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Maroon Bells

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Call a local vacation expert at 800-670-0792

Maroon Creek road is scheduled to open May 10th 2018 at 4pm. 

An adventure to Aspen, Colorado isn’t complete without a visit to its main attraction. The Maroon Bells, a series of distinctively bell-shaped, wine-colored peaks towering 14,000 feet above the pristine, glacial Maroon Valley, remain the most photographed mountains in North America and offer some of the most spectacular natural views in the world. From meadows of vibrant wildflowers to airy groves of Aspen trees to summit-based alpine tundra, the Maroon Bells promise a variety of natural habitats and a diverse, vivid representation of the wild Rocky Mountain range. With six scenic hiking trails, various camping sites, and biking paths fit for all skill levels, visitors can enjoy multiple ways to access Aspen’s natural marvels and endless mountain adventure perfect for any season. Explore Aspen’s Maroon Bells, and discover how a journey through over 300 million years of jagged stone inspires travelers from around the world to defy ordinary.

Enjoy our 360 Virtual Tour while you plan your in-person visit.

Maroon Bells Parking and Scenic Area Information Hotline: 970-945-3319 (updated weekly)

HOW TO EXPLORE THE MAROON BELLS:

Summer:

Transportation
Public Bus
8am-5pm
$8 per person

Private Vehicles
Before 8am/after 5pm
$10 per vehicle (CASH or CHECK ONLY)


Parking
Aspen Highlands (Parking Limited)
8am - 5pm​

WEEKDAYS
$5/car/0-3hrs​
$10/car/3-8hrs
$20 Full Day

WEEKENDS
$10/car/0-3hrs
$15/car/3-8hrs
$25 Full Day 

OR

Castle/Maroon RFTA Bus
Every 20 mins on the hour
FREE

From June 9 to October 8th, between the hours of 8am and 5pm, the Maroon Bells can only be accessed by public bus. The Maroon Bells are approximately 10 miles from downtown Aspen, 8 miles from the Aspen Highlands Visitor Center, and 5 miles from the Forest Service gate on Maroon Creek Road. 

For the best Maroon Bells experience we recommend visiting on a weekday and utilizing the bus service. If you have skied in Aspen, you know how easy and hassle free the bus service is; if you haven’t experienced it yourself, take our word for it, leave the driving to someone else. While the road is open to private vehicles prior to 8am, this doesn’t necessarily mean the parking lot will be open and available. Frequently photographers or overnight hikers have begun their Maroon Bells experience in the wee hours of the morning, filling up the parking lot before the rest of us have even thought of getting out of bed. When this happens, the road is closed to private vehicles in advance of 8am. The road is subject to closure at anytime due to overcrowding.  *Leaf peepers visiting on peak foliage weekends in late September/ early October should anticipate this being the case, and plan alternate visits accordingly.*

The Maroon Bells bus runs between the hours of 8am and 5pm and can be accessed at Aspen Highlands which is just 2 miles up Maroon Creek Road on the left-hand side. There is limited parking available at Aspen Highlands for $5 per vehicle on the weekdays (0-3hours, $10 for 3-8 hours and $20 for full day) and $10 weekends (0-3 hours, $15 for 3-8 hours, $25 full day). Purchase bus tickets for $8 inside of Four Mountain Sports or the ticket office. Tickets are also available in town at the Rubey Park Transportation Center. You may also purchase a Perfect Summer Pass from the Aspen Skiing Company which combines the cost of a Gondola Ticket + Maroon Bells bus ticket.  Buses depart every 20 minutes.

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.

When bus service is available motorized travel on Maroon Creek road is limited to vehicles carrying persons with disabilities, children under 2 years of age in car seats, and campers occupying Silver Bar, Silver Bell, and Silver Queen Campground.

Should you choose to drive your own car before 8am and after 5pm, please be prepared to pay a $10 per vehicle fee. CASH OR CHECK ONLY. Take Maroon Creek Road from the roundabout on HWY 82 just outside of Aspen heading west. If you drive up to the Bells prior to 8am you will be able to use your car on the road to return to town. Once past the Welcome Center, you would not be able to access the Maroon Bells again until after 5pm.

2018 Fall Foliage Crowd Management Plan: Peak weekends in September, (9/15-9/16. 9/22-9/23, 9/29-9/30) when parking is expected to be full at the Scenic Area as well as at the Highlands parking lot due to fall foliage viewing, the Buttermilk lot will provide free, overflow parking. RFTA buses will shuttle passengers for free from the Buttermilk Ski area to Aspen Highlands to catch the Maroon Bells buses. 

