Colorado offers hundreds of camping, hiking, and mountain climbing locations ranging from primitive and secluded to purely touristy. Maroon Bells is a popular summer attraction and you’ll meet lots of people, but you all have something in common, and your shared desire to revel in the splendor of mountain peaks, lakes, streams, and wildlife will add an exciting dimension of human connection.
The Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness contains some of the most beautiful and diverse mountain passes in the state. This Wilderness area covers over 174,000 acres, and contains both the White River and Gunnison National Forests.
Over 100 miles of trails cover the area, and elevations here range from around 9,000 feet to 14,000 feet, meaning you should take precautions for high elevation hiking. Alpine lakes, panoramic views of the wilderness, and aspen groves can all be found in this wilderness area because of its high elevation.
The most popular access to Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, which totals more than 174,000 acres in two national forests, White River and Gunnison, ascends from the popular ski resort of Aspen, Colorado. Motorized travel from Aspen to Maroon Lake is restricted, and you’ll want to check the times and exceptions.
A convenient bus makes regular trips up the valley to the lake for a nominal fee, thus attempting to curtail traffic and pollution. Bus drivers provide an interesting and entertaining tour dialog for the short drive. The trip up the road is free of charge for non-motorized travel including biking and hiking.