“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower. “

 – Albert Camus

Hey dear readers!!! Hope you all are doing great!! So fall is all around and every leaf waving good bye to summers. Being in Phoenix there is nothing much to see about fall season, when the rest of country is dancing and shining in yellow gold colors.

For a beautiful fall experience we planned our trip to ‘Colorado’. I thought it would be beautiful but believe me it was far more than what I thought. My this post is all about one of those beauties I witnessed, ‘Maroon Bells‘ from ‘Aspen‘.

The city is surrounded by mountain and wilderness areas on three sides: Red Mountain to the north, Smuggler Mountain to the east, and Aspen Mountain to the south. You can witness beautiful fall colors here. Aspen is also a famous ski center in winters. For your winter planning check this.

Beautiful picturesque Maroon Lake surrounded by Maroon Bells

While the Maroon Bells are touted as the most photographed place in Colorado, pictures simply don’t do the peaks justice.

A beautiful mirror lake surrounded by snow-stripped mountains Maroon Peak and North Maroon Peak and beautiful aspen trees. The peaks are located in the Maroon Bells–Snowmass Wilderness of White River National Forest

How to reach Maroon Lake

Maroon Bells has limited accessibility by car but there are bus tours running throughout the day for the summer season. The road is open to all Non-Motorized forms of transportation at no charge. (bicycles, skateboarders, hikers, etc). The road up to the Maroon Bells is closed in the winter. You can hike on this road in the winter but it is a 12 mile round trip to make it to the lake.

Check this beautiful video of the Maroon Lake.

Bus to the Maroon Bells

From either Aspen or Snowmass the easiest way to get to the Maroon Bells is by bus. From Aspen take the Castle/Maroon bus from Rubey Park to Highlands. If you are coming from Snowmass or Downvalley just go directly to Highlands and park for $5 on weekdays and $10 on weekends. From 5:00 pm – 8:00 am the road is open to vehicles. If you have season passes you will not need to pay the fee.

Maroon Bells bus stop in highlands.

At Highlands you will need to buy tickets at Four-Mountain Sports for the bus tour to Maroon Bells. The bus will pick you up right outside Four-Mountain Sports and drive you to the Maroon Bells.

You must catch the bus to the Maroon Bells at Aspen Highlands. Dogs are allowed on the bus. You can drive to Aspen Highlands or take a bus from downtown Aspen to Aspen Highlands.

This is how trail looks like to the Maroon Lake. It’s all yellow golden in the vicinity.

Restricted Times for Driving

Due to the large amount of interest in the Maroon Bells, you can not drive to the Maroon Bells from 8am – 5pm. You must take the bus. 

Distant image of snow-stripped Maroon Bells

Parking at Maroon Bells

There are 35 overnight parking spaces at the Maroon Bells for backpackers. Overnight backpackers are required to use the bus from 8am – 5pm, or until there is no parking in the morning, whichever happens first, and taxis are not allowed 8am – 5pm.  Bear canisters are mandatory for the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness for overnight backpackers.

Opposite side of the Maroon Bells is no less than. Mountains covered with snow and cloudy blue skies shadowing it.

You will not be allowed to park in the day use parking area. You may park in the overnight parking for up to 5 days. If you plan to stay longer you will need to park at Highlands and take the bus up or find an alternative way to get the Maroon Bells.

Maroon Bells Hike:

Maroon Lake Scenic Trail
This easy 1-mile round-trip trek starts at the parking area and follows the circumference of the lake; keep an eye out for the active beaver pond.

Maroon Creek Trail
Start at the outlet of Maroon Lake and travel along Maroon Creek to encounter alpine meadows, aspen forests and rocky slopes. This 3.2-mile one-way trail is an excellent place to spot wildlife such as mule deer, red fox, bighorn sheep, porcupines and a variety of birds.

Crater Lake Trail
This 3.6-mile round-trip trail rewards hikers with breathtaking vistas of bushy Aspen woodlands and Crater Lake. Start at the Deadly Bells Kiosk from Maroon Lake Trail and be prepared for a steep and rocky ascent, cooler temperatures and spontaneous thunderstorms.

Beautiful snow covered red rocks surrounding the area.

“How beautifully leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days.”


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Cheers & Love,


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