The new shuttle-reservation system is effectively managing Hanging Lake crowds.

After a month into the new system, the feedback appears to show most are good with the crowd size at Hanging Lake. Out of over 10,000 that's visited the site, 1,100 took a survey and were asked about their experience, 95% said they didn't think it was overcrowded.

That was mission #1, effectively manage the number to visitors the lake  May was the first-month access was restricted by the reservation system. The new plan limits the number of daily visitors to 615 visitors per day. Overcrowding and protecting the fragile ecosystem was the motivation behind the system. “The plan, knock on wood, is actually working as we planned it,” that according to Holy Cross district ranger Aaron Mayville.

It's an efficient system. About every 45 minutes or so, a shuttle drops about 44 persons at the trailhead. The US Forest Service allows about three hours for persons to experience the hike up and down and the shuttle trip back to the visitors to Glenwood Springs. The survey seems to show the timing is about right for most. Only about 25% of those surveyed reported that they felt rushed to make the shuttle back.

The feedback gave some insight too on the finical impact Hanging Lake has on the local economy. The survey asked if those heading to Hanging lake spent any time in downtown Glenwood Springs. It appears most did. Just under 70%t said they participated in some other activity in and around Glenwood Springs. Given that fact, if each person spent about $25 estimates suggest that Hanging Lake visitors added $172,325 to the local economy in May. That's over $6,000 in tax revenue for the city.

Hanging Lake in May by the numbers:

  • 10,182 people visited Hanging Lake
  • 9,805 took the shuttle from the recreation center in Glenwood Springs
  • 269 access the trail through the bike path
  • 108 hiked through a commercial shuttle

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: Post Independent