GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) – U.S. Forest Service officials have proposed limiting the number of people who can use Hanging Lake Trail per day, hoping to protect one of the most popular natural attractions in western Colorado.

img 0500 Visitor Cap Proposed To Protect Hanging Lake Trail

(credit: Mark Glastetter)

The Aspen Daily News reports that a draft plan released Thursday would limit visitors to 615 per day year-round, a 40 percent cut from the 1,000 people who use the trail during this summer’s busiest days. According to the agency, 184,000 people visited in 2017, a 23 percent jump from 2016.

Officials say that has negative effects including graffiti on rocks, a widening trail and people swimming in the pristine lake.

The plan also proposes requiring reservations to visit or using shuttles from a parking lot.

RELATED: Top 10 Colorado News Stories Of 2017

The Forest Service will take comment on the plan for 30 days.

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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