GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4)– The U.S. Forest Service is trying to decide how to proceed with overcrowding and bad behavior on one of Colorado’s most popular hiking trails: Hanging Lake.
The trail in Glenwood Canyon has been targeted by hikers who leave behind graffiti, trash and dog waste.
Now, there’s a campaign on Instagram to shame those who don’t treat the wilderness with respect.
“There are waterfalls up here are just magestic. The thought of not being able to come up here and not be able to see this is just tragic,” said hiker Druston Burns.
It’s not a new problem on the trail, but one that is getting worse the more people visit the outdoors.
“I don’t know, I can’t think who would do this. Young people I just dumb, I suppose,” said Burns.
Last week, volunteers found graffiti painted on rocks and trees at Hanging Lake.
The Forest Service says graffiti, illegal parking and swimming are issues that have them considering closing the trail until ranger patrols start at the end of May.
The agency said it is working on a long-term solution to all the issues.
Nearly two years ago, a gate was installed at the trail head that is closed when the 112-space lot is full. The Forest Service manages the parking during high-use times.
The White River National Forest said that Hanging Lake had 137,000 visitors last year.
There have been increasing complaints of trail overcrowding and hikers exhibiting inconsiderate behavior like blasting music and using inappropriate equipment on the trails.