Maroon Bells bus begins service June 9, 2018 and ends October 8, 2018.
One of the must-see destinations while in the Snowmass area is the Maroon Bells Recreation Area. Magnificent bell-shaped peaks rise to over 14,000 feet and tower over Maroon Lake, casting a stunning reflection that draws photographers from all over the world. Visitors can snap photos of the famous mountain-lake reflection, check out an interpretive center, stroll around the lake, picnic, or set out on longer hikes up to places like Crater Lake. Even road bikers can enjoy the ride up or down the gently sloped Maroon Creek Road.
What is the best way to get to the Maroon Bells? By bus, in 4 easy steps.
Step #1: Find a RFTA bus stop. RFTA bus stops can be found at the Snowmass Mall, along Carriage Way, or along Brush Creek Road.
Step #2: RFTA buses depart Snowmass every fifteen minutes for Aspen. Once on the RFTA bus, riders then transfer at the Intercept Lot where Aspen-bound buses stop on the hour and half hour.
Step #3: Riders can either continue into Aspen and catch the Castle Maroon bus every 20 minutes from Rubey Park or get off before Aspen at the roundabout bus stop (ask the driver if needed) and catch the Castle Maroon bus that stops there every 20 minutes. You will arrive at the Aspen Highlands Transportation Center, as this is the last stop.
Step #4: Go inside the building and buy a Maroon Bells shuttle ticket ($8), then hop on the bus once it arrives!
All buses are free except the final Maroon Bells shuttle that departs from Aspen Highlands for the Maroon Bells Recreation Area. For more information on bus service, contact the Roaring Fork Transit Authority at (970) 925-8484.
Pro Tip: If your travel plans are flexible, the best time to explore the Maroon Bells is mid-week.
Directions from Snowmass by bike
It is possible to bike to the Maroon Bells or use bus service part of the way to visit the Maroon Bells from Snowmass Village. This is a beautiful ride, on the way up, back down or both!
*By bike & bus: Riders may put a bike on the RFTA bus heading to Aspen for a $2 fare. Riders must switch at the Intercept lot and catch the Aspen-bound bus at the roundabout stop or ride into Aspen and catch the Castle Maroon bus to Aspen Highlands. From there, you can ride up to the Maroon Bells or catch the Maroon Bells Shuttle which can transport bikes to the top. From the top, it’s a scenic gentle ride back downhill.
*By bike: For directions on travelling to the Maroon Bells entirely by bike, click here.
Directions from Snowmass by car
We recommend visiting the Bells by bus, but should you choose to drive your own car before 8am and after 5pm, be prepared to pay a $10 per vehicle fee, cash or check only. Please be aware, the road is subject to closure at any time due to overcrowding.
Take Maroon Creek Road from the roundabout on HWY 82 just outside of Aspen heading west. If you drive up to the Bells prior to 8am you will be able to use your car on the road to return to town. Once past the Welcome Center, you would not be able to access the Maroon Bells again until after 5pm.
Leaf peepers visiting on peak foliage weekends in late September/ early October should plan for the road to be closed due to overcrowding, using the following plan in place:
Peak weekends in September, (9/15-9/16. 9/22-9/23, 9/29-9/30) when parking is expected to be full at the Scenic Area as well as at the Highlands parking lot due to fall foliage viewing, the Buttermilk lot will provide free, overflow parking. RFTA buses will shuttle passengers for free from the Buttermilk Ski area to Aspen Highlands to catch the Maroon Bells buses.