Hanging Lake Management Plan Adopted by Forest Service

Glenwood Springs—After nearly six years in the making, the Hanging Lake Area Management Plan is being adopted and implemented by the White River National Forest. Officials decided to go with Alternative 2, which will  limit daily capacity on the increasingly popular trail to 615.  The maximum number will be enforced year-round through a fee-based reservation or permit system using an outside transportation provider to shuttle visitors in and out of Glenwood Canyon.  The shuttle system would only be used during the peak season between May 1st and the end of October.  During the so-called off-peak season, visitors would be allowed to use their own vehicles.  Forest service officials recognized the need for a comprehensive management plan for the Hanging Lake Trail as crowd sizes skyrocketed year after year, causing irreversible damage to the pristine area. Parking also became a problem in the small visitors lot and soon seasonal employees had to be hired to deal with overcrowding.  Officials say visitation to Hanging Lake has doubled since 2012 and last year alone peaked at 184 thousand people.  While implementation of the plan is imminent, there is still time for people to sound off if they have any objections by April 6th.  In the meantime, the forest service will begin the search for third party transportation provider to run the shuttle.