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Like said with previous reviews the scenic trail was closed but I had my skates with me so I put those bad boys on and took a few laps around the lake . Be careful there are some soft spots. 11/12/18

Went on 11/10 - scenic trail was closed but the lake is frozen and lots of people out playing hockey. Was fun to watch. Looked like other trails were open but very muddy/snowy. Sign said road will close 11/15

hiking
10 days ago

Excellent trail that is to be experienced in the fall. We were a couple weeks late to do this. However, the snow in the path made it a bit difficult to traverse. Took us 3 hours from car to car including the breaks and photography. Would highly recommend this trail during the fall season.

hiking
13 days ago

We went off season which was October 26th. At this time there is no having to use the shuttle to get up. You need to pay at the entry of the park which is $10 per car. We went about 930a and now issues finding parking. When we got done with the hike around 1p the parking lot was pretty full. We wanted to do an easy hike as my friend just flew in the day before from Minnesota. We were planning to do the easy trail called Maroon Bells scenic trail. This was closed so other only option from that trail was Crater Lake. This was a little more challenging then we were expecting. But it was a great. Lots of rocks and boulders to climb over. There was some areas with snow and ice but not too bad. But all worth as once we got the lake it was huge (though the water was low). Enough room to go by ourselves to have a snack without being next to anyone. Would come back to do this in another season to see all the aspens.

One of the most spectacular experiences one can have, especially in the fall!

Did this trail when the scenic loop was closed. It was steep until the end and snowy and rocky in spots. But for those of us in our party who made it, it’s was great.
The lake was not very full, but the scenery was great and the local birds are friendly!
For the part of our party who couldn’t make it to the top there was an opening with a amazing Mountain View about .75 miles in. A great place to call good enough if u have to.

Amazing little hike. Creaky trees and beautiful path followed by outstanding lake. The path along the lake is impossible to find, but bouldering was fun.

The BEST hike, I did it in July in 3 days and it was the hardest but most fulfilling thing I have ever done in my life.

Get a good water filter, tent, rain gear (a must), the usual. We had to have a beat canister when we went and it was SO heavy, and doesnt get much lighter throughout the trip due to "bring it in bring it out." Next time we will use those bear bag type deals, much lighter and you're still able to rent those.

Its amazing, I am not in the best shape but not in bad shape and it was hard but not discouraging by any means! Have fun!!!

Beautiful views wherever you go! Challenging backpacking!

Amazing trail. Bit rocky, but great!!!!!

on Crater Lake Trail

hiking
1 month ago

At points it feels like endless scrambling through small, loose rocks. We joked that it was like hiking on the moon! Still a fun trail with pretty views at the end (although the views would be better if there was water in the lake!).

Great views, but pretty dull walking across ski fields! Probably good for fitness training.

It’s beautiful but a tourist zoo. Not saying I wasn’t one visiting the bells (from CO) but go before 8 or after 5 so you don’t have to take the bus or pay $8 a person if you already have a npks pass. Have to take the bus even if you have a dog. That was fun.

The bells we’re worth it but also tourists were playing football in front of the lake. Just keep in mind the time you go.

Beautiful views! Went in early October and it was freezing. There was snow and ice on the trail which made it a little more difficult. In the end if you aren’t a master hiker, taking rest stops along the way to take in the sceneries will get you through it.

I’m new to backpacking with this being my second trip ever. My son is an experienced hiker and he is the reason I got into doing these types of trips. We like the ease of hiking loops from a logistical standpoint so when we found this one, it was a no brained that we had to give it a go.

This trail was very difficult for me. I am not in the best physical shape but I am mentally strong which I believe is a good part of being able to successfully complete a hike like this one. There is thin air, cold, rain, hail and tough elevation changes. This can all beat you down if you can’t handle the mental aspect.

We completed the hike in 4 days in early August. Other than the rain on a couple days and the hail coming up over the passes, the weather was ok. I’m not sure there would have been a better time to hike this.

Would I do it again? Not sure. It took my knees a couple of weeks to recover from the beating they took going down the passes. The views were breathtaking and as is usually the case, pictures just don’t do it justice.

Beautiful foliage! Definitely recommend the trail to crater Lake. I hiked with two dogs by myself and do not recommend hiking this narrow trail with two dogs. It was rainy, muddy, and slippery. At crater lake it was sleeting and cold. The lake was not dry as the post from last week said although it was cloudy and views of the mountains were not good..

off road driving
1 month ago

This was a great trail overall. We took it from Crested Butte over to Aspen. It had just rained and had mud puddles everywhere. The SW side of the pass on the CB side is beautiful with lots of wildlife. At the summit coming down towards Aspen, it gets rocky. There are a few obstacles, but it was easy. It took a while to do the whole trail. I will go back.

