Hiking in Glenwood Springs
Considering Glenwood Springs is surrounded by dramatic mountain ranges, it’s no wonder why most visitors plan to hike during their stay. If you pick up a guide on local hikes, it might be a bit overwhelming. With trails in every direction, it’s hard to pick out what treks will be best for your group – especially if you have other activities planned during the day. Here are a couple of our favorite hikes that are close by, so you’ll spend less time in the car, and more time hoofing it toward the summit. Click the trail title to learn more details about the hike and to find directions to the trail head.
This choice shouldn’t come as a shock. In fact, if you’re heard of Glenwood Springs, you’ve probably heard of Hanging Lake. Situated on a geological fault line in the remarkable Glenwood Canyon, this is a hike in the Rockies you’ll never forget. The trailhead is only a few miles east of Glenwood Springs, and only about 2 miles in distance. Though, don’t let the short distance fool you. During that 2 miles, you’ll ascend more than 1,000 feet. That’s no cake walk if you’re from lower elevation. Fortunately the trail is impeccably maintained with lots of benches for resting along the way. Oh yeh! The best part is waiting at the top. A cool, spectacular turquoise lake greets weary hikers at the summit. Don’t pack you’re bathing suit just yet though, the lake is only to admire and maybe splash around near the waterfall. Swimming in this pristine water is strictly prohibited (and far too cold!). Hit the trail early in the morning. You’ll avoid the crowds and get a good parking spot. Better yet, arrange a bike rental and shuttle from us and ride back on the popular Glenwood Canyon Trail into town after you hike.
If you grew up in Glenwood Springs, you surely have early memories of a lit up cross high on Red Mountain that glowed over the city during the night. None of us knew exactly how it got up there, and who possibly plugged it in every night – but it was always comforting having that iconic symbol greet you when the sun went down. Though, it’s probably not as nostalgic to our visitors, it marks the summit of this next trail. The Red Mountain Trail is a good pick those of you that like to take long walks. While the trail is not a difficult hike, it is more than five miles to the top. The trail is on a private road (perfect for adventurers that didn’t pack heavy duty hiking boots) switchbacks across the mountain boasting spectacular views of the city. If you still want to take in the views, but opt for another hike, check out our Red Mountain Segway Tour.
This trail is a memorial to the tragedy and natural disaster that occurred on Storm King Mountain in July of 1994. Just west of Glenwood Springs in South Canyon, a great wildfire spread rapidly across the mountain and took the lives of 14 firefighters. Though this is a very melancholy memory for many people in Glenwood Springs, volunteers and BLM keep up this trail in memory of those brave enough to protect our beautiful little town. The trail pays homage to their courage and educates visitors about wildfires in our area, and how the natural habitat recovers. This hike is not as steep as Hanging Lake, but you’ll still gain quite a bit of altitude over the four mile trail. Pack some snacks and water for the trek as the trailhead is a couple miles from the city and not near any shops.