Elevation: 6,143 ft - 7,251 ft
Elevation Gain: 1,108 ft
Dogs: On leash
Bathroom at Trailhead: Yes
|Bridal Veil Falls form the backdrop of mysterious Hanging Lake|
|The rest area with its bathroom|
|Starting out on the bike trail|
|Moon next to one of the towers of Glenwood Canyon. Note the layers of sedimentary rock in the lower right. Glenwood Canyon was formed by the Colorado River cutting through layers of Pennsylvanian and Mississippian Sandstone.|
|The Colorado River. I really want to ride the 12.5 mile bike that that travels through the canyon. Last year (2011) it was closed due to high water.|
|The early part of the trail is exposed and traverses a large tallus pile.|
|The trail follows pleasant Dead Horse Creek. Several bridges take the hiker back and forth across it.|
Most of the trail is rock steps with a few bridges that traverse the creek. After 1.1 miles, a tall, precipitous staircase takes the hiker the last 50 vertical feet to the lake. If you are not freaking out over the drop off, take a second to admire the view of the canyon walls. The geology of Glenwood Canyon is a wonder of Colorado. I for one was gasping and grasping at the handrail, having forgotten this short but nerve-wracking pitch. The ascent takes seconds, blessed be, and then you are at the lake.
|Much of the trail is in the trees|
|A small shelter hugs one wall of the canyon|
|A more manicured trail segment|
There is a large log that bisects the lake and in my short time there I saw more than one crazy tourist try to walk out on it. While certainly damaging to the psyche, a fall into Hanging Lake is more likely to affect the local critters so please be kind to the green slime that really doesn't want to be bathed in human excretions.
|The view of the Dead Horse Canyon from the stairs|
|Heading up the narrow, rough cut steps|
I did see people climbing up above the waterfalls, so there is a route up there, but I was in a rush, so I did not try to find it It was actually cold the day I did this hike, and breeze became colder after blowing across the water. So don't let the tropical ambience fool you. This destination can be nippy so plan accordingly.
|"Pond Scum" adds to the colorful nature of Hanging Lake|
|The right side of the lake is dirt. Note the Trex deck along the far edge.|
|Heading back down the steep staircase. Those handrails come in handy.|
|A couple of Golden Mountain Ground Squirrels in the parking lot.|