The shuttle-reservation system has effectively managed Hanging Lake crowds.

Back in June, a month into the new reservation-only system, we shared the information from a survey that asked Hanging Lake visitors about their experience and the shuttles effectiveness of managing the crowds. At that time, 95% of the responders said they were happy with the results. Now, two months later, visitor feedback seems to show that most are pleased with the results. “As someone who has been involved with this for many years, I’m overjoyed with how well it’s going,” so says Aaron Mayville, district ranger for the White River National Forest. “...people are really happy with it.

In years prior to the reservation-shuttle system, some days you'd see up to 1,200 visitors along the trail, Now that number is nearly half. Even with the restrictions, more than 40,000 visitors have made the treck up to Hanging Lake since the program went into effect on May 1st, 2019.

According to the Forest Service, the reservation-shuttle system had three primary goals...1) To improve the ecological health of the trail and the lake. 2) To preserve the trail’s role in the local tourism economy. 3) To improve the visitor experience.

“I can say that all three of the main goals are absolutely being met right now,” continued Aaron Mayville. “We’ve been able to continue to improve the trail. It’s going to take a little bit of time for vegetation to grow back, but we’ve provided a little relief valve for that goal. The economic viability is there, it’s working well, people are coming, and the surveys show the improved visitor experience. No more fights in the parking lot, or people waiting in line.”

If you're thinking about a trip to Hanging Lake this summer you'll need to make a reservation. You can get more information and do so by clicking HERE.

Credit: The Denver Post