Day 9, Glenwood Springs and Carbondale, Colorado

We woke up Sunday morning feeling refreshed as we had decided to sleep in and take our time heading into Colorado. We left Moab a little before 10 AM and stopped in Grand Junction, CO for lunch at Chili’s. We got back on the road and a little over an hour later arrived in Glenwood Springs. We called the Carbondale/Crystal River KOA and they were accepting walk-ins, so we headed there to get our reservation made.

I loved this site! From the river flowing right next to our campsite, to the friendly staff, to the nice, clean facilities (showers, restrooms), it was a perfect, quiet spot and I am quite certain we were the only people there besides the campsite host. The tent sites have a picnic table and fire pit with grate. There are some other premium tent sites (pictured above) with a picnic table, table and chairs, and two additional chairs next to the fire pit. Our site was $30 which was great, especially considering the amenities and scenery.

After we got our reservation squared away, we headed back into Glenwood Springs to Hanging Lake for a hike. Matthew and I had both read about this hike and it’s considered a “must do” hike in Colorado…I would have to agree! We read a lot of different information regarding the hike but let me break it down for you:

  • It’s free as of 4/22/18 when we did the hike, but we did read a sign on the way up stating in the near future they will be limiting how many people can do the trail per day, you will have to obtain a permit, and the permit will most likely cost money.
  • It’s difficult. The sign at the trailhead says so and it’s not a lie. The elevation gain is a little over 1,000 feet and there are only a few flat areas throughout the hike. One post I read compared the hike to a stair master made of rocks…I would agree!
  • The hike is 2.4 miles round trip…from the start of the trailhead. The walk from the parking lot is about another half mile, so total it’s almost 3 miles.
  • Bring all the water. We went around 4:30 pm in the middle of April with temps in the high 50s, and we still drank about 64 oz of water.
  • If you have any fear of heights, be prepared. The first mile isn’t bad because you are “tucked in”, but the last stretch at the top is a stairway of rocks. There are railings though! I don’t do so well with heights and I was ok. You can do it!
  • It’s worth it! The Lake is stunning!
  • The way down is much much easier 🙂
  • There’s no cell phone service so let someone know where you’re going if you’ll tackling this hike solo, but there are plenty of people on the trail

We truly did love this hike (more-so once it was over). Several times we asked each other “do you want to keep going?”…and we pushed each other to make it to the top. We are glad we did! The hike took us about 2.5 hours to complete.

After our hike, we headed to Glendwood Hot Springs for a swim. I loved it, especially after the last few days of hiking. The natural spring water is filtered into pools, the hottest pool being 104 degrees. There is a second cooler pool, which to me was equivalent to a heated swimming pool. We spent about an hour here and I would recommend it. If you were here during the day, there’s water slides and a grill you could get food from. It was really relaxing in the evening! Entry is $17/person, and towels and lockers are available to rent. There’s showers there as well for when you’re done with your swim.

After our swim we headed back to camp, made a fire, hot dogs, and s’mores, got cleaned up and went to bed.

Monday morning we stopped for breakfast at Sweet Coloradough in Glenwood Springs and we got breakfast sandwiches and donuts to go. The food was delicious! I would definitely recommend this stop.

I loved our time in Glenwood and I think we will be coming back to visit again!

  • Days in Glenwood: April 22-23
  • Glenwood temps: Low 38 High 69

Thanks for reading! Check back soon for updates!

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