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GLENWOOD CANYON, Colo. (KDVR) — U.S. Forest Service officials say Hanging Lake will be closed “the rest of the season and likely beyond” because of major damage to the trail following mudslides and historic rains through the Grizzly Creek burn scar.

While officials wouldn’t give a timeline on a full reopening, they said it likely won’t be open this season, and the closure is now likely to extend into next season as well.

“Unfortunately, when our crews surveyed the trail, we found significant damage,” said White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams. “Bridges have been completely destroyed or severely damaged, and there are mudslides blocking large sections of the trail. The Hanging Lake Trail is not safe and impassable in some areas and will remain closed for the foreseeable future.”

The highly recognizable ornament of Colorado’s wilderness in the White River National Forest was not overtly damaged in the Grizzly Creek Fire last year, despite the blaze scorching 33,000 acres.

Around 15,000 reservations are still on the books for the rest of the season, and officials say they do not have a system in place to reach out and inform those who have made them that they are no longer going to be permitted access to the trail.

If people would like to keep their reservation still on the books, they may, and 100% of the proceeds from their admittance fee will be donated to the Hanging Lake Trail Restoration Fund. If you do not have a reservation and would like to donate, you can do so on the donation page.

The other option is a full refund, which you can request by email to

Hanging Lake is within the Grizzly Creek Fire line, this photo shows smoke and flames in the area on Aug. 14, 2020. (Credit: KDVR)

The meeting was led by White River Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams, City of Glenwood Springs Manager Debra Figueroa, CDOT Deputy Chief Engineer Keith Stefanik, Ken Murphy from H20 and Colleen Coleman from the National Forest Foundation.  

Seven bridges along the trail have some degree of damage, including one that is completely destroyed. Officials said they plan on bringing in engineers to assess the damage and new drainage directions because of slides, and they’ll have to completely reimagine the trail.

For more updates on the closures, you can visit their information page.