Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness

Located in the White River and Gunnison National Forests in Colorado.

The spectacular Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness encompasses more than 174,000 acres on the White River and Gunnison National Forests. Elevations within the wilderness range from 9,000 to over 14,000 feet. Over 100 miles of constructed trails are available for both foot and horse travel through sometimes rugged terrain.

Not enough words are available to describe the beauty of this area. Panoramic high passes, beautiful alpine lakes, quaking aspen groves, meadows sprinkled with wildflowers and jagged peaks greet visitors to this area. This is not the wilderness to visit if you are seeking solitude. Large numbers of visitors are drawn to the beauty of this area. Many come to traverse some of Colorado's best-loved mountain passes, among them Avalanche Pass, Buckskin Pass, and Electric Pass. By far the most popular area in the wilderness, however, is Maroon Lake. Visitors to the Lake are treated to views of the twin peaks of the Maroon Bells reflected in the waters of Maroon Lake. Maroon Lake is set in a beautiful U-shaped alpine valley which is sprinkled with wildflowers. This is probably one of the most photographed spots in all of Colorado!

The popularity of the Maroon Lakes area has forced the forest service to restrict vehicle traffic up to the Lake during most of the summer. The buses run from Memorial Day until Labor Day, daily. The first bus leaves Aspen at 8:30 am and the last bus leaves Maroon Lake at 5:00 PM. The last bus from Aspen leaves at 4:30 pm. Bus information can be obtained by calling the Roaring Fork Transit Agency at 970-925-8484, or the Aspen Ranger Station at 970-925-3445. The cost is $5 per person (round trip); and $3 for children under 16 and seniors (over 62). From Labor Day until the end of October (or when the road is closed by snow/landslides), buses run on weekends. On weekdays during this period, visitors can drive to the lake. Visitors seeking a greater degree of solitude are strongly advised to visit the Bells after labor day or during week days at the height of the summer.

For more information contact: The White River or Gunnison National Forests

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 26 Jul 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication



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