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Hanging Lake Trail is Beautiful, But Treacherous in November

The Hanging Lake Trail sure is beautiful this time of year, but it is downright treacherous in spots.

The fact is, the Hanging Lake Trail is difficult even in the best conditions. Read the sign. It says the trail is difficult and you ought to believe it.

It’s only about a mile and half to the lake at the top of the trail, but most of the trail is going up, resulting in an elevation gain of over 900 feet.The trail is rocky and sometimes steep, and during my recent excursion I realized that it everybody is not equipped for such an undertaking and can never experience this glorious sight first hand.

So, for you that have never done Hanging Lake — and never will — this post is for you. Enjoy the pictures and imagine that you are there seeing the beauty, hearing the running water, and smelling the scent of the forest.

For those that have done the hike, but haven’t experienced it in ice and snow, let me tell you, it’s probably best to keep it that way. This time of  year there are sections of the trail that are nothing but ice and packed snow — and slick as can be. Because of that, it took us almost as long to hike down as it did to get up to the top. Our total hiking time was an hour and 50 minutes.

Hanging Lake is one of the most popular hiking trails in the entire state, and sure enough, third week of November there were tons of people. I witnessed some people slipping and falling – and others, like me, who were clinging to whatever we could find to help us stay upright.

By the way, if and when you do the hike, once you get the top and finish enjoying the beauty of the lake, be sure and take the last trail that goes just a little higher to a falls that flows out the side of a rock wall. It’s pretty cool.

NEXT: Mt. Garfield Should Not Be Traversed in Muddy Conditions



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