Public comment sought on Hanging Lake Trail improvements | AspenTimes.com
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Public comment sought on Hanging Lake Trail improvements

Staff Report
Hanging Lake on Wednesday, June 2, 2021.
Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times

The White River National Forest seeks comments on its proposal to redesign and reconstruct sections of the Hanging Lake Trail.

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 White River National Forest is proposing a combination of trail improvements and ecological restoration to make the 1.2-mile Hanging Lake Trail more sustainable, safe, and resilient. The project would be funded through Great Outdoors Colorado, the National Forest Foundation, and the U.S. Forest Service.



“This work would not be possible without the close support from the many partners who help us with Hanging Lake, especially Great Outdoors Colorado, the National Forest Foundation, city of Glenwood Springs, and Colorado Department of Transportation,” said White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams. “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.”

Proposed work includes re-engineering 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.




A boardwalk is proposed at Spouting Rock to 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 would occur by hand along the trail to stabilize stream banks and reduce erosion.

At the trailhead, debris would 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 would be constructed.

The Civilian Conservation Corps structure along the trail would 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 proposal and information about how to comment is available at fs.usda.gov/project/?project=63318. Comments will be most helpful if received by Feb. 25.

Reservations are required to visit Hanging Lake and are available through visitglenwood.com. Reservations for May 1 through June 30 will be available beginning 10 a.m.

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