The Maroon Bells is probably the image that comes to mind for most people when they think of Aspen. This glacial valley surrounded by the 14,000′ peaks of the Elk Mountains has something to offer everyone. Located just 10 miles up Maroon Creek Road, The Maroon Bells Wilderness Area is the perfect day-trip for anyone visiting Aspen. Please check with our concierge to get information about seasonal road closures and park fees & hours.
Due COVID-19 social distancing requirements and the need to estimate and safely manage demand, reservations will be required to access the Maroon Bells Scenic Area and related amenities this year by vehicle or by RFTA shuttle.
Maroon Lake Scenic Trail – This relatively flat trail follows the edge of Maroon Lake for about 1.3 miles (one way). Along the the trail you will be able to take in the iconic view of the 14,000′ peaks of the Maroon Bells as it reflects off the surface of the lake. Eventually this trail will cross over West Maroon Creek and will loop back onto itself. Wildlife abounds so keep an eye out for marmots, pika, beaver and even moose! This is also the perfect place to view the large variety of summer wildflowers or the golden aspen trees during the fall. This trail is considered easy and starts at 9,500 ft and ends at 9,700 ft. Restrooms are available at the trailhead.
Crater Lake – This 4.2 round trip hike starts at Maroon Lake and follows the Maroon Lake Scenic Trail to start. When the trail forks, follow the signs to Crater Lake. Steep at times, the trail will meander through aspen groves and scree fields, affording breath-taking views of both The Maroon Bells and Maroon Lake. Crater Lake sits in an alpine valley directly at the base of North Maroon Peak. This is the perfect day-hike so make sure to pack a lunch and enjoy the view from Crater Lake. This trail is considered moderate and starts at 9,500 ft and ends at 10,100 ft.
For the more advanced hiker, The Maroon Bells Wilderness Area offers several other challenging day-hikes and overnight hikes. Here are just a few of our favorites: