Since last weeks post was about Aspen I thought I would write about Maroon Bells and our hike to Crater Lake near Aspen. This hike dates back to August 2016 but it is a classic. I originally wrote about this hike in my post from June 2019 titled My Favorite Colorado Road Trip.
What and Where are Maroon Bells?
Maroon Bells are located about 10 miles west of Aspen Colorado off of Hwy 82 on Maroon Creek Road. Located in the Elk Mountain Range, these majestic peaks, named Maroon Peak and North Maroon Peak, tower over Maroon Lake and are considered the most photographed peaks in Colorado. Both peaks are fourteeners and reflect beautifully in the lake.
Getting to Maroon Bells
In the summer, between 8 and 5 you can only reach Maroon Bells by bus, as I understand it, this is to reduce the traffic at this popular and scenic area Before or after you can drive in on your own. For more information you can click here.
Maroon Bells was just as grand as I remembered! The peaks towering over the reflective pool is nature’s beauty at it’s best! Steve was just as awed as I was. I can’t begin to describe the feeling of peace and serenity I had just being here.
Hike to Crater Lake
We wanted to see more of this area so we decided to hike to Crater Lake. This 3.6 mile round trip is an out and back hike up a rocky path. Much to our surprise and delight, just after we started our hike there were Moose! They were at the far end of the lake and munching on foliage! We were excited to see them but Moose can be very mean and also dangerous. Because of this, the rangers there kept everyone at a safe distance and after a picture or two we headed up the path. Pretty amazing!
In addition to seeing moose, the hike to Crater Lake was beautiful. The ascending path was rocky at times but not difficult. We hiked through a beautiful aspen forest and also a meadow scattered wildflowers. All in all, a very pretty hike. In addition, we could see the Maroon Bells peaking out and getting closer.
When we arrived to Crater Lake, it was similar to the lake at Maroon Bells but smaller. The peaks from Maroon Bells were much closer and also more majestic.
We loved Maroon Bells and also the hike to Crater Lake. Definitely one of Colorado’s Gems. If you are in Aspen and also have the time, this is one of those must see places which you will never forget.