Shuttle service may be suspended due to safety concerns. 

After a tough year for the Hanging Lake area due to the destructive Grizzly Creek Fire, it appears that the public will be welcomed back this spring.

According to White River National Forest officials, Hanging Lake trail will be reopened to the public on May 1. The U.S. Forest Service has confirmed it's working with the City of Glenwood Springs and the Colorado Department of Transportation to open the popular recreation area. 

Permits will still be required, and they will be more limited than in previous years. However, this year, visitors may be able to park directly at the park instead of shuttling in, at least for a while.

While Hanging Lake was spared from the fire, a significant amount of the area around it was not. The shuttle service is being evaluated due to concerns for possible dangers in the area, like mudslides, etc. from the fire. 

"The contract with H2O Ventures is being modified this year due to the impacts and potential danger from the Grizzly Creek Fire. The Forest Service has requested that we not use the shuttle this year and allow people to drive, with a permit, to the Hanging Lake Parking Lot. The Forest Service believes that it will be easier for people to evacuate in case of a sudden thunderstorm that could cause a life-threatening debris or mudflow," said a staff report that will be addressed during a city council meeting on Thursday, March 4, in Glenwood Springs.

A plan to install a gatehouse at the Hanging Lake entrance to ensure only permit holders can enter the area is being proposed. The staff report suggests that the contract for the shuttle will be reconsidered this fall.  

It's suggested that permits will be available for purchase on April 1 on the Glenwood Springs city website. Currently, the website still says Hanging Lake is closed. 

Are you excited to return to Hanging Lake? Let us know in the comments.