Hanging Lake near Glenwood Springs Colorado. White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams said much of the lake and surrounding area, including the boardwalk, "are very much intact" after the Grizzly Creek fire swept through the area. (Photo by Max and Dee Bernt, via Flickr)

GRANT JUNCTION — Colorado officials are uncertain when public access will be restored to a popular lake area that was closed after a wildfire struck last year.

The Daily Sentinel reports that officials hope to restore access to Hanging Lake in Glenwood Canyon sometime in 2021.

The Grizzly Creek Fire started in August and burned 51 square miles in the area about 87 miles east of Grand Junction in White River National Forest.

The Grizzly Creek Fire is burning along Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon. (Handout)

Emergency officials did not declare the fire completely contained until Dec. 18. While the fire was not active for more than a month, officials waited for more snow to fall in remote areas in the canyon.

Hanging Lake, which is designated as a National Natural Landmark, is located about 1,000 feet (305 meters) up a side canyon of Glenwood Canyon.

David Boyd, spokesman for the White River National Forest, said that “as soon as it’s safe to do so, we want it open again.”

Lisa Langer, director of tourism promotion at Visit Glenwood Springs, said an opening date for new permitting to hike the trail is being considered for May.

The decision will be made by the U.S. Forest Service and the city of Glenwood Springs.