Updated: Jul 29, 2019
Maroon Bells is one of the most beautiful places in the country. If you’ve never been, it is 100 percent worth the trip to the Aspen area to visit this incredible scenery. My husband and I have been going back to Maroon Bells every year for the past six years. We’ve gone hiking, camping, picnicking… we even got married there! No matter what experience you’re after, here are a few tips to consider before visiting.
Go for sunrise! It’s definitely worth the early alarm. Once you’re there, expect to see a couple dozen people lining the lake ready to take some beautiful photos. Show up with enough time to grab a parking spot. There is overflow parking though, just in case.
Before 8 a.m. and after 5 p.m. you can drive up to the parking lot by Maroon Lake for a $10 vehicle fee. Be careful driving up and down this road. There are many bikers and you want to provide them enough space.
Between the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., you have to take a shuttle bus from the Aspen Highlands Visitor Center. You can learn more about that here.
Pack a picnic or make plans to grill out. There are several picnic tables and grills just off the parking lot by the creek. Snag a table and enjoy the afternoon!
Crater Lake is a short 3.6 mile round trip hike from Maroon Lake. This trail will lead you to another beautiful lake and the hike itself takes you through the Aspen trees. It’s a fairly easy hike that is family-friendly too.
Camping books out well in advance, but if you show up the same day at 11a.m., they often have first-come first-serve spots available. However, if you know in advance the dates you plan to stay, I recommend booking a campsite.
Lastly, take your time here! Don’t rush this experience.
If you make it to Maroon Bells, tell me what you think and if you have any questions I’m happy to answer those for you. Safe travels!