Hanging Lake in Glenwood Canyon, Colorado.

National Forest Foundation seeks contractor to reconstruct the Hanging Lake Trail

Work to ensure long-term trail sustainability expected to begin in spring 2024

October 11, 2023

The White River National Forest is proceeding with plans to reconstruct the Hanging Lake Trail, and on October 9, the National Forest Foundation issued a Request for Proposals to complete this work and ensure the long-term sustainability of the site.

In 2021, a debris flow originating from the Grizzly Creek fire burn scar significantly damaged the Hanging Lake trail. The debris flow covered major trail sections, swept away bridges, downed trees, and buried the trail in mud, boulders, and logs; spring flooding that occurred in 2023 caused additional damage.

Since the debris flows, WRNF, NFF and our partners have developed detailed plans to construct a more sustainable and resilient trail to match this world-class destination. A combination of trail improvements and ecological restoration is anticipated to begin in spring 2024. The project is funded through Great Outdoors Colorado, Colorado Parks and Wildlife State Trails Program, the National Forest Foundation, City of Glenwood Springs, and the USDA Forest Service.

Access up the steep, rocky canyon is difficult. Trail reconstruction will require a significant amount of rock work be completed by hand, with limits to protect sensitive resources. Experience working in other sensitive, high-visitation environments will be critical to the successful reconstruction of the Hanging Lake trail. “The Hanging Lake trail draws visitors from around the world because it is situated in a unique and beautiful canyon,” said White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams. “We are seeking a team with exceptional skills to help us reconstruct the trail in a way that protects sensitive resources, highlights the beauty of the area, and adds to the visitor experience.”

Anticipated construction dates are approximately April through November 2024. Trail closures will be necessary when the reconstruction project gets underway. “Our intent is to minimize the amount of time the trail is closed to the public for construction,” said Fitzwilliams. “And we ask for patience as we reconstruct the trail for the long-term.”

Prospective bidders can review the Request for Proposals and additional details about the project on the National Forest Foundation’s website.

Reservations are required to visit Hanging Lake and are available at www.visitglenwood.com.