|George Wahl in front of Spouting Rock
|Cindy Jones behind Hanging Lake Falls
We’ve driven past the highway exit for Hanging Lake for years on our way to Glenwood Springs and Palisade/Grand Junction. I’ve been wanting to do the hike for years but we’ve always been in a hurry. This weekend however, we made time for it on our way home from the Lavender Festival in Palisade.
The sign says that the trail is just over a mile, but its the hardest one mile hike I’ve ever done; a steep rocky
trail with boulders to climb over and a 1000 ft vertical climb. The trail follows Dead Horse Creek which has quite a few nice water features. Its a very popular hike so the trail is crowed, as well as the parking lot.
Once we made it to the lake though, I was stunned. It is perhaps the most amazing natural landscape I’ve ever seen. The shallow lake was a light turquoise with a broad dripping waterfall behind it. The color is said to be due to travertine (limestone) sediments which makes the shoreline very fragile. Because of this the lake is surrounded in a boardwalk with benches to keep hikers away from the water. You can follow the boardwalk to the end where it meets a trail that takes you to the edge of the waterfall. Its always thrilling to be to be on the backside of a waterfall.
We took the short and relatively easy trail from the lake up to Sprouting Rock, a second waterfall that just juts out of a rock and then feeds the waterfalls at Hanging Lake. The back side of this waterfall is also accessible. I’ve always wanted to shower in a waterfall, but didn’t think this was the place to do so.
Hanging Lake is an amazing place to see and if you are like me and have been driving past on I-70 through Glenwood Canyon without stopping you should find the time for the hike. I might have to name one of our Colorado Aromatics products after Hanging Lake.