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Hanging Lakes, Colorado


Deep in Glenwood Canyon sites Hanging Lake, a natural wonder that offers stunning photography opportunities. It’s a unique location that boasts a lush ecosystem, complete with waterfalls, unusual geologic features, hanging gardens, and special bird communities. It’s no surprise that Hanging Lake is a National Natural Landmark and a must-see destination for photographers.

A Lush Eco-System Trapped in the Rockies

Hanging Lake is unlike any other location in Colorado. It’s a small rainforest-like eco-system trapped in the Rockies. The emerald green lake is surrounded by a long line of waterfalls, while the cliff walls are adorned with moss, ferns, flowers, and greenery of all types. It’s a sight to behold, and one that is not commonly seen in Colorado’s dry environment.

The Hike: Steep but Worth It

The hike to Hanging Lake is just over one mile, but it’s a steep mile. It gains more than 1,000 vertical feet, but the effort is well worth it. Along the path runs a small cascading creek that provides us with lots of colorful mossy photographs along the way. The water is moving everywhere, making a neutral density filter and a tripod essential equipment for capturing the elongated “brush stroke” look produced by the moving water using long exposures.

A Year-Round Destination

Hanging Lake offers something for every season. In the summer months, plenty of amazing flowers and insects can be captured alongside the lake. Be sure to bring your macro lens for those close-up shots. And in the winter months, the waters freeze, allowing us to capture frozen waterfalls and icy cliff sides. It’s a sight that is unique to Hanging Lake and one that you won’t likely see anywhere else.

Black Swifts and Other Wildlife

During the summer months, black swifts can be seen patrolling the sky for insects high above Hanging Lake. In the evening, they return to their moss-bound nests to feed their young. Hanging Lake is also home to other wildlife such as deer, squirrels, and chipmunks. It’s important to respect their habitat and observe from a distance to avoid disturbing them.

Spout Rock: Another Waterfall to Explore

Above the Hanging Lake waterfalls is yet another waterfall called Spout Rock. While not as attractive as the Hanging Lake falls, this waterfall is easily accessed from behind and allows you to play in the fall or just get a great family photo behind the fall. It’s a great opportunity to capture some fun and unique shots with your loved ones.


Hanging Lake is a unique and awe-inspiring location for photography in Colorado. Its lush ecosystem and stunning waterfalls provide endless opportunities for capturing beautiful shots. Whether you visit in the summer or winter, there is always something to see and photograph.  This destination is best integrated with our Custom Photography Tour.

Images from this location

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