The US Forest Service and White River National Forest has released a plan to manage the number of visitors to Hanging Lake.

The increased number of hikers, which can reach over 1,200 a day during summer, will now be limited to 615 persons per day. Hanging Lake's visitor totals have increased dramatically in the last few years increasing from 99,000 in 2014 to 150,000 in 2016.

The 1.2-mile trail, not far off I-70 east of Glenwood Springs, has become so popular that overcrowding on the trail, damage to the ecosystem, and overflowing parking lots has forced the Forest Service to take action.

The proposed plan will limit the number of visitors and spread them out through a system of permits and a shuttle service.

A third-party provider would transport visitors to the trailhead during the peak season from May 1 through October 31. A pick-up and drop-off location will be determined and a schedule set before the proposed May 1, 2018, start date.

During the off-season, a permit will still be required but visitors would be allowed to drive and park at the trailhead.


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