

    Glad you are not hampered by the fires there. So sad.

  8. ITS a beautiful hike Ive heard from my sis who has done it a few times in the 30 yrs she's lived out there...BUT I've never gotten to do it so THIS was awesome to see...
    ALL your photos are awesome...but the butterflies are terrific!!

  9. Beautiful hike and ditto pictures!

  10. What a lovely, lovely place ... I can see why it was on the bucket list. I second Sondra's comment about the pics.

  11. I had heard it was a tough hike and they weren't kidding! And isn't that about 7000 feet too? Good job!

  12. Another hike to put on our list. The bright green lake complete with water falls looked like it was definitely worth the effort.

  13. I guess I won't make it this year, but it is definetely on my bucket list.

  14. A beautiful post about a really beautiful place.
    Good job in checking off those Bucket List items! :)
    Tally Ho!

  15. Love the pics (as usual!) Was just passing through there on the 4th .. should have stopped & hiked! Next time.. thanks for sharing!


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