Located just 7 miles east of Glenwood Springs, CO lies a natural treasure by the name of Hanging Lake. The turquoise colors of the lake are produced by carbonate minerals that have dissolved in the water.
In the early 1900s, the lake served as a private family retreat. In 1912, the city of Glenwood Springs purchased Hanging Lake and 760 acres of surrounding land for $953 thanks to the Taylor Bill (which was passed by Congress in 1910). The bill allowed cities to purchase federal lands for use as city parks.
By the mid-40s, the trail had become a hot spot for travelers and tourists. Today, the lake receives over 130,000 visitors per year. Because of the high amount of traffic, the lake faces the threats of ecological disruption. Forest Service and partners are working on solutions to reduce impact and preaching hikers to "leave no trace."
Hanging Lake is located on a fault line and was formed when part of valley floor sheared off from the fault and dropped to what is now the shallow bed of the lake.
The lake is a 2.5 mile round trip hike just off of I-70. The trail follows Dead Horse Creek, a tributary of the Colorado River and ascends some 1,000 feet in elevation.
Behind the lake, is Spouting Rock, a larger waterfall that flows from a set of holes in the limestone cliffs of Dead Horse Canyon.