GARFIELD COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Shuttle service and a permit process will be part of the plan to restrict visitors at the popular Hanging Lake Trail next year. The U.S. Forest Service announced the final plan that will begin in May 2019.
The new management plan is meant to address overcrowding which has resulted in damage to the trail along with vandalism, dangerous traffic and parking situations and an obstinate violation of rules.
“Really just over use and danger with people having accidents and fire departments would have to go up and rescue people. You’re not supposed to be in the lake but people would jump in the lake and just damage to the eco system,” said Debra Figueroa, Glenwood Springs City Manager.
The USFS’s plan caps visits to 615 people per day, that’s about half the number of people who use the trail during a busy summer day. Everyone who visits must buy a permit, starting next year.
During the busiest months of the year visitors will take a shuttle ride to the trail head.
Debra has a message for anyone who’s headed up to the lake.
“Respect Hanging Lake. Take care of the fragile eco system. Take out the trash you take in and stay on the path. Protect this jewel that is so important to the city of Glenwood Springs.”