Maroon Bells Hotline
Frequently Asked Questions
Getting to Maroon Bells
Q: Where is Maroon Bells?
A: The Maroon Bells is located in the Elk Mountains south of Aspen. The twin peaks are approximately 10 miles from downtown Aspen, 8 miles from the Maroon Bells Basecamp and Aspen Highlands Parking Garage, 6.2 miles from the winter road closure at T-Lazy-7 Ranch, and 5 miles from the Forest Service gate on Maroon Creek Road.
Q: Can you drive to Maroon Bells?
A: Maroon Creek Road typically opens in mid-May, but this opening date is contingent on weather. Personal vehicles are allowed from that date until the Maroon Bells Shuttle begins operating on early June, however, reservations are now required due to minimal parking at the lake. All visitors are required to take the shuttle bus from Aspen Highlands between early June and late October between the hours of 8am and 5pm. Visit the Aspen Resort Chamber Association website for reservations and updated dates on each summer.
Q: Can you visit Maroon Bells in winter?
A: Yes, but it takes more effort than in fall and summer. While Maroon Creek Road is closed to vehicles from late fall until late spring, you can still crosscountry ski, snow bike, snowshoe, hike, or take a snowmobile the 12.4 miles round-trip to access the bells. There is a cross-country ski track along the road as well as a groomed snowmobile track. T-Lazy-7 Ranch offers snowmobile tours to the lake, weather permitting.
Q: When is the road to Maroon Bells open?
A: Maroon Creek Road is open to vehicular traffic late spring until late fall, but reservations are required for parking and to access to Scenic Area. The road is not plowed in winter beginning at T-Lazy-7 Ranch, and will become closed as soon as snow renders the road impassable. Please contact the United States Forest Service to confirm whether the road is open before your trip. 970-925-3445.
Q: How far is Maroon Bells from Denver?
A: The drive from Denver to the shuttle pick up for Maroon Bells (Maroon Bells Basecamp) is 3.5 hours.
Activities at Maroon Bells
Can you camp at Maroon Bells?
There are three small campgrounds along Maroon Creek Road: Silver Bell Campground, Silver Queen Campground and Silver Bar Campground (primitive). All three require advanced reservations, and none offer direct views of Maroon Bells from the campground. Those camping in developed sites in the Maroon Valley must purchase a 5 day vehicle pass ($5 for camping) to drive to their designated campground at the Welcome Station across from the Silver Bar Campground. Campers also need parking reservations if they plan to visit Maroon Lake. Car camping and van camping are not permitted at the Day Use lot or the Overnight Parking lots at Maroon Bells, nor the Aspen Highlands Parking Garage.
When is the best time to hike at Maroon Bells?
The best time to hike in the Maroon Bells area is late July through September when the snow has melted and the temperatures are still optimal. Late June and early July will offer beautiful wildflowers in the high country, while September boasts some of the best fall foliage in the country.
Is the Maroon Bells area dog-friendly?
Dogs are permitted in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, but must be on a leash at all times.
Can you fish at Maroon Bells?
Fishing is allowed at Maroon Lake and along Maroon Creek, but as with all public water in Colorado, a state-issued fishing license is required.
Can you swim at Maroon Bells?
No, swimming is not permitted at Maroon lake.
How high is Maroon Bells?Maroon Lake, where Maroon Creek Road ends, is situated at an elevation of 9,580 feet.
North Maroon Peak rises to 14,019 feet and Maroon Peak rises to 14,163 feet and is the 27th highest summit in Colorado. While North Maroon Peak looks taller when viewed from Maroon Lake, this is an illusion because the peak is simply closer to the lake.
Summer Adventure for Everyone
During summer, snowy slopes are replaced with meadows of wildflowers, and activities shift to mountain biking, hiking, ziplines, ropes courses, family-friendly Sightseeing, and the Breathtaker Alpine Coaster, all concentrated on Snowmass and Aspen Mountain.
Let our lifts whisk you away 11,000 feet into the sky, where you can enjoy incredible views, delicious outdoor dining, and activities for the whole family.
Adventure isn't hard to find at Lost Forest with ziplines, ropes courses, an alpine coaster, miles of hiking trails, fishing, disc golf, a climbing wall, and more.
Snowmass Bike Park
With 25 miles of downhill trails, join us for a free flowing adventure through our high elevation evergreen forests and moderately pitched Aspen tree groves.