7 votes

Maroon Bells Snowmass Wilderness

845 Meadows Rd, Snowmass Village, Colorado 81654 USA

  • Independent
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“with over 100 miles of trails”

A reflective lake and two giant snow-striped mountaintops, named Maroon Peak and North Maroon Peak, anchor a blissful panorama exemplified by a symphony of color that changes with the seasons. Located just 10 miles west of Aspen or 16 from Snowmass up Maroon Creek Road off Hwy. 82 in a glacial valley, the 14,000-foot peaks (fourteeners) truly epitomize the beauty of the Rocky Mountains. Hiking trails provide access to plenty of photo-worthy scenes in the White River National Forest, including hypnotizing wildflower fields, fly-fishermen seeking catches in tranquil Maroon Lake and brilliant fall colors on aspen trees. More than 300 million years of geologic activity, including sedimentation, uplift and erosion by wind, water and ice, are credited to the creation of Maroon Valley. According to the US Forest Service, the mountains received their distinctive maroon coloring from the weathering of hematite, an iron-bearing mineral, while Maroon Lake occupies a basin that was sculpted by Ice-Age glaciers. Getting to the Maroon Bells Because the natural landmark is so popular, there is restricted access to the area during the summer and fall. Autumn is an especially dreamy time to visit, when the Maroon Bells are cradled by cloud-speckled blue skies and golden-hued aspen groves. Before 8am and after 5pm, you can drive all the way to Maroon Lake for a $10 vehicle free. Between 8am to 5pm from mid-June through early October, the scenic area can be accessed daily by a public bus operated by the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority (RFTA). Bus tickets are available for purchase at the base area of Aspen Highlands Ski Area (1.5 miles up Maroon Creek Road) at Four Mountain Sports. Next-door to Four Mountain Sports, you can stop by the U.S. Forest Service visitor information center at the Highland’s Ticketing Office for maps and information about the area. Get more information about Maroon Bells and the Aspen-Sopris Ranger District. Park your car for $5 at the Aspen Highlands parking structure. You can also take RFTA’s Castle/Maroon bus to Aspen Highlands from Rubey Park Transit Center in downtown Aspen. Overflow parking is available at the Brush Creek Intercept lot outside of Aspen on the RFTA bus route. The Aspen Chamber Resort Association and Snowmass Tourism also have great info on getting there and back. READ MORE: http://www.colorado.com/articles/explore-maroon-bells-what-you-need-know

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Reviewed by
Chini Tiongco

  • 211 Reviews
  • 106 Helpful
September 15, 2014
Rated 3.0

This beautiful place is perfect for hiking and sightseeing during summer. The hike wasn't strenuous. It's a good hike for families and varied abilities. There are lots of scenic views to enjoy too and it's very relaxing. My favorite view is the mountains reflecting in the lake.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Laurel Burkhardt

  • 30 Reviews
  • 8 Helpful
January 03, 2016

Maroon Bells-Snowmass is exemplary of all that the Rocky Mountains are known for and is one of the area's most visited wildernesses. With six peaks over 14,000 feet high, thousands of mountaineers seek its heights every year. One hundred miles of trail lead past alpine lakes, including Maroon Lake whose reflection of the Maroon Bells has become the iconic image of the state. Hikers are drawn to its clear, blue skies, the hot springs at Conundrum Creek and a plethora of wildflowers in midsummer. The area was designated when the Wilderness Act passed fifty years ago, in 1964.

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Reviewed by

  • 4 Reviews
  • 4 Helpful
July 01, 2015
Rated 5.0

This is a must see. Great place to go, very photogenic and good camping a short walk from the lake.

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Maroon Bells Snowmass Wilderness

845 Meadows Rd
Snowmass Village, Colorado
81654 USA

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  • Pets Allowed
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  • Wheelchair Accessible
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