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Colorado > Aspen Ranger District > Maroon Creek Area
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Maroon Bells Recreation Area

Silver Bell Campground Silver Bell Campground Silver Queen Campground East Maroon Portal West Maroon Portal Aspen Highlands Ski Area Conundrum Creek Trail Pyramid Peak North Maroon Peak Maroon Peak Castle Peak Maroon Creek Road Castle Creek Road ImageMap - turn on images!!!

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General Information

Maroon Bells reflected in Maroon Lake in the early morning
Copyright: Marshall Hall - Interactive Outdoors, Inc.
Maroon Bells reflected in Maroon Lake in the early morning
Description - The Maroon Bells are some of the most spectacular mountains in Colorado. Soaring over 14,000 feet in elevation, the symmetrical summits are perfectly framed by the valley. Maroon Lake acts as a reflective pond on windless days.

The wildflowers are perfuse and peak in late July to mid August. Abundant wildlife inhabits the area, much of which has been set aside as the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness.

The Bells are well known and attract crowds. From mid June through September Maroon Creek Road is closed to automobile traffic from 8:30 a.m. unit 5:00 p.m. You will need to catch a shuttle bus from the Aspen Highlands Bus Terminal (located on Maroon Creek Road at the base of the ski area) which includes an informative guided tour of the valley. If you are in Aspen, you can ride the Castle/Maroon Bus from Ruby Park to Aspen Highlands and transfer to the Maroon Bells Bus. Contact the Roaring Fork Transit Agency at 970-925-8484 for more information.

Attractions - The scenic drive up Maroon Creek Road and Maroon Lake, which is located at the end of the road, are the most popular attractions in this area. Numerous trails lead from the East and West Maroon Trail Portals into the spectacular Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness. Several spectacular but dangerous to climb 14,000 foot peaks ( Pyramid, North Maroon and South Maroon Peaks) are found in this area.

Recreation - Some of the recreation opportunities available in this area include hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, camping, fishing, picnicking, viewing scenery and mountain climbing.

Climate - In the valley bottoms, summer high temperatures extend into the 70's and mid 80s, with cool evenings that can often dip into the 30s. Winter lows occasionally dip to minus 30 degrees, though daytime temperatures are often in the 20s to 30s. The relative humidity is quite low throughout the year. Much of the area and its recreation facilities lie at higher elevations where significantly lower temperatures and more precipitation can be expected. Afternoon summer thunderstorms are common. Snow is possible at any time of year in the highest elevations. The high elevation roads and trails are often not clear of snow until mid-July.

Location - This area is located southwest of Aspen and is accessed by Maroon Creek Road. The road is closed during the day to automobile traffic and access is provided by shuttle bus.

Directions from Aspen: Drive 1/2 mile west of Aspen on Highway 82. Turn onto Maroon Creek Road at the roundabout. 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.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
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Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: On 1st of July, took the West Maroon Creek Trail past Crater Lake to point of where we had to cross the river. Footing on trail was difficult but scenery was great. Crossing river was a challenge but our group of 5 found a beautiful campsite on the east side of the river just north of the crossing. We spent 3 beautiful days there and the weather was great - not even a hint of rain. Had a few visitors at our site including a deer and porcupine that were very tame. We put down a couple of logs to go over the river at our site -so if anyone who takes the same trail as us from either the north or south should look for our logs north of the river crossing.

Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Backpacking Maroon Bells - Snowmass Wilderness Area
ICON Camping Maroon Creek General Forest Area
ICON RV Camping Maroon Creek General Forest Area
ICON Cross-country Skiing Maroon Creek General Forest Area
ICON Automobile Travel Maroon Creek Road, Brush Creek Road, Owl Creek Road
ICON Fishing Maroon Creek General Forest Area
ICON Group Picnicking Maroon Creek General Forest Area
ICON Hiking & Walking Maroon Creek General Forest Area
ICON Horseback Riding Maroon Creek General Forest Area
ICON Wildflower Identification Maroon Creek General Forest Area
ICON Mountain Biking Maroon Creek General Forest Area
ICON Backcountry Skiing Maroon Creek General Forest Area
ICON Snowmobiling Maroon Creek General Forest Area

More Information

Additional Information:
Aspen Area - Aspen sits at the upper end of the scenic Roaring Fork Valley, in the mountains of west-central Colorado. Aspen is a world-class ski resort, and with its mountain setting, a center for endless other outdoor recreation activities.
Aspen Ranger District - The Aspen Ranger District surrounds the resort town of Aspen, at the upper end of the Roaring Fork River Valley. It encompasses some spectacular mountain terrain in the Elk Mountains, and Sawatch Range.

Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers - Volunteer Opportunities in This Area


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