For up-to-date parking and scenic area information call the Maroon Bells Hotline: 970-945-3319

*Exceptions to the no car rule are:

Vehicles People Campgrounds

Valid Handicap placard

Handicap license plates

Disability license plates

Permanently disabled national pass

Horse trailers

 
Holders with Special Use Permits issued by the Forest Service
 
Infants that require a restraining child seat (2 or younger)
*Booster seats do not qualify
 
12 people or more, in same vehicle, $3/person

 

Silver Bar

Silver Bell

Silver Queen

Winter:
Maroon Creek Road typically closes to vehicular traffic in mid-November for the winter season

Seasonal road closure and camping info:

US Forest Service
(970) 925-3445

 

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 will be an incredible experience with unparalleled views. Please note, Maroon Lake and the scenic vista of the Maroon Bells is 5 miles from the road closure gate. Be prepared should you decide to walk. 

SCENIC HIKING TRAILS

Maroon Lake Scenic Trail (EASY) This trail is pet friendly! (Pets must be on leash)
Miles (one way): .75 | Elevation: 9,500 ft. - 10,000 ft.
The trail extends around the far side of Maroon Lake and meanders along the creek flowing into the lake. This is a great place for pictures and picnics, and is perfect for all skill types.

Crater Lake (MODERATE) This trail is pet friendly! (Pets must be on leash)
Miles (one way): 1.8 | Elevation: 9,500 ft. - 10,100 ft.
This is the Maroon Bells Hike. The trail begins at Maroon Lake, extending leisurely through an open meadow. The trail then forks, splitting into the Maroon Snowmass Trail and the Maroon Lake Scenic Trail. On the right, the Maroon-Snowmass Trail climbs through the Aspen groves to Crater Lake. To the left, the Maroon Lake Scenic Trail follows a river, crosses two bridges, and then winds upward in a steep climb to merge along the Maroon-Snowmass Trail.

East Maroon Trail (EASY - MODERATE - LONG) This trail is pet friendly! (Pets must be on leash)
Miles (one way): 10.5 | Elevation: 9,000 ft. - 12,000 ft.
The East Maroon Trail crosses into the Maroon Bells Snowmass Wilderness. At the top, the East Maroon Trail offers access to Copper Lake and Gothic for further hiking and backpacking.

West Maroon Pass (MODERATE - LONG) This trail is pet friendly! (Pets must be on leash)
Miles (one way): 6.5 | Elevation: 9,500 ft. - 12,500 ft.
The West Maroon Pass extends around Crater Lake on the right side, follows the stream for a short distance, winds through the forest, and then crosses a rock scree field. The trail angles to the right and steadily ascends through willow and then tundra. The trail continues to climb steeply to a long traverse that goes to the top of West Maroon Pass.

Buckskin Pass (DIFFICULT) This trail is pet friendly! (Pets must be on leash)
Miles (one way): 4.6 | Elevation: 9,500 ft. - 12,500 ft.
At Crater Lake, take the right fork, which climbs steadily into Minnehaha Gulch. About 1/2 mile above the tree line is the junction between the Maroon-Snowmass Trail and the Willow Lake Trail. Take the left fork that ascends steeply to the summit of Buckskin Pass.

Willow Lake Trail (DIFFICULT) This trail is pet friendly! (Pets must be on leash)
Miles (one way): 6.5 | Elevation: 9,500 ft. - 12,500 ft.
Follow the directions to Crater Lake, and then take the right fork. The trail ascends steeply. About 1/2 mile above the tree line is the junction between the Maroon-Snowmass Trail and the Willow Lake Trail. At the junction, take the right fork. The trail climbs steeply to the top of Willow Pass. From the top of the pass, the trail descends to the junction with East Snowmass trail. Continue straight on the trail for the last 1/2 mile to return to Crater Lake.

CAMPING

Visitors seeking the experience of Aspen’s great outdoors are welcome to book a site at one of the three campgrounds available throughout Maroon Valley’s summer season:

Backcountry camping is also available for travelers ready to take on the rough mountain terrain and discover the untamed, beautiful wilderness of Aspen’s Maroon Bells.

PHOTOGRAPHY

Aspen’s Maroon Bells and the surrounding environment promise premium views and amazing access to Colorado’s natural wilderness. With the incredible golds and deep reds of the mountains’ bright fall foliage, sprawling open meadows, breathtaking lakeside sunrises, and a diverse collection of active, abundant wildlife, the Maroon Bells offers a wealth of opportunity to capture that perfect shot. As with many prized places, in order to get the perfect shot you will need to get there early, very early. 

A virtual tour of these stunning peaks.

