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Hanging Lake to open June 1 with restrictions amid pandemic

Visitors can soon access the park with their vehicles or bike to the trailhead with a $12 permit.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. — Park officials in Colorado have announced that the trail to Hanging Lake will reopen in June with visitor restrictions in response to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Post Independent reported that only 128 visitors will be allowed to hike the trail each day beginning June 1. 

>>VIDEO ABOVE: How the new reservation system changed Hanging Lake

H20 Ventures co-owner Ken Murphy says Hanging Lake is reopening responsibly. H20 ventures runs the shuttle service which was temporarily suspended amid the pandemic. 

Officials say visitors can now access the park with their vehicles or bike to the trailhead with a $12 permit. Murphy said  more than 2,500 people have already secured a permit.

Hanging Lake Trail, located just off Interstate 70 a few miles east of Glenwood Springs, is known for its stunning beauty and the serene waterfall located at the end of the 1.5-mile hike. (The hike is 3 miles total out-and-back.)

The trail has been subject to overcrowding in recent years: In 2012, 78,000 hikers visited. By 2016, that number had nearly doubled to 150,000. 

Last year, the U.S. Forest Service implemented a fee-based online reservation system, as well as a shuttle service that leaves from the visitor center during peak season (May 1-Oct. 31).

Credit: KUSA

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