The best views occur as you travel up the valley. For a more relaxing hike, start at Maroon Lake and hike down valley. During the summer, plan on taking the shuttle bus from Aspen which includes a very informative guided tour.
From the East Maroon Portal (8,709 ft), cross the bridge and bare right up the valley. At the trail junction with the East Maroon Trail, bear right and continue on to Maroon Lake (9,580 ft). An easy 3 1/2 miles one way. The trail receives moderate use.
From the west end of the Maroon Lake parking area pick up the trail by crossing the bridge. Bare left and follow the trail down valley. In about a mile, you will come to a bridge on the left. Continue straight ahead. At the junction with the East Maroon Creek Trail, keep left and continue down valley until you come to the bridge at the East Maroon Portal. To catch the bus back to Aspen, continue past the parking area to Maroon Creek road and flag down the bus.
Maroon Creek Trail is within the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, so please educate yourself about Wilderness Ethics and Rules.
Directions from Aspen: Drive 1/2 mile west of Aspen on Highway 82 and turn left onto Maroon Creek Road at the roundabout. Keep right and continue 6 1/2 miles to the East Maroon Portal (to hike up valley) or 9 1/2 miles to the Maroon Lake Parking Area (to hike down valley).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.
Normal Summer Season:
Mid-June through September
(NOTE: Due to the very heavy use of the area, Maroon Creek Road is closed from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Visitors must catch a shuttle bus from the Ruby Park Transit Center in Aspen.)
Best Fall Colors:
Mid-September through Early October
(NOTE: The Fall colors are spectacular during the month of September. Call ahead to determine when the colors are at their peak for the year.)