Video of Pikachu walking on Hanging Lake being investigated by Forest Service

U.S. Forest Service officials are currently investigating a 5-year-old video that appears to show three people, one of them dressed as Pikachu, violating visitation rules at Hanging Lake in Glenwood Canyon.

According to Lynn Lockwood, spokesperson for the White River National Forest, a concerned member of the public alerted the Forest Service after a video promoting Kigurumi, which sells Pokémon and other animal-themed onesies, resurfaced on Facebook in late-October. The video, originally posted in 2017, shows three people in onesies walking across a fallen tree through the iconic Hanging Lake.

A representative from Kigurumi could not immediately be reached for comment.

A Natural National Landmark, Hanging Lake was formed by a geologic fault that caused the lake bed to drop away from the valley floor above, according to the Forest Service. Because the lake is formed from travertine, or limestone deposited near mineral springs, the ecosystem there is extremely sensitive. It remains one of the larger and least altered examples of travertine deposition, per the National Park Service, and visitors are prohibited from walking anywhere but the trails and boardwalks surrounding the lake.

The Kigurumi promotional video is not the first to be investigated for breaking Hanging Lake visitation rules. In 2020, authorities looked into David Lesh, owner of Colorado clothing company Virtika, after he posted photos that appeared to show him walking across the same fallen tree at Hanging Lake. According to the Aspen Times, the feds dropped five criminal charges related to the incident after Lesh said the photos had been faked.

Hanging Lake only reopened to hikers this summer after mudslides caused by torrential rain damaged the trail in 2021. The trail now requires a reservation to visit.

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