Imagine wandering the cliffs above Glenwood Springs in the 1800s. Legend says a man discovered the remains of a dead horse at the beginning of a gulch and began to follow the creek. What he discovered has since become a National Natural Landmark in Colorado.

While the hike to Hanging Lake National Natural Landmark is a challenge, the payoff is seeing for yourself what Colorado claims are one of our coolest hidden wonders.

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Where is Haning Lake in Colorado?

You'll find Hanging Lake National Natural Landmark in Garfield County about seven miles east of the community of Glenwood Springs, Colorado. The hike to Hanging Lake is about 1.2 miles in one direction. This out-and-back trail climbs nearly 1200 feet up Glenwood Canyon to the site of a remarkable turquoise lake at an elevation of 7,323 feet.

Do I Need a Permit to Visit Hanging Lake?

You will need a permit to visit Hanging Lake National Natural Landmark. The permits cost $12 and can be purchased at the Hanging Lake website. Your summer permit includes a shuttle service to the trailhead. Do not try to park there on your own. Remember that you are responsible for your own safety and the safety of your group when hiking the Hanging Lake trail.

Is Hanging Lake Open During the Winter?

Permits are $10 during the winter months. It's important to remember that you will need winter gear to safely make it to Hanging Lake when most of the canyon is covered in ice and snow.

Scroll on to learn 15 facts about Colorado's coolest hidden wonder at Hanging Lake.

This Is Being Called the "Coolest Hidden Wonder" in the State of Colorado

Colorado's Haning Lake National Natural Landmark did not start out as a tourist attraction, but today it is called Colorado's "Coolest Hidden Wonder". You have to hike up the walls of Glenwood Canyon to find it, and a permit is required. Scroll on to see photos of what Coloradans call one of the best features located in the White River National Forest.

PHOTOS: Colorado's Abandoned Mountain Paradise Resort at Twin Lakes

At one time, Interlaken Resort was the highest-elevated resort in the Rocky Mountains. Today, these empty structures are all that remain of one of the most popular destinations of the late 1800s.

WARNING: Under no circumstances should you enter this property. By doing so you risk bodily harm and/or prosecution for trespassing on private property.

LOOK: See All of Colorado's Beautiful State Parks

There are 42 State Parks open to the public in Colorado with 1 in development. We also include the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area as an unofficial State Park. Scroll through the photos to learn more about each one of these popular destinations.

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