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Scenic Driving: Colorado > White River National Forest > Aspen Ranger District

Quick Facts

Maroon Creek Road

Beginning Elevation: 7,900 Feet (2462.6 Meters)
Elevation Gain: 1,600 Feet (498.8 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 9,200 Feet (2867.8 Meters)
Length: 9.5 Miles (15.3 Kilometers)
Time, One-way: 20 Minutes
USGS Maps: Aspen, Highland Peak, Maroon Bells.




Satellite and Topo Map




General Description

Cars can pass through this entrance station before 8 a.m. during the peak season between Memorial Day and October.
Copyright: USDA Forest Service
Cars can pass through this entrance station before 8 a.m. during the peak season between Memorial Day and October.
Maroon Creek Road is one of the most scenic drives in Colorado. Spectacular fourteen thousand foot peaks stand tall above the valley floors. Beavers tend to their dams built beside the clear waters of Maroon Creek. Deer and Elk graze in wildflower covered meadows. Moose inhabit the riparian areas around Maroon Lake. Avalanches roar down the sides of the steep valley in winter, destroying everything in their paths and leaving clearly defined chutes.

This area is a haven for hikers, bikers, backpackers, mountain climbers, horseback riders, fisherman, hunters, nature enthusiasts and photographers. From mid-June through September, the Maroon Creek Road is closed from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and you will need to take a shuttle bus from Ruby Park in Aspen. The bus includes an informative guided tour of the valley. Contact the Roaring Fork Transit Agency at 925- 8484 for more information.

Because of the road closure, this is an excellent route for bicycles, inline skaters and dryland cross-country skiers.

As you drive up Maroon Creek Road, you will pass the Aspen Highlands Ski Area on your left. Pyramid Peak is visible at the head of the valley. A few miles further you will pass the T-Lazy 7 ranch where you can ride horses in the summer and snowmobiles in the winter. Just past the ranch is the start of the White River National Forest and the guard gate to prevent automobile traffic in the summer. Avalanche shuts are visible on both sides of the valley. Beaver ponds are visible on the left along the creek. At about the 7 1/2 mile point you will round a corner and the Maroon Bells come into view.

Directions from Aspen: Drive 1/2 mile west of Aspen on Highway 82 to the roundabout where you turn onto Maroon Creek Road. Continue 9 1/2 miles to the Maroon Lake Parking Area.From mid-June through September, the Maroon Creek Road is closed from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and you will need to take a shuttle bus from Ruby Park in Aspen. The bus includes an informative guided tour of the valley. Contact the Roaring Fork Transit Agency at 925-8484 for more information.

Seasonal Information:
Normal Summer Season: May through September (NOTE: Road is maintained during the Summer months.) . Normal Winter Season: November through April (NOTE: Road is maintained to the T-Lazy7 Ranch in the Winter. Winter activities beyond that point.) .



Current Conditions & Trip Reports
Closed at T-Lazy 7 Ranch for Winter Season. Mandatory bus service at Highlands from 8AM-5PM daily will resume in June unless a visitor is backpacking or camping. Updated: 2002-12-23 14:43:00.0


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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Camping Silver Bell, Bar and Queen Family Camp Grounds.
Yes
ICON Cross-country Skiing Maroon Creek Road #125 after winter closure.
Yes
ICON Cold Water Fishing Maroon Lake and Creek. Willow and Crater Lakes.
Yes
ICON Hiking & Walking Maroon, East Maroon and West Maroon Creek Trails. Maroon-Snowmass and Willow Lake Trails.
No
ICON Horseback Riding Maroon, East Maroon and West Maroon Creek Trails. Maroon-Snowmass and Willow Lake Trails.
No
ICON Mountain Climbing Pyramid Peak and the Maroon Bells.
No
ICON Road Biking Maroon Creek Road #125
Yes
ICON Scenic Driving Maroon Creek Road #125
Yes
ICON Ice & Snowcraft Travel Maroon Creek Road #125 after winter closure.
Yes
ICON Snowshoeing Maroon Creek Road #125 after winter closure.
Yes



Related Activities
East Maroon Portal Trailhead - The East Maroon Portal provides access to the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness. The Maroon Creek and East Maroon Trails start from here. Popular destinations include Maroon, and Copper Lakes, as well as East Maroon Pass.

Maroon Creek Area - The Maroon Bells Recreation Area is located southwest of Aspen and is subject to entrance fees. The most photographed peaks in North America, the spectacular Maroon Bells, are the focal point of this area.

Maroon Creek Trail - This trail offers a less crowded alternative to viewing the Maroon Valley. There are good views of the Maroon Bells and Pyramid Peak. This is a good day hike and is also a popular trail for horseback riding.

Maroon Peak - Maroon Peak is one of the peaks within the Maroon Bells grouping. It's elevation is 14,156'.

Pyramid Peak - Pyramid Peak is one of Colorado's most difficult and dangerous fourteen thousand foot summits. No one should attempt this climb without the proper equipment and without advanced mountain climbing skills.

West Maroon Portal Trailhead - The West Maroon Portal provides access to the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness. The Maroon Creek and Maroon-Snowmass Trails start from here.

West Maroon Trail - This trail is one of the most heavily used trails in the Aspen area. Hikers, backpackers and horse travelers enjoy the wildflowers and access to the wilderness areas.



More Information

Visitor Information:

Snowmass Village Resort Association, 38 Village Square, P.O. Box 5566 , Snowmass Village, CO, 81615, Phone: 800-SNOWMASS, info@snowmassvillage.com

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