GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. — Work is set to begin this spring to build a primitive trail up to Hanging Lake, and the trail is still expected to reopen to the public this summer, according to White River National Forest officials.
Hanging Lake, located in Glenwood Canyon, has remained closed since July 2021, when the area was severely damaged from debris flow caused by precipitation over burned soil from the 2020 Grizzly Creek Fire.
David Boyd, public affairs officer with the White River National Forest, said details on the primitive trail are still in the works. A permanent, long-term and sustainable trail will take years to complete, he said. The reservation system will reopen once the trail is ready for visitors.
Partners are working to get the trail work scheduled out now because snow and wintry conditions made trail work impossible this past winter, Boyd said.
The debris slide from 2021 destroyed much of the Hanging Lake trail, plus multiple bridges, and temporarily turned the crystal clear water a murky brown.
In November, the City of Glenwood Springs pledged $50,000 for repairs to the trail system. Those funds, as well as other donations from groups like the Glenwood Canyon Restoration Alliance, Sunlight Mountain Resort, and the Aspen Community Foundation, have and will continue to help with a variety of projects to restore the landscape and repair infrastructure. About $6,000 was also collected from people who donated their canceled Hanging Lake permit fees from the summer.
White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams said in November that there was a "tremendous" amount of work ahead.
"We now have the opportunity to rebuild the trail to last another 100 years so the public can continue to enjoy this iconic Colorado location," he said. "With the support of partners such as the City of Glenwood Springs and National Forest Foundation, we will be able to complete the long-term trail much sooner than if we were going it alone."
The National Forest Foundation is continuing to collect donations to support fixing the Hanging Lake Trail.