Hanging Lake Trail is back open following 2 weeks of mudslide cleanup

Published: May. 17, 2023 at 6:44 AM MDT
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GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - One of Colorado’s most iconic trails is back open after a mudslide rendered it inaccessible for more than two weeks.

The slide was reported above the Hanging Lake Rest Area on May 1, coating the road leading up to the rest area in several feet of mud and rocks. Hanging Lake Trail and the lake itself were unaffected, but neither could be reached until the debris flow was cleared out.

Sister station CBS Denver reports it took 35 loads over the last 15 days to clean up the debris.

The U.S. Forest Service announced Tuesday evening that Hanging Lake was back in business.

Officials tell CBS Denver that the area continues to be vulnerable to flooding, mudslides and rockslides due to a combination of canyon’s unique geology and the burn scar leftover from the 2020 Grizzly Creek Fire.

“This is really unique geology with caves and all that sort of stuff,” said David Boyd, public affairs officer at the White River National Forest. “That’s what creates Hanging Lake, but also, these things are filling up with water and overflowing and those sorts of things. In the spring you start seeing some issues like this.”

But for now -- hikers have the green light to return to one of Colorado’s most beloved spots!