Hanging Lake, Colorado

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Hanging Lake is a crystal clear, glacially formed lake about 7 miles east of Glenwood Springs that is on the roster of National Natural Landmarks.  And it is at the end of a hike that gains 1,000 feet in elevation in a mile. 
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Steve and I first hiked up to Hanging Lake exactly 17 years ago this month and even though I didn’t know what a hiking pair of shoes was it was not too difficult for me then.  Seven years ago was another story…….I didn’t even make it to the 1/4 mile marker.  The picture was taken May 1995 beside the path that leads to the trail.  This time it was just as easy as it was 17 years ago because I have gotten myself into better shape the last few months. 
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There had been a rockslide at the beginning with just enough rocks cleared to make a trail.

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There’s a swift stream beside the trail the entire mile with waterfalls that possibly number in the hundreds.  I didn’t want to carry my SLR camera because it only has an 18-200 lens which makes it fairly heavy so I took my smaller Canon SX 101s. I was more concerned with just making it to the top than taking good pictures.

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Periodically the trail leveled out long enough to catch our breaths.  The trail is in a narrow canyon with just the stream along side and plenty of shade.

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The final stretch is so steep that there are metal handrails to hold on to.  All the steps are natural rock and some were taller than the height of my knees so the handrails sure helped.
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                                      The views from close to the top
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                    More than one person walked out onto the lake on this log
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I shared my walnuts with this chipmunk who afterwards surprised me by coming on my lap when I wasn’t looking.
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                         It’s possible to walk right up to the falls.

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There is a short walk above Hanging Lake to Spouting Rock that you can go behind.

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Now we are on our way back down.

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These falls were so pretty because of all the moss along side.
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Getting close to the bottom and both of us have shaky legs.  Steve kept tripping which is unusual.  I was thinking about the Glenwood Springs paramedics and how often they must have to climb up this trail to help someone with injuries or a heart attack.  Supposedly 600 people go up to Hanging Lake every day in the summer.  We were fortunate that not too many people were on the trail but we got an early start.
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The only bathrooms are at the bottom so be prepared!  There’s Tulip parked in the RV area.  It began raining hard 5 minutes after we got inside.


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