I got up pretty early and after washing up at the rest area and getting coffee at Starbucks, I headed to Rifle Falls. This is a gorgeous waterfall I had never heard of, it’s free and it’s not a long hike like many are. Well it’s almost free. You have to pay for vehicle in State Park is all. The falls are accessed through the campground. It’s a short hike after parking and the spectacular! There are also some caves and cool trails to hike there. It was still early when I finished there which was good because I wanted to get an early start on Hanging Lake. I ended up wasting an hour of my day by taking the scenic route through the National Forest. (I did that many times on this trip) but I got to Glenwood Springs/ Hanging Lake around noon. I packed my backpack as light as I could with water, sunscreen, a hat, a bandana, bug spray etc and took off up the mountain path. They say it’s about 2 hours to the top and back but it took me more like 3 hours to get to the top, and 2 more hours to get back down. Going down isn’t that much easier than going up. It’s almost easier to go fast, but there is a good distance between steps and it would be easy to twist an ankle or break a leg, so you have to be very careful. The forest service lists the trail is “difficult.” Being fat and old, it was quite strenuous to me but I did it!!! lol! At the end I was rewarded with a most beautiful double cascading waterfall and clear lake. It was good to say I did it. By the time I got down from the canyon it was about 5:00, I was starving, hot, sweaty, dirty and my muscles were overtaxed. I decided to splurge on a nice dinner and a hotel with a bathtub and call it a day.