Last week we flew out to Colorado. Our flight landed in the early afternoon, so we had time for a hike.
As you head out of the incredible ski mountain areas around Vail, the road descends, following the Colorado river through a canyon. In the picture above the water is pretty placid, but there were parts where the rapids were extreme.
Just before Glenwood Springs, there is a turn off for Hanging Lake. We had some excellent advice that we would find good hiking there. And we did!
The trail starts off pretty friendly, but quickly becomes challenging. It is a serious up hill hike. The rocky trail switches back and forth across a stream, and in total you cross seven bridges. It is the kind of hike where you start ticking off bridges and hoping that the next one comes into view soon. I was concerned too, that we give ourselves enough time to get up and back before dark. The trail in darkness would be a true nightmare.
After the seventh bridge, we saw a guy waaay up on a rock and a sort of rail. Oh dear grief! I thought, we have to get up there?! And indeed we did, up a sort of steep, narrow rock stairway. Up, up, up. Then, as we rounded the bend, we saw the lake, and it was fantastic!
It was spectacularly clear so that you could see lovely little rainbow trout swimming in the shallows. Then the deeper part, under the cliffs and fed by waterfalls was a rich turquoise blue. And truly, the lake seems to hang there between the canyon walls.
I felt lucky to get this picture because a group before us had some show off-y young men who walked out on the log laying across the lake. This is totally against the rules of the place which instruct you to keep out of the water and stay on the edges. I did not want them in my pictures, and I found their behavior annoying.
Behind the waterfalls over the lake is the humongous grandfather waterfall that feeds them. We spent a little time messing around taking videos and pictures before the freezing spray sent us back down the trail again.