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Often referred to as the most photographed peaks in North America, the Maroon Bells are an extraordinary destination not to be missed during a visit to Snowmass Village, Colorado. The most convenient and eco-friendly ways to see the Maroon Bells is via shuttle bus from Aspen Highlands or by bike. If you choose to drive, advanced parking reservations are required.
There are three ways to visit the Maroon Bells:
1) Take a RFTA shuttle bus from Aspen Highlands.
2) Drive & Park at the Maroon Bells
Biking to the Maroon Bells is an iconic Colorado ride, both beautiful and challenging. Cyclists can ride Maroon Creek Road, approximately 8 miles and 1,600 vertical feet up to the Maroon Bells. The ride takes approximately 1-1.5 hours up and 35-45 minutes down. Because Maroon Creek Road is closed to most vehicles between the hours of 8:00 am and 5:00 pm, the road is relatively clear for cyclists. Please ride safely and be aware of your surroundings. For details on the Maroon Bells ride, visit BikeSnowmass.com.
Cyclists headed to the Maroon Bells from Snowmass can choose to ride to Highlands, or transport their bike to Highlands using the bus system (see “Getting to Aspen Highlands by Bus” below). Village Shuttle and RFTA buses are equipped with bike racks, and RFTA buses charge a $2 fare for bikes.
*Please note, especially during popular fall foliage season (starting mid-September), parking at Aspen Highlands is expected to be full. Free overflow parking can be found at the Buttermilk Ski Area, and free RFTA shuttles will transport passengers from Buttermilk to Aspen Highlands.
From Snowmass, take a free Village Shuttle to the Intercept Lot/Hwy 82 and transfer to a free RFTA bus towards Aspen. There are bus stops throughout Snowmass, including the Snowmass Mall, Base Village, and Town Park Station. You can transfer to the Castle Maroon bus at either the Maroon Creek stop (at the Aspen roundabout) or at Aspen’s Rubey Park Transit Center. Castle Maroon buses leave Rubey Park at :00, :20 and :40 throughout the day. For more information on RFTA bus service, contact the Roaring Fork Transit Authority at (970) 925-8484.
New for summer 2021, backpackers and hikers can get a shuttle ride down from Maroon Lake on the RFTA bus. Advance reservations are required and cost $10 for a one-way ticket.
When heading to the Maroon Bells, it is recommended to bring sunscreen, a warm layer and/or rain jacket, comfortable walking/hiking shoes, water, snacks and, of course, a camera! (These are the most photographed peaks in North America, after all.) Keep in the mind, the weather can change quickly in the high alpine. While you’re there, you can enjoy the view from Maroon Lake or hike around the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Area (click here for recommended trails). A picnic near the lake is a popular activity. There are public restrooms and water fountains at the scenic area, but no other services.
Pro Tip #1: If your travel plans are flexible, the best time to explore the Maroon Bells is mid-week.
Pro tip #2: Sightseeing Package – Package your Maroon Bells bus ticket with gondola rides, lunch credits, and other discounts. Click here to learn more.
For more information about the Maroon Bells Scenic Area, please click here.