Standing at more than 14,000 feet, the Maroon Bells, two distinctively bell-shaped, wine-colored peaks of mudstone, carved out over 300 million years, are the most photographed mountains in North America, and is Aspen’s number one summer destination. During peak season, there may be crowds. To avoid large crowds, we suggest visiting mid-week, arriving with the first bus of the day.
Getting to the Bells
- Getting to the Maroon Bells is best done by bus.
- From June 9 to October 8, vehicle traffic is restricted past the Maroon Bells Welcome Station from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- When bus service is available, motorized travel on Maroon Creek Road is limited to vehicles carrying those with disabilities, children ages 2 or younger in car seats, and campers occupying the Silver Bar, Silver Bell and Silver Queen Campgrounds.
- If you drive, be prepared to pay a $10 vehicle fee by cash or check.
Riding the Bells Bus
- Taking the bus is easy. The Castle/Maroon bus leaves downtown Aspen at the Ruby Park Bus Station every 20 minutes and connects with the Maroon Bells shuttle at Aspen Highlands.
- You may also park at Aspen Highlands for a fee ($5-$10) and begin your journey to the Bells from there.
- The fee to ride from Aspen Highlands to the Bells is $8 per person and includes information on points of interest along the route.
- Dogs are allowed on the bus to the Maroon Bells from Aspen Highlands for free. They must be leashed at all times in the Maroon Bells Wilderness and Scenic area.
Cycling to the Bells
- The road to the Maroon Bells is also a popular cycling route.
- With a steady eight-mile climb to the Maroon Bells’ parking lot, this ride is a perfect intermediate to advanced experience, with local tour groups offering daily trips throughout summer.
Hiking at the Bells
- With six scenic hiking trails beginning at the base of the Bells, there is a variety of terrain easily accessed from the parking lot or the RFTA bus drop off.
- The trails surrounding Maroon Lake are fairly flat and are wheelchair and stroller accessible. These lead to more challenging routes in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Area.
- Upon arrival to the Bells, be mindful of preparation, as there is no drinking water at this site, but there are bathrooms.
Bells to the Backcountry
- The Maroon Bells is a perfect starting point for many backcountry hikes including the popular West Maroon Pass to Crested Butte, Buckskin Pass and the Four Pass Loop.
- The peaks of the Maroon Bells themselves – Maroon and North Maroon – are rated 3 and 4 degrees of hiking difficulty, respectively.
- They are extremely exposed and unstable routes, giving them the notorious moniker, “The Deadly Bells.” Please be realistic with your abilities, and when in doubt, hire a guide.
Visit our Trip Highlights section for more detailed information on this beautiful location.