Glenwood Springs Hiking for Families

The Glenwood Canyon is one of the most beautiful places in the state of Colorado to hike. Sadly, the Grizzly Creek fire of 2020 changed that landscape. We are hopeful that Hanging Lake remains intact. In the meantime, there are a few other options for Glenwood Springs hiking.

Hanging Lake Hike

Hiking Hanging Lake is the most popular of Glenwood Springs hiking trails
The hike to Hanging Lake can be a great one for kids. It offers a spectacular visual reward after a vigorous climb.

Hanging Lake is likely the best known hike in Colorado. It is certainly one of the most popular. A reservations system was put in place to preserve its sensitive ecosystem.

Travertine depositions are the foundation of the lake. The natural geologic processes continue to operate as they have done for thousands of years. The lake is the most beautiful deep green. It was designated a national natural landmark by the Secretary of the Interior in 2011.

The Grizzly Creek fire of 2020 went right over the lake, not damaging the lake itself. We don’t know yet if the surrounding burn area will damage the ecosystem when run off occurs. But we do know that the National Forest Service will do what they can to ensure this treasure remains safe. There is no date for reopening.

Grizzly Creek Hike

The river is the centerpiece of the Grizzly Creek trail.

The fate of Grizzly Creek hike is not quite as optimistic. The Grizzly Creek fire of 2020 began here. The landscape here will likely never be the same. No anticipated date of reopening. But never fear, there are plenty of other places to hike Glenwood Springs.

Doc Holliday’s Grave

Glenwood Springs boasts an interesting history intertwined with railroads, gangsters and the gold rush. Doc Holliday was a dentist turned gambler and gunslinger. He made his way to to Glenwood Springs with the hope that the hot springs would offer him a cure. It didn’t. He died from tuberculosis in Glenwood Springs in November of 1887. The story behind this hike may make it more fun for the kids. You will be able to take in some beautiful views along the way. Dogs are welcome here, on leash.

Scout Trail

This 6.2 mile loop trail is popular due to the colorful wildflowers and views of Mt Sopris and the Colorado River below. It is a pretty steep incline starting out and can be hot without much shade. Be sure to bring lots of water. Dogs are welcome, on leash.

Glenwood Canyon Overlook Trail

From the Dotsero trailhead this 3.2 mile trail in is an old doubletrack. Vehicles are no longer allowed. It dead ends on a ridge above Glenwood Canyon with beautiful views below. It is more convenient to those coming from the east side of the canyon.

A staircase takes you up behind the falls with a beautiful view to the base of the falls.

Rifle Falls

Not in Glenwood Springs proper, but Rifle Falls is a short drive away. This may be our very most favorite hike for kids. With three trails that loop 1 to 1.5 miles through waterfalls, limestone caves and ponds Rifle Falls is fun even for those who may not be fans of hiking. The falls are spectacular and there are plenty of caves to explore. Lots of shade. Dogs are welcome on leash, except up at the fish hatchery.

What are your favorite Glenwood Springs hiking trails? Tell us in the comments below!

Insider Tip: For other spectacular hiking trails be sure to check out Colorado National Parks.

Glenwood Springs Hiking for Families

One thought on “Glenwood Springs Hiking for Families

  • September 7, 2020 at 12:36 pm
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    I loved the beautiful scenery of the Hanging Lake. The best way to do it if you are getting a bit older and are not up to par is to take it in increments. Stop from time to time and enjoy the beauty.

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