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. Guests can view the Maroon Bells from the top of the Elk Camp Chairlift, serviced by the Elk Camp Gondola in Snowmass, starting June 21.
For the more traditional view, summer 2022 requires advanced reservations for the RFTA shuttle bus from Aspen Highlands (May 27-October 16). Limited day-of tickets may be available. Shuttle tickets for summer 2022 are $16 for adults and $10 for seniors and kids 12 and under. Guests can also drive and park at the Maroon Bells with a parking reservation from May 15-October 31. When the shuttle service is operating, parking reservations are available for evening, whole-day, or overnight. Parking reservations are $10. Returning for summer 2022, private vehicles are allowed to drop off passengers between 6:00am and 8:00am without a parking reservation; however, visitors, backpackers, and hikers who are dropped off during this time will need a one-way ticket to ride the shuttle down to Aspen Highlands after 8:00am. Advanced reservations are required for all one-way downhill travel and cost $10.
From Snowmass, take Brush Creek Road or Owl Creek Road toward Hwy 82, and turn right (east) on Hwy 82. At the Aspen roundabout, take Maroon Creek Road (first exit) and continue past Aspen Highlands towards the Welcome Center and Maroon Bells parking area.
Parking reservations are required. Click here to make reservations. When the shuttle service is operating (June 7 -October 17), parking reservations are available for half-day, whole-day, or overnight. New for summer 2021, private vehicles are allowed to drop off passengers between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. without a parking reservation; however, visitors who are dropped off during this time will need a one-way ticket to ride the shuttle down to Aspen Highlands after 8 a.m. Commercial drop-offs are not allowed at any time.
Parking reservations cost: $10
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.
Private Shuttle During Early Morning and Evening Hours
Private transportation is available from 6 – 7:45am and 5-8pm via Blazing Adventures. Click here for more information.
*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.
Getting to Aspen Highlands By Bus
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. For more information on RFTA bus service, contact the Roaring Fork Transit Authority at (970) 925-8484.
Backpacking or Hiking from Crested Butte?
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. Camping permits can be reserved here.
What to Pack
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.
For more information about the Maroon Bells Scenic Area, please click here.