2015 JKUR lifted and with the right stuff

hiking
1 month ago

Maroon Bells is absolutely breathtaking with the aspen tree fall foliage. This was definitely a moderate hike, it was steep most the way up and very rocky. I recommend good hiking shoes with grip due too many loose and slippery rocks. I had to stop and take a quick breather about 3-4 times on the way up, however, I’m from sea level and have only been in Colorado for 2 months. Took just over an hour out and maybe 30 minutes back. Overall a good hike minus the heavy traffic on a narrow trail along with multiple people blasting music on their cell speakers along the way. If it’s solitude you’re looking for you won’t find it here. Just gorgeous scenery.

It is stunning scenic trail with the foliage. The lake is empty now but the scene does not disappoint

1 month ago

Beautiful scenery. Arrived early to secure a parking spot and a spot by the lake for the sunrise photo. Honestly the photography was much better after the sun was up for a couple hours. Easy hike some running water although the levels are lower due to the dry conditions. The gold and orange aspen trees are a beautiful contrast to the green pines and the grey of the mountains.

August 2009. Amazing beautiful trail

hiking
1 month ago

Definitely recommend continuing the hike beyond Maroon Lake for additional sights. It is a rocky trail with some steeper inclines, and, I will admit, at one point I did get turned around on the trail. The trail is more heavily trafficked once the shuttles start dropping people off at 8:00AM. Even though Crater Lake was dry when I went, the autumn colors were fantastic!

This is a very popular photography interest point. I had researched ahead of time, and new to arrive very early. I arrived at the park at a bit after 6:30AM on a Tuesday morning, and I'm pretty sure I was able to secure one of the last available parking spots. After 8:00AM, it is required that you take a shuttle. The walk to the lake is very easy, mostly paved, and was very crowded at sunrise with photographers, who left shortly thereafter. I went in autumn, so the colors were amazing against the backdrop of the mountains, though it was a dry year, so the lake was a bit dehydrated. I'll give this trail a higher rating only because of the views, but I highly recommend continuing the hike to Crater Lake after.

camping
1 month ago

It is difficult getting up there and easy coming back. The Lake is dry currently.

Nice easy hike up to Crater Lake. The lake is dry but amazing colors of the Aspens all the way up.

hiking
1 month ago

I did this hike a week ago with my friend and our two dogs, a Lab and a Sheppard. We got started shortly after the sun came upon the Bells, mostly to start the hike before the trail got too crowded (it was a Monday) it was so beautiful with most of the aspens in full color. Our dogs did fine on the terrain and yes, some parts were very rocky but wasn’t an issue for any of us. We got to Crater Lake which we knew was dry, but it was a nice spot to sit for a bit and have some snacks before heading back. We encountered ALOT more people coming up the trail, especially as we were almost at the end. Good move on our part to start early. Would have given 5 stars if the lake wasn’t dry

I've walked this trail a dozen times. No way is it a moderate trail. Very easy. Very beautiful, especially in fall when the aspens are turning color.

I am a professional photographer and decided I would go and see what all the hoopla is about with regard to this iconic location. The trailhead and parking is incredibly busy I was surprised at how many photographers were on site trying to photograph the sunrise at Maroon Bells. I've seen so many other awesome sites in this country, honestly, I wasn't impressed with this Trailhead or the scenery other than the beautiful Aspen's on the drive out. If you plan to photograph sunrise at Maroon Bells particularly in the fall, I would recommend that you are at the trailhead no later than 4:30 a.m. We arrived at 5 a.m. and we're on the verge of not being able to find a parking spot. I will say I don't think I'd go again. It just wasn't as spectacular as everybody talks about it being. while we were driving and it was Pitch Black. However the exit provided stunning scenery. I will say that that was worth the effort more so than the photography of the lake.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful! Definitely a heavily trafficked trail. While there was no water in the lake, we knew that ahead of time. The trees are GORGEOUS right now. Moderate is a very accurate description for this trail. We plan to do this trail again after it opens next year!

At 530am, I was stopped by the rangers and told that the overnight parking was full. They directed me to park at Aspen Highlands. On Saturday and Sunday, parking at Aspen Highlands Parking lot is: 0-3 hours $10, 3-8 hours $15, 8+hours $25.

Long line to buy bus tickets to trailhead. Would recommend buying them the night before to skip the ticket line. I did see some call the local taxi because they didn’t want to wait until 7am for the ticket office to open. I called the taxi service and was told they were completely booked until 7am. There is also another line for the buses.

The Aspens are a gorgeous mixture of green, yellow, and orange right now! Crater Lake is completely dry and you can walk around where it would be filled. As soon as the sun comes out, the temp rises. Dress in layers. It was 35 degrees at 5am and warmed up to 72 degrees by 10am.

I hiked with my husky. It’s rocky, but not harsh enough for little dog booties for a medium or large dog. After reading a few reviews mentioning the harsh terrain, I got booties for my dog. I took them off her after 0.5 mile. Not necessary unless you have a small dog. Most small dogs were carried.

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