Explore maroon bells - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Same view the whole time as you walk up, but beautiful! Conditions in early January weren’t bad, didn’t have anything technical on.

Great trail with great views, but lake was almost completely dried up during August 2018. Other than that it was great!

Meh. You’re basically walking through people backyards for the first couple miles along a pretty stream. Don’t get me wrong, the scenery is beautiful and all that but I wouldn’t necessarily do this trail again. We did turn around before reaching the top, so didn’t get to see the view, which may have changed how I felt about the hike.

Beautiful hike! Easy! Great views!!!

Top 3 best hikes of my life, (1st being Kalalau trail and 2nd being grand Tetons valley). Beyond spectacular for photography enthusiasts, simple walk in the park with beauty worth capturing in every angle. Continue to crater lake after this short hike and your day will be filled the magic✨

Beautiful views, lots of people, easy hike.

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
2 months 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
2 months 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.

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked 10/27/2018. Did not meet anyone else on the trail today. Snow on the road to the trailhead but still accessible via 4WD SUV (nothing dicey yet, but slow going). Just like the last post, I did not have spikes or snow shoes. Took one hour to the lake and almost as long on the return due to snow. Had poles which helped. Gorgeous area and great for a short dayhike.

hiking
3 months ago

Short day hike with incredible views! We saw three other people our entire time hiking, so if you're looking to get away from the crowds you'll definitely enjoy this hike!
The road to the trailhead may be inaccessible due to snow, so that's something to consider if you are planning on hiking this during the winter. If the road is inaccessible due to snow, it may tack on an extra 3-4 miles one way.
When we went, the road had a good bit of snow on it, but nothing a Subaru couldn't handle. The snow made the hike a lot harder than it normally is. We did the hike without YakTrax/Micro Spikes or Snow Shoes, but I'd definitely recommend them due to sections of steep rocky terrain that we found difficult to grip in snowy/icy conditions.

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

Round trip about 2.5 hours. Beautiful view at the top and the waterfall was amazing. As of today, no snow or slippery areas. Parking was easy too!

on Crater Lake Trail

hiking
3 months 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!).

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.

Went leaf peeping with my fiancée and 2 year old son, we did the 3.5 mile hike down from the lake. Perfect day to see the top of the Bells from where the shuttle drops you off. We were maybe a week too late for the best leaf colors but the aspens were still a stunning golden color. First part of the hike had a lot of rock slides so it took our kiddo forever to navigate but we were in no rush and enjoyed the different scenery along the way. (He finally had enough scrambling and let us pack him in the Kelty, we made great time from there...) Muddy from moisture that morning and horse droppings along the way but no complaints here. You can choose to turn around to hike back up or just meet up with the road at the end of the 3.5 miles and the shuttle will stop for you and take you back to the parking lot. We will be doing the more difficult hikes next year when our son can handle it better. Five stars no doubt.

Wonderful hike! Took my 60 year old parents on this and they loved it. It is very steep for the last half mile, but otherwise a very gradual income. Being a jacket for the lake, the wind has quite the chill. Perfect amount of sun and forested shade on the way up.

hiking
3 months ago

Short but sweet! A real gem!

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..

3 months ago

I found this to be pretty steep and not 'easy'. Easy is a flat Trail around a lake. It is somewhere between easy and moderate only because it is a packed dirt road and not a narrow uneven trail with switchbacks. Even living at 8000 feet for a year, I still was out of breath and stopped frequently. people visiting from the lowlands had a hard time. Just beware, it's not as easy as described

One of our favorite hikes! So beautiful and lush in the way up, with excellent views of Aspen and the mountains behind on the way down. This is one we repeat every time we're in town.

The three seniors in my group, 79, 83, 83, found this trail very difficult. I used the elevation readings from my iPhone to calculate an elevation gain of 1,080 feet.

enjoyed this hike however, be aware the trail around the lake can be difficult to keep track of.

hiking
3 months 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.

Great hike for beginner backpackers staying the night. Great spots on the entire south side of the lake. Found a spot that was fenced in by trees to camp with a nice fire ring. Great for teaching a pup off leash. Weather was incredible

Great day. Almost no other people. Did 5.3 mile up and back.

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