Hanging Lake Trail again closed due to high run-off; closure will extend through Memorial Day | VailDaily.com

Hanging Lake Trail again closed due to high run-off; closure will extend through Memorial Day

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A forest rangers inspects the area along the Hanging Lake Trail above bridge 6.
Forest Engineer Dan Woolley/USFS courtesy photo

The U.S. Forest Service this week again had to temporarily close the Hanging Lake Trail because of a large amount of spring runoff flowing directly down the trail in several locations. The trail will remain closed through the busy Memorial Day weekend, the agency said Tuesday.

The trail was closed on Sunday, but Eagle-Holy Cross District Ranger Leanne Veldhuis said she is hopeful conditions will allow it to be reopened by June 3. In the meantime, reservations are being canceled and refunded through June 2.

“The amount of water coming down the trail in many spots is really impressive,” Veldhuis said. “There is currently no good way around the water, so we have closed the trail until the runoff lessens or our trail crew can mitigate it. We’re evaluating the situation daily.”

Last week, the White River National Forest announced planned improvements to the Hanging Lake Trail to better accommodate high water and debris flows, including reengineering six of the trail’s seven bridges and relocating two bridges to crossing locations that provide better stream clearance. That work will begin this fall. 

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, according to a Tuesday news release.

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Earlier this month, a mudslide and running water blocked the Interstate 70 ramp access to the Hanging Lake Trailhead for two weeks, resulting in a trail closure and refunded reservations during that period, as well. 

The latest information on the status of the Hanging Lake Trail will be posted at http://www.fs.usda.gov/whiteriver. Once reopened, reservations are required to hike Hanging Lake and are available at http://www.visitglenwood.com.

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