|Location||Glenwood Canyon, Colorado|
|Basin countries||United States|
Hanging Lake is a lake in the U.S. State of Colorado. It is located in Glenwood Canyon, about 7 miles (11 km) east of Glenwood Springs, Colorado and is a very popular tourist destination. The lake is reached via a trailhead located along the Glenwood Canyon Bike and Pedestrian Path that runs along the north side of I-70 in the bottom of the canyon. The trail follows Dead Horse Creek, a tributary of the Colorado River and ascends some 1,000 feet (300 m) in elevation for 1.2 miles (1.9 km) from the trailhead to the lake.
Early tales of the discovery of the lake tell of a man searching for gold in the canyon. The man found a dead horse at the opening of a gulch (the possible origin of Dead Horse Gulch). When he followed the gulch up through the steep hillside through the canyon he came around the backside of the lake. This is how he first saw the small bowl-like basin hanging onto the cliffs below.
In the years following, the area served as a homestead and a private family retreat until it was purchased by Glenwood Springs after the Taylor Bill was passed by Congress in 1910.
Following the purchase it began its long history as a public tourist stop, and later during the 1940s hosted a resort and cafe until the construction of Interstate-70 began in 1968.
In 1972 the trail and the lake were returned to the protection of the Forest Service as part of the White River National Forest, and has been an increasingly popular tourist destination since.
The fragile shoreline of Hanging Lake is composed of travertine, created when dissolved limestone from the Mississippian Period Leadville Formation (through which Dead Horse Creek flows) is deposited on rocks and logs, creating travertine layers.
- "Hanging Lake, Colorado". Mountain Zone. Retrieved 2013-07-23.
- Gardner, John (28 August 2006). "Hanging Lake a fragile paradise". Aspen Times.
- "America's Great Outdoors: Secretary Salazar Designates Six New National Natural Landmarks" (Press release). United States Department of the Interior. 15 June 2011.
- "Hanging Lake". Colorado Outing. Archived from the original on 2012-07-23.
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