39° 36' 5" N 107° 11' 30" W

MicroAdventure Hike Hanging Lake

Aaron McHugh

Hanging Lake is a must-see magical place perfect for a MicroAdventure hike. Hanging Lake reminds me of Peter Pan’s Mermaid Lagoon from the 1953 Disney. It’s so beautiful it doesn’t seem real. Located just seven miles outside of Glenwood Springs, CO Hanging Lake is a very popular destination. Normally, I would advise you to stay off the well-worn paths and find a less popular trail. Hanging Lake is so special; it’s worth sharing the adventure with other people.

Peter Pan Mermaid Lagoon Disney 1953
Peter Pan Mermaid Lagoon Disney 1953

Getting to your MicroAdventure Hike Hanging Lake

Trailhead: Dead Horse Creek
Trail conditions: Moderately difficult 1.2-mile long climb up a rocky drainage.
Best seasons to visit: Spring, summer and fall.
Time required: Plan on two to three hours.
Parking: This can be a challenge as the parking lot fills up in the summer. Located immediately off I-70 in Glenwood Canyon, start early and you should be able to find a parking spot.
Who can go? I’d take little kids, but be ready to carry them. I wouldn’t take aging parents or grandparents that have trouble getting around. The trail is very rocky.
The stuff you can’t do: No dogs. No Swimming.


MicroAdventure resources to Hike Hanging Lake

White River National Forest
Information including trail conditions and closure updates. Downloadable PDF here.
White River National Forest
900 Grand Avenue
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
970-945-2521

Hanging Lake on Wikipedia
If you’re a big planner, you might enjoy reading details about the history and geology of Hanging Lake.

City of Glenwood Springs: Hanging Lake
Great photos, trail description and details on what to carry in your pack.

Hanging Lake waterfall
Hanging Lake waterfall

Off Script: Basecamp Hotels

Just like a Boy Scout camp out -South Lake Tahoe Hotel Basecamp
Just like a Boy Scout camp out -South Lake Tahoe Hotel Basecamp

I found a fun boutique hotel that is tall on Adventure, Basecamp Hotels. Adventure pinpointed in California, South Lake Tahoe and Tahoe City and now in Boulder, CO. Check out their Instagram feed to get a good feel on the hotel experience.

Here is their story from their website 

“At Basecamp Hotels, we want to bring the spirit of exploration back to your hotel stay. Our mission is to take under-appreciated buildings in great destinations and infuse them with soul, so you can have an alternative to the cookie cutter hotel experience. We love to connect with the people who stay here and to connect them with the place they stay.”