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30th June 2005 - Vail Trip - Day 3 - Sunday 19 June - Hanging Lake, Aspen area

We drove down to Glenwood Springs and went on the Hanging Lake hike. We needed to travel past the junction for the trail, as since they built the new road, you can only enter via the eastbound carriageway and exit via the westbound one – about 5 miles apart.

It’s about a ¼ hike along the bike path to the entrance to the trail – and from there it’s about a mile to the top. Although this doesn’t seem far, it’s a pretty steep assent with some steps being 1½ feet high – smaller people like us have more difficulty with stuff like this.

It’s pretty tiring for sure – last time Judi did this hike she said it took her about 2 hours – today we did it in one!

The view at the top is pretty awesome! Both the lake and the general views.

view from steps

hanging lake

If you continue up the mountain another couple of hundred yards you’ll come to Spouting Rock. Here a larger waterfall has carved a cave behind the falls over years of erosion, where you can walk and feel the spray from the thundering water falling in front of you.

spouting rock

It took us another hour to descend the steep trail, but it was well worth the effort.

After some lunch we decided to drive towards Aspen to see what we could find. After passing the small airport with the overflow of obligatory business jets scattered around, we found a road called Castle Creek Road which goes down a valley over the backside of Aspen Highlands ski area. It was a beautiful drive down to the end of the road, with the snow capped mountains on the horizon.

valley view

We did originally go down this road to visit the ghost town of Ashcroft, but we continued driving until we found a trail at the end of the road to Cathedral Lake. We decide to at least walk part of the way, and ended up a small waterfall about half way up. We decide not to go any further as we had already as we had already hiked Hanging Lake earlier.