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Long-term trail improvements at Hanging Lake approved

Trail improvement work is scheduled to begin in September and last until fall 2024.

GARFIELD COUNTY, Colo. — On Friday, White River National Forest approved a number of improvements to the Hanging Lake trail to improve sustainability.

The improvements and ecological restoration will begin this fall along the 1.2-mile trail, according to the forest service. Funding for the project will come from:

  • Great Outdoors Colorado
  • Colorado Parks and Wildlife State Trails Program
  • National Forest Foundation
  • City of Glenwood Springs 
  • USDA Forest Service

“This work would not be possible without the support of our partners,” said White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams. “These repairs and improvements will ensure that we continue to provide a world-class visitor experience at this iconic Colorado location for decades to come.”

Mudslides and debris flows in Glenwood Canyon in 2021 damaged the trail and bridges leading to the iconic Colorado attraction. A temporary trail was opened last year as more extensive repairs are being made, the forest service said in a release.

Six of the trail's bridges will need to be reengineered to better accommodate high water, including relocating two of the bridges to crossing locations with better stream clearance, the forest service said.

A boardwalk at Spouting Rock will guide visitors on a defined pathway around the falls in an effort to reduce erosion, according to the forest service.

Regrading, rockwork, debris removal and native plant seeding will stabilize the stream banks and reduce erosion, the forest service said.

Crews will be removing debris from the trailhead and the stream channel will be reconstructed to protect the adjacent paved recreation path, restrooms and trailhead facilities. The forest service also plans to construct an accessible plaza with seating and shade.

Work is expected to start in September and continue until fall 2024, the forest service said.

Reservations are required to visit Hanging Lake and are available through the Visit Glenwood Springs website.

More information about the improvements can be found at the Forest Service's website.


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