A jewel of a lake lies right outside of Glenwood Springs, Colorado. It’s easy to miss while driving down I-70, east or west. Hanging Lake quite literally hangs from above. 1200 feet in elevation, to be exact. The waterfalls are worth every step.
When my husband, Danny, and I arrived at the parking lot, a park ranger stood in front of the Lot Closed sign. We knew better from years of parking to ski. Someone always leaves. Just as we made it to the front of the line, someone drove out. I have amazing parking karma.
Dogs were not allowed on the hike but a light, cool breeze funneled through the canyon. Danny cracked the windows for our Bichon, Roxy.
It was only a 1.4-mile hike so I expected to be back within forty-five minutes. No one told us the hike was straight up.
It took a while to walk through the lot and paved sidewalk along the river to the trailhead. A train rolled by on the opposite side. It looked like something out of a movie.
When we made it to the trailhead, we joined many young families walking up the steps. It started as a steady climb, but I figured it was right up ahead.
After winding along a small stream for what seemed like ever, I wondered if we’d ever get there.
Soon the sun poured through the canopy overhead. The temperature rose. I wondered how Roxy was doing and picked up the pace.
After what seemed like two hours of hiking, a hiker strode down the path. “You’re almost there,” he said.
His words spurred us on. The path narrowed and clung to a headwall. We had to navigate around a tight corner and scramble up the last few steps.
We made it to a place I never dreamed existed. So lush and with water so teal, it was worth the 1200 feet in elevation and moderate hike. The waterfalls were breathtaking.
Click on the Instagram video and turn on the sound. It’s so relaxing.
After taking several photos, we headed back down.
When I noticed hikers struggling, I’d tell them, “You’re almost there. Just a few more minutes!” Danny soon called me The Ambassador. It was a good feeling to bring smiles to their faces. Once I hit the twenty-minute mark going down, I stopped. It would take them twice as long.
Worried a ranger would smash a window for Roxy, I sprinted from the trailhead (which soon became a jog) back to the car.
I caught my breath while Roxy lounged in the back seat. Nothing to worry about. Even in the intense Colorado sun, it was still May and Danny had generously cracked the windows.
I’m so glad we hiked it!
Do you like to hike? What have been your favorites? Have you been to Hanging Lake?