GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. — More than 6,180 individuals have reserved and secured permits to visit Hanging Lake prior to the 2019 peak-season that officially starts May 1, according to the Glenwood Springs Visitor Center.
Peak season runs May 1 – Oct. 31, and there is still time to secure a reservation. The highest number of visitors head to Hanging Lake in July, according to prior year’s visitation numbers.
The new reservation system caps the number of visitors to Hanging Lake at 616 people per day — a departure from the overcrowding that was present before that, when rangers said there could be 616 people at a time.
"It won't be so crowded on the trail," said Aaron Mayville, the District Ranger for the Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District.
Mayville said discussions about charging a fee at Hanging Lake began in 2011. Due to overcrowding, he said fights would break out in the parking lot as people vied for space, and the 18-inch trail grew to be up to 20 feet wide in spots.
Graffiti and vandalism were also rampant, Mayville said.
Most of the lake’s visitors come from the Front Range, but hundreds of the reservations made are coming from out-of-state visitors.
These numbers follow the launch of the online reservation system and responsive visitor information services.
"The feedback from visitors has been very positive,” said Lisa Langer, Director of Tourism Promotion for Visit Glenwood.
The Hanging Lake express shuttle will officially start delivering hikers to the trailhead for the season on May 1.
“Once again, people are proving just how much they love Hanging Lake, and we’ve been overjoyed with the public response to the reservation system,” said Aaron Mayville, District Ranger. “We look forward to the shuttle launching in May and to the positive changes that we’ve worked hard to put in place.”
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