GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. – The White River National Forest is proposing limiting the number of visitors at Hanging Lake in order to preserve the site’s natural beauty and sensitive ecosystem.
The Forest Service’s proposed management plan calls for a fee-based reservation system that would limit the number of daily users to 615 year-round. Officials said 150,000 people visited the site last year, with as many as 1,200 people visiting per day during the summer.
As foot traffic has increased at Hanging Lake, officials have seen an increase in trash, vandalism and other problems, including people swimming in the lake and walking out on the log despite posted signs.
The proposal also includes establishing a shuttle system that would be required during the summer months between May and October.
“Our goal is to protect and preserve the unique and fragile natural resources at the Hanging Lake area while sustaining high quality visitor experience for many years to come,” said Eagle-Holy Cross District Ranger Aaron Mayville. “As any returning visitor can attest, the challenges associated with managing Hanging Lake have grown in the past several years. We’ve been working with stakeholders to put together a management plan over that time, and I’m pleased to finally share that good work with everyone.”
Members of the public have 30 days to submit written comments on the proposal. Comments can be made online or via mail or fax.
There also will be a public open house to discuss the proposal on Aug. 30 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Glenwood Springs Library, 815 Cooper Avenue.