From The Blog

Hiking Around the Maroon Bells

Located 10 miles from Aspen up Maroon Creek Road, the Maroon Bells are not to be missed during a...Read more

4th of July Parade Waiver

2018 ONLINE REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED 

IMPORTANT PARADE INFORMATION

PARADE STARTING/STAGING: The parade will begin at 11:00am. Parade positioning is “first come, first serve” and line up begins no earlier than 10:00am. There is no entry fee and the parade is open to the public. All 5 lanes of Main Street, from Aspen Street to 2nd Street, will be closed to all traffic & designated for parade staging only. Power is not provided in staging area and remember generators do need gas.

PARADE ROUTE: The parade will start East on Main Street. It will turn South onto Hunter Street, then West onto Cooper Avenue. The parade will continue West on Cooper Avenue to Galena Street. At Galena it heads North for 2 blocks before turning West onto Hopkins Avenue. The parade will continue South on Mill then West on Hyman Avenue. Parade participants will be directed to disperse at Hyman and Monarch Street.  PARADE JUDGING: Parade judging will take place in front of the Hotel Jerome. Participants will be limited to 1 minute or less for any performances in front of the judges. Security will be onsite monitoring all entries to help prevent gaps in the parade route. Recognition will be awarded to the best entries in the following categories: 

Most Patriotic | Most Humorous | Best Animal | Best Music | Most Outrageous | Best Children’s  

PARADE REMINDERS:  

  • Consumption of alcohol is prohibited during the parade.
  • Candy, favors, etc. should not be thrown from your float/vehicle during the parade. This is for the safety of the spectators and to prevent children from running out into the street. 
  • Water balloons will not be permitted. According to city ordinances, those caught throwing balloons will be removed from the parade and could face citations and/or arrests. 
  • All parade entries must be in “good taste” and will be allowed in the parade per the director’s discretion. 
  • Maximum height restriction for any float entry is 13’5”.

 

The undersigned organization has elected to participate in the Fourth of July parade sponsored by the City of Aspen and Aspen Chamber Resort

Association (“ACRA”). In consideration for City of Aspen and ACRA allowing the undersigned to participate in the festivities, the undersigned has read, understood, and willingly agreed to the terms of this INSURANCE LIABILITY AGREEMENT and WAIVER AND INDEMNITY AGREEMENT (collectively referred to herein as “RELEASE”).

INSURANCE LIABILITY AGREEMENT

                                    Participants are required to carry insurance adequate to cover any liability for damage, injury, economic loss, or other

liability that may be incurred by individuals and/or organizations during the Fourth of July parade. All participants agree to carry such insurance, and also agree not to submit any claim against the insurance of City of Aspen, ACRA and/or any other sponsors of the parade, their officers, directors, agents, shareholders, employees, or anyone else directly or indirectly connected with production of the parade.

WAIVER AND INDEMNITY AGREEMENT

                                         The undersigned understands the potential dangers that could be encountered in participating in the Fourth of July

parade. The dangers include, among other things, dangers relating to vehicular and pedestrian traffic; crowds of persons in close proximity to such traffic; animals that may react unpredictably in a parade environment; celebration and recreational activities; loud and unexpected noise; items that may be thrown to and from the crowd in connection with the parade; and other dangers traditionally associated with parades.

      Understanding those risks, the undersigned for itself and for all persons who the undersigned invites or allows to participate in the parade with the undersigned, does hereby agree to indemnify, hold harmless, and release City of Aspen, ACRA and/or any other sponsors of the parade, their

officers, directors, agents, shareholders, employees, and anyone else directly or indirectly connected with production of the parade from any and all

liability, claims, demands, actions, or rights of action (including attorneys’ fees and costs) that are related to or are in any way connected with the

undersigned’s participation in the parade. By signing this RELEASE, the undersigned intends to extinguish any and all liability and to indemnify against any loss on the part of City of Aspen, ACRA and/or any other sponsors of the parade, their officers, directors, agents, shareholders, employees, and anyone else directly or indirectly connected with production of the parade for any injury or damage of any nature (without regard to negligence or fault) to the undersigned and to all persons who the undersigned invites or allows to participate in the parade.

                                      The undersigned warrants and represents that it will not invite or allow any person to participate in the parade unless

such person is bound to the terms of this RELEASE. To that end, the undersigned agrees that it shall take any steps necessary to secure agreement of such persons to the terms of this RELEASE, and that it shall be deemed a responsible person within the meaning of C.R.S. § 13-22-107 and § 19-1103(94) for all children who the undersigned invites or allows to participate in the parade.

SUBMISSION OF APPLICATION

   I am the official representative of the undersigned organization. On behalf of the organization, I acknowledge our responsibilities as set forth above. I also accept on behalf of the organization all of the terms and conditions of this

INSURANCE LIABILITY AGREEMENT and WAIVER AND INDEMNITY AGREEMENT.

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