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Visit Maroon Bells

Aspen, Colorado

Maroon Bells Information

The Maroon Bells, surrounded by pristine National Forest lands, are the most photographed peaks in all of North America. Here you can explore the glacial valley while surrounded by 14,000 - foot peaks. Maroon Lake, surrounded by fields of wildflowers, mirrors images of the Maroon Bells in it's waters.

Maroon Bells has limited accessibility by car but there are bus tours running throughout the day for the summer season. The road is open to all Non-Motorized forms of transportation at no charge. (bicycles, skateboarders, hikers, rollerbladers, etc...). The road up to the Maroon Bells is closed in the winter. You can hike on this road in the winter but it is a 12 mile round trip to make it to the lake. If you want to see the Maroon Bells in the winter time your best bet is to take a snowmobile tour
 

Opening & Closing Dates

Opens:

Now Open. 

Previous Opening Date:

May 15, 2015

May 16, 2014

May 21, 2013

Closes:

Now closed.

Previous Years Closing Date:

November 15, 2014

November 15, 2013

Driving Fees

There is a $10 recreation use fee for driving to the Maroon Bells. If you have these season passes you will not need to pay the fee. The National Parks pass WITH a Golden Eagle Sticker, Golden Access, America the Beautiful and Maroon Bells Passes allow access to the Maroon Bells Scenic Area for the season. The Forest Service staffs the entrance station from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Passes are not valid when the road is restricted to motorized vehicles from 8am - 5pm.

Restricted Times for Driving

Due to the large amount of interest in the Maroon Bells, you can not drive to the Maroon Bells from 8am - 5pm. You must take the bus. See below for exceptions.

Exceptions for Driving

  • From 5:00 pm - 8:00 am the road is open to vehicles with $10 recreation use fee.
  • Vehicles with Handicap placard or license plate.
  • Vehicles with 11 people or more.
  • Vehicles with infants that require a restraining child seat (not a booster seat).
  • People camping at Silver Bar, Silver Bell & Silver Queen Campgrounds.
  • Horse trailers.

Date Exceptions to Driving

  • When the road to the Maroon Bells opens until Mid June when the buses start running.
  • October 5, 2015 - until weather permits you can drive any day of the week.
  • Once the road closes until it opens back up the only way to get to the Maroon Bells is to hike (12 miles round trip, not recommended), or you can take a snowmobile tour.

Parking at the Maroon Bells

There are 35 overnight parking spaces at the Maroon Bells for backpackers. Overnight backpackers are required to use the bus from 8am - 5pm, or until there is no parking in the morning, whichever happens first, and taxis are not allowed 8am - 5pm.  Bear canisters are mandatory for the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness for overnight backpackers. These spots do fill up in the busy season, usually starting in July. You will not be allowed to park in the day use parking area. You may park in the overnight parking for up to 5 days. If you plan to stay longer you will need to park at Highlands and take the bus up or find an alternative way to get the Maroon Bells.

Bus to the Maroon Bells Overview

From either Aspen or Snowmass the easiest way to get to the Maroon Bells is by bus. From Aspen take the Castle/Maroon bus from Rubey Park to Highlands. If you are coming from Snowmass or Downvalley just go directly to Highlands and park for free. At Highlands you will need to buy tickets at Four-Mountain Sports for the bus tour to Maroon Bells. The bus will pick you up right outside Four-Mountain Sports and drive you to the Maroon Bells.

Bus Information

You must catch the bus to the Maroon Bells at Aspen Highlands. Dogs are allowed on the bus. You can drive to Aspen Highlands or take a bus from downtown Aspen to Aspen Highlands. If you have questions regarding the bus service please call RFTA (Roaring Fork Transit Authority) at 970.925.8484.

Aspen Highlands to Maroon Bells

Maroon Bells Bus Tour from Aspen Highlands to the Maroon Bells
Bus Season:June 13 - October 4, 2015 daily
Departure Location:Outside Four-Mountain Sports at the base of Aspen Highlands
Departure Time:

8:00 am to 9:00 am: Every 20 minutes - Express Bus*
9:05 am to 2:00 pm: Every 20 minutes - Regular Bus Service**
2:30 pm to 4:30 pm: On the hour and half hour - Regular Bus Service**

Last Bus departs Maroon Lake Day Use Area at 5:00 pm
*The express service won’t include the verbal description of the valley. 
**Regular bus service, which features a verbal tour of natural features given by the drivers.

2015 Rates:Adults $6; Children 6-16 $4; Seniors $4; Children 5 and under are Free
A $0.50 Forest Service recreation fee is part of the $6 adult and $4 senior RFTA bus fee. This fee goes towards repairs, maintenance, improvements, and education.
Ticket Purchase:Four-Mountain Sports in Aspen Highlands Village
Rubey Park Transit in Aspen
Four-Mountain Sports in Aspen on Durant Street
Where to Park:All vehicles may park for free at Aspen Highlands Village Parking Lot

Downtown Aspen to Aspen Highlands

Castle Ridge / Maroon Bells Bus from Aspen to Aspen Highlands. This bus will get to you the parking lot at Aspen Highlands where you can then catch a bus to the Maroon Bells.
Bus Season:Year Round
Departure Location:Rubey Park, Aspen
Departure Time:Three times every hour, :00 :20 :40
2015 Rates:Free

Map of the Aspen Highlands where you park to catch the bus.


View Larger Map

Last Minute Lodging Specials

The best Last-Minute Lodging Specials in Aspen & Snowmass for arrival within the next week. Don't forget to book your lodging before you visit the Maroon Bells.


Call a local vacation expert at 888.649.5982.

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