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Hanging Lake Colorado Reconstruction

Reimagining a Colorado Treasure: Hanging Lake Trail’s $4.5 Million Revamp Begins

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, COLORADO — The Hanging Lake Trail, a cornerstone of Colorado’s outdoor allure, is set to undergo a comprehensive $4.5 million reconstruction project. This initiative, prompted by past natural disasters and heavy visitation, aims to fortify the trail’s infrastructure against future adversities while enhancing visitor experience.

Nestled in the scenic confines of Glenwood Canyon, the Hanging Lake Trail has borne the brunt of nature’s fury in recent years. The 2020 Grizzly Creek Fire scorched its landscape, followed by flooding and mudslides that further impaired the trail. In response, the U.S. Forest Service has sanctioned a robust redesign project to refurbish and improve the trail’s resilience.

According to the project’s decision memo, the approved works include significant structural overhauls such as the replacement and relocation of several bridges, the introduction of a new loop trail at Spouting Rock, and the reconstruction of the trailhead. These modifications aim not only to enhance durability and safety but also to improve ecological stability through extensive restoration efforts.

The project will also touch on the historical aspect of the trail, preserving the Civilian Conservation Corps structures and incorporating new interpretive signage to educate hikers about the area’s rich heritage and natural features.

Marcus Selig, Chief Conservation Officer with the National Forest Foundation, underscored the complexity of the endeavor. “We’re not just repairing a trail, we’re rebuilding an experience,” he stated. The goal is to create a pathway that can endure for the next century, ensuring that the Hanging Lake remains accessible and enjoyable for future generations.

The trail will largely remain open during the reconstruction, scheduled to start in May 2024, although temporary closures are anticipated. Trail goers are advised to check for updates and obtain permits prior to their visit.

Roger Poirier of the White River National Forest highlighted the trail’s profound impact on visitors. “It’s a challenging hike, but the emotional and scenic rewards are immense,” he explained. This sentiment captures the essence of the trail—hard-earned vistas that resonate deeply with those who traverse its path.

This revitalization project not only promises to restore Hanging Lake Trail’s beauty and functionality but also exemplifies a commitment to sustainable and responsible outdoor recreation in Colorado.

Alex Derr, Founder of The Next Summit

Alex Derr is an Eagle Scout, climber, and environmental policy expert located in Denver, Colorado. He created The Next Summit to help others stay safe exploring the mountains and advocate to preserve the peaks for the future. Follow him on Linkedin or Twitter or click here to contact him.

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Hi, I'm Alex!

In 2018, I watched in disbelief as dozens of people hiked into a storm on Longs Peak, unaware of the extreme danger. Soon after, I started The Next Summit to educate and empower the public to safely and responsibly explore America's mountains.

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