It's a sad sight, but Colorado's famous Hanging Lake, which is known for Instagram influencer scandals and its clear, blue-green water is now a dark, murky brown. What's also unclear is whether the change in its appearance will be permanent. 

Get our free mobile app

The Denver Channel reported that the lake, which was nearly destroyed in the 2020 Grizzly Creek Fire, wasn't quite spared wildfire damage — it just wasn't immediate. This summer, extreme mudslides in the Glenwood Canyon area were a result of last year's fire damage. The debris and mud has discolored Hanging Lake, described by Colorado's tourism website as having 'gumdrop-green waters.'

Igor Oliyarnik, Unsplash

Atlas Obscura says that Hanging Lake has a 'fragile shoreline of travertine' and 'the bottom of the lake fully visible through crystal clear waters.' The ecosystem is so delicate, dogs aren't even permitted in the area, and don't you even think about touching that log. So, you can imagine the disruption mudslide debris would cause.

The good news is, the experts don't think that Hanging Lake is ruined forever. Matt Nunez, who works for the City of Glenwood Springs, tweeted that the 'beloved lake has been through much worse.' A geology professor from Colorado State University also told The Denver Channel that the 'fine sediment will settle out with time,' and Hanging Lake's famous water will eventually clear up.

'The bed will have a lot of mud on it, but that will gradually be flushed out and algae will grow on top of it,' Professor Ellen Wohl told the news outlet. You can read more from The Denver Channel here, and see aerial footage of the lake in the video, below.

Top 5 Rated Colorado Hikes