USFS: Hanging Lake trail closed for the foreseeable future due to damage

White River National Forest

Hanging Lake water is clearing following July debris flows

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 18, 2021) – The Forest Service announced today that Hanging Lake Trail will be closed for the rest of the season and likely beyond. The announcement comes following a preliminary trail assessment this week that found significant damage and issues resulting from debris flows following the intense rain storms in late July.

“Unfortunately, when our crews surveyed the trail, we found significant damage.  Bridges have been completely destroyed or severely damaged and there are mudslides blocking large sections of the trail.  The Hanging Lake Trail is not safe and impassable in some areas and will remain closed for the foreseeable future,” said White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams. “The debris flows we saw in July are probably not the last we will see, so there could be additional damage in the weeks and months ahead.”

A more detailed survey of the trail needs to be completed to determine the next steps for trail repair and reconstruction.

“We know this is difficult news for the many people who cherish Hanging Lake,” Fitzwilliams said. “It’s also tough for the community and those of us who have worked to protect this iconic Colorado destination.  We are committed to doing everything we can to reconstruct the trail as soon as funds become available.”

Reservation holders will be given the opportunity for a refund or to donate to a fund to help Hanging Lake and area. More information is available at

“The good news is that the water in Hanging Lake is clearing from the debris flow, the boardwalk at the lake wasn’t damaged, and the fish are still swimming,” Fitzwilliams said.

Hanging Lake
Hanging Lake
Hanging Lake bridge previous location
Previous location of bridge
Hanging Lake bridge damage
Bridge damage
USFS: Hanging Lake trail closed for the foreseeable future due to damage