We visited Hanging Lake in the late fall (early winter for the mountains) two years ago and knew we needed to take our friends visiting from Sweden. Plus we just wanted any excuse to get back.
It was definitely 'easier' going without big patches of ice, but even so, it's an extremely difficult hike! Especially with 3 adults and 4 children, three of them needing to be carried. Tindra walked a bit of it to give Drew a break but after a bit she was begging to get back in the carrier. Can't really blame her! Scaling boulders the size of your body, slightly tough to say the least.
Every time we go on a tough hike, half way through we are all 'whyyyy did we decide to torture ourselves like this' and usually Drew is annoyed with me for talking him into going. But then when we are done (or when we get to amazing views like above) we change our tune to ' Yep, SO glad we did that. So worth it.' The pictures just don't even come close to doing it justice, its so peaceful and magical once you get up there. And the feeling you get after a super tough hike is amazing. It's such a high! So if you are ever in the Glenwood Springs area, make sure you do the Hanging Lake hike! And even if you aren't in the area, get there! Between this hike, the hot springs and food (next post) its more than worth whatever drive you have to take to get there!
*Basically all of these pictures were taken by Sofie (blonde Swedish friend in the pictures)*