About three hours from Denver, Hanging Lake is one of the most popular hikes in Colorado for good reason. It’s a crystal clear, seemingly impossible lake that seems to appear out of the side of a mountain in the gorgeous Glenwood Canyon. Because of its popularity you do need a timed permit in order to hike Hanging Lake. It’s $12 for the permit and the timing is from 6:30am to 5:30pm. No dogs are allowed on the hike.
As for the hike itself, it’s steep and rocky making it challenging at times. But thankfully it’s also all along a river and mostly shaded. It’s 1.2 miles to the top (there’s one part that’s very steep and you have to use the guard rail) but then you’re at the lake and it’s well worth the effort.
Don’t forget to go the extra 200 yards to Spouting Rock to cool off before heading back down!