Forest Service approves Hanging Lake Trail improvements
Work to ensure long-term trail sustainability expected to begin this fall
The White River National Forest on Friday approved a number of improvements to the Hanging Lake Trail to help ensure its long-term sustainability.
A combination of trail improvements and ecological restoration will begin this fall to make the 1.2-mile Hanging Lake Trail more sustainable, safe and resilient. The project will be funded through Great Outdoors Colorado, Colorado Parks and Wildlife State Trails Program, the National Forest Foundation, the city of Glenwood Springs, and the USDA Forest Service.
“This work would not be possible without the support of our partners,” said White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams in a news reelase. “These repairs and improvements will ensure that we continue to provide a world-class visitor experience at this iconic Colorado location for decades to come.”
The trail and associated bridges suffered significant damage following the 2021 debris flows in Glenwood Canyon. While a temporary trail was opened in 2022, more extensive repairs are needed for long-term sustainability.
The approved project includes reengineering six of the trail’s seven bridges to better accommodate high water and debris flows. Two of the bridges would also be slightly relocated to crossing locations that provide better stream clearance.
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A boardwalk at Spouting Rock will reduce erosion and other impacts by guiding visitors on a defined pathway looping around the falls.
Minor regrading and rock work, flood debris removal, and native seeding and planting will occur by hand along the trail to stabilize stream banks and reduce erosion.
At the trailhead, debris will be removed and the stream channel reconstructed to protect the adjacent paved recreation path, restrooms, and trailhead facilities. An accessible plaza with seating and shade will also be constructed.
The Civilian Conservation Corps structure along the trail will be stabilized in consultation with the State Historic Preservation Office to ensure the longevity of this historic resource. Work is expected to begin in September 2023 and continue through fall 2024. Trail closures could be necessary as work progresses.
Additional details about the improvements, including the decision memo, are available at fs.usda.gov/project/?project=63318.
Reservations are required to visit Hanging Lake and are available through http://www.VisitGlenwood.com.