As resident of Colorado for the last few years, I do a lot of hiking in the beautiful Colorado Rockies. Each time I research “beautiful hikes” or “great hikes” or even “bucket list hikes” the Maroon Bells in Aspen, Colorado appear.
The Maroon Bells are a major tourist attraction: spring, summer, fall, and winter. I used to think to myself why would I want to go where everyone goes? However, the Maroon Bells quickly became a destination on my Colorado Bucket List.
Camping Around The Maroon Bells
Arriving in Aspen with no plans on where to camp was an adventure. We had a tent in the car, some sleeping bags, and a grill but that was all we really planned ahead with. Thankfully, Aspen has plenty of campgrounds to offer.
If you’re looking to camp within the Maroon Bells, there are a few options: Silver Bar, Silver Bell, Maroon Creek, and Silver Queen. We came to realize that these campgrounds fill up quickly. The campgrounds that allow reservations are reserved for the season almost immediately. Walk-in spaces that are first-come first-serve are full by early morning. Unfortunately for us, we did not prepare for no vacancy.
Camping options outside of the Maroon Bells, are also available: Difficult, Weller, Lincoln Creek, Lincoln Creek Dispersed (primitive), Lincoln Gulch, and Upper Grottos. However, be aware reservations book just as quickly. In our experience of arriving around 1:00pm, the campgrounds had no vacancy. Driving a jeep we are blessed with the ability to drive on unmaintained dirt roads, but it is not for everyone. In the Lincoln Creek Dispersed Campground, we managed to find THE LAST SPOT available after driving about 30+ minutes deep into the mountains.
The Most Photographed Place in Colorado
The Maroon Bells are the most photographed place in Colorado. I knew the view was going to be pretty, but the experience was life changing. Between my boyfriend and myself, we took over 150+ pictures during a 5 hour adventure. You are surrounded by massive mountains in every direction. The Maroon Bells Lake has a picturesque reflection that captures the maroon colors of the mountains perfectly. When I say the view is life changing, I mean it.
Hiking around the Maroon Bells is just as amazing; including options for everyone. The Maroon Bells Lake is a short walk from the bus stop and includes an option of about a 1 mile hike around the lake. The views are spectacular and you are able to capture the picturesque “most photographed” reflection for your next holiday card (because yes, it really is that breathtaking). For more adventurous hikers, a 3-mile hike to Crater Lake brings you to the base of the Maroon Bells Mountains. The views are massively beautiful offering life changing tranquility and peace.
Hey, you might even feel up for a short meditation practice.
Additional Useful Tips
As the most photographed place in Colorado, you expect the Maroon Bells to be busy with tourists. If you are one of the first vehicles to arrive, you will have the luxury of parking in one of the small parking lots near the Maroon Bells Lake. However, if you arrive later in the morning like we did, you will have to utilize the bus for transportation.
If you are among the many who will utilize the bus, be prepared to add about an hour to your trip. Parking is available at a cost, and the purchase of a ticket is also required for each person. Find more information here. The bus ride is quite informational providing details on the history of the Maroon Bells, the change of the seasons, and wildlife. The proceeds also go towards maintaining the site, so it is for a good cause. Once you arrive at the Maroon Bells, you’ll understand how priceless the view really is.
Make sure to add this experience to your travel bucket list if you have not yet experienced the Maroon Bells. A life changing experience is only a trip away and I hope each and every one of you will have the opportunity to view the beautiful, Maroon Bells in Aspen, Colorado.
Comment below if you have been to the Maroon Bells and share your life changing experience!