Hanging Lake in Glenwood Canyon will take your breath away with turquoise water, waterfalls, hanging gardens and limestone cliffs. Here's why you should go to Hanging Lake while you can.

Hanging Lake has been a National Natural Landmark since 2011 because not a lot of places compared to the natural beauty here. The lake was formed by a travertine deposition and is known for its hanging garden.  With great beauty, comes great problems. There's been a consistent problem with overcrowding at Hanging Lake. The number of visitors can be up to 1,200 -- in one day. Here are some annual numbers:

  • 2014 - 99,000 visitors
  • 2016 - 150,000 visitors

There's a new management plan which will limit the capacity to 615 people per day. all of which have to pay for their reservation.  Another part of the plan is having a third party shuttle service from May 1 to October 31. People on foot and on bikes would be allowed to enter Hanging Lake via the Glenwood Canyon Bike Path. A permit and reservation are still required.

A similar system would be used during the off season, with the same daily capacity and a permit and reservation required. During these months, parking at the trailhead is acceptable. The district ranger for the White River Nation Forest, Aaron Mayville, said that "we would be using what's called an adaptive management strategy. Through regular monitoring of the area's use, the plan can be adjusted accordingly."

I've yet to visit this place and every time I drive by, parking is always full. Do you think this new system will help with the preservation of Hanging Lake?

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