The most photographed mountains in North America are right here in Aspen! Located 10 miles from Aspen up Maroon Creek Road, they are not to be missed, whether you are visiting Aspen for an hour or 3 months they are sure to be a highlight of your trip. Their accessiblity is limited by car, so see below on how to get there:
From Memorial Day to Labor Day the Maroon Bells can only be accessed by public bus between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm. You are welcome to drive your own car before 9 am and after 5 pm or if you have a child in a car seat (other exceptions apply*). Please be prepared to pay a $10 per vehicle fee should you choose to drive. After Labor Day bus access will only be in place Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The road will be open to traffic Monday-Thursday, again the $10/vehicle fee would be required. Take Maroon Creek Road from the roundabout on HWY 82 just outside of Aspen heading west.
The Maroon Bells bus can be accessed at Aspen Highlands which is just 2 miles up Maroon Creek Road on the left hand side. There is free parking available at Aspen Highlands. Purchase bus tickets for $6, $3 on Wednesdays, inside of Four Mountain Sports. Busses depart every half hour.
If you don't have your own car you can also take the Castle/Maroon RFTA bus from Rubey Park Transportation Center in downtown Aspen. This bus is free and departs every 20 minutes starting on the hour. Take the Castle/Maroon bus to Aspen Highlands and then transfer to the Maroon Bells Bus.
In the winter getting to the Maroon Bells can be quite an adventure. Since Maroon Creek Road is closed to vehicular traffic the only way to get there is to cross country ski or go on a snowmobile tour run by T-Lazy 7 Ranch. Either way you choose will be an incredible experience with unparalleled views.
For seasonal road closures and camping information contact the US Forest Service at (970) 925-3445.
*Exceptions to the no car rule are:
1. From 5:00 pm - 9:00 am road is open to vehicles with $10 recreation use fee.
2. Vehicles with people with disabilities or with a valid Handicap placard or license plate.
3. Vehicles with 11 people or more.
4. Vehicles with infants that require a restraining child seat (not a booster seat)
5. People camping at Silver Bar, Silver Bell and Silver Queen Campgrounds
6. Holders with Special Use Permits issued by the Forest Service
7. Overnight Backpackers
8. Horse trailers
Photo Credit: Heather Rousseau