GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. – Hikers wishing to visit Hanging Lake after the smoke from those Canadian wildfires clears should prepare to make other plans as the popular destination has been temporarily closed due to high run-off in the area.

The U.S. Forest Service closed the Hanging Lake Trail Sunday because of the “large amount of spring run-off flowing directly down the trail in several locations. Officials hope it’ll reopen on June 3.

Reservations were being canceled through June 2 and those who made them should expect to be contacted for a refund.

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

Hanging Lake water on trail above bridge 2 5-22-23 USFS photo.jpg

U.S. Forest Service

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, according to a USFS spokesperson.

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, officials noted.

Earlier this month, a mudslide and running water blocked access to the Hanging Lake Trailhead for two weeks.

Denver 7+ Colorado News Latest Headlines | May 23, 8am

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