GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. – People hoping to visit Hanging Lake this summer won’t have to get a permit this year after all, as a new management plan isn’t expected to take effect until next spring.
The U.S. Forest Service had planned to implement a fee-based reservation and permit system for the popular hiking trail this summer, but said Monday it was still working on the plan, thus delaying its implementation.
“We’ve come a long way in getting this management plan finalized,” said District Ranger Aaron Mayville. “Great progress has been made, but there is still a lot of work to be done before we can fully implement the plan and the shuttle system on time in 2019.”
Under the plan, visitors would be required to take a shuttle from the parking lot to the trailhead so as to alleviate parking stress and implement a new daily limit to the number of people allowed at Hanging Lake.
But officials said part of the delay was due to the Forest Service still having to decide on a shuttle provider.
Hanging Lake’s parking lot will be closed May 16 for maintenance, and Hanging Lake itself will be closed from Sept. 17-22 for dam and trail work.
In the meantime, the Forest Service advises people to visit during the week, or early in the morning on the weekends, in order to avoid congestion and crowds. They also remind visitors that dogs are prohibited on the trail and at the lake, and getting off the trail or into the lake is illegal. More on Hanging Lake here.