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Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness in Colorado spans 181,535-acres (734.65 km2) within the White River National Forest and Gunnison National Forest. It features the Elk Mountains, Conundrum Hot Springs, Maroon Lake, and many other popular outdoor destinations. The wilderness is named after two of the most popular peaks Maroon Bells and Snowmass Peak. In this scenic area you will find extensive hiking trails, the aspen highlands, and opportunities to ski. You can view beautiful fall colors, and swim in numerous alpine lakes, or backpack through aspen groves in the rocky mountains. Please note that Bear Canisters are REQUIRED while backpacking in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness. Permits are required for overnight stays at Conundrum Hot Springs.

Fantastic vista views on this hike. There is still snow on upper half of the trail. Good shoes are helpful. Bring your trek poles if you have them.

on Crater Lake Trail

2 days ago

Great hike. A bit icy in places above 10k fasl, but with sensible hiking shoes quite manageable.

Still a lot of snow after Crater Lake. It'd be decent with snowshoes, postholed without. Hard to find trail at times but manageable. Beautiful trail and amazing views.

27 days ago

Lots of people- but so so pretty!!

Road is not open 6 miles from the trail :( snowmobile renting was close to $200/pp. We went back into town to rent mountain bikes from UTE City Cycles who were super great, $75/half day. Unfortunately the snow was in such powder/slush conditions even their snow mountain bikes couldn’t make traction. We ended up biking up 2mi, walking/attempting bike for another 2mi, before realizing we should’ve brought more water and food. Luckily slush was good enough downhill to ride about 3 of the 4 miles back. Even the cross country skiers were unimpressed with the snow conditions! Hope this helps someone!!!

They never warned me that I couldn’t drive to the beginning of the hike . We walked 4 miles on the road and until turning around after a nice guy on his snowmobile told us we wouldn’t even be able to see it today because of the clouds. Bummer, it looks beautiful.

One of my favorite hikes ❤️❤️

3 months ago

I walk every day with my dog around local parks at home in Ohio. This was what I would call my first true hiking experience. It was a little difficult maneuvering through the rocks, and my family and I had only brought tennis shoes. However the difficulty was all worth it! Every step of the way you could turn in any direction and the views would take your breath away! There was one scary area with a very steep drop off of all rocks, I just tried to keep my eyes on the other side. The pay off at the end was a gorgeous peaceful lake. We went on a cool, foggy morning, but I honestly can’t imagine it being any more beautiful than it was. Be sure and go early so you can drive and park your car right at the park, and take some stunning pictures of Maroon Bells Lake and mountains before you begin.

10/10. Loved every step of this trail. I suggest counter clockwise. The climb up trail raider from clockwise direction looked miserable. Glad I was going down!

3 months ago


3 months ago

Use the 14ers website for this peak and don't go without previous experience on 14ers.

worth seeing and hiking up past the bells! (Did in August 2017)

Second time on this loop in September with friends. Campsites were crowded around Snowmass Lake. Pics from the trip:

First backpacking trip this past September and fell in love! Elevation was no joke but a little bit of training beforehand and you’ll be alright. Views are amazing!

This trail was difficult because of all the rocks and it gets very slippery. A man in a group ahead of us slipped and fell and lost his life so I can't urge you enough to use caution on this trail as it is dangerous and doesn't take much to get hurt. It does get extremely crowded so start out before 8am if you can. Once you reach the lake it is very peaceful and beautiful. Just hiked yesterday but the lake was very low.

5 months ago

Lots of animal tracks. No people.

Road closed not due to snow. It is blocked with pile of dirt.

5 months ago

At the peak, you get a clear view of the Maroon Bells, along with a panoramic view of 14ers and 13ers. Probably my favorite hike so far!

Spikes were helpful second half of the trail. Had the lake to ourself early on a Saturday morning. Beautiful views!

My girlfriend and I completed this trail in 4 days in early July, 2017. It was her first backpacking experience. Much of the trail was still covered with snow pack, we used crampons on a couple traverses and used ice axes to glissade down from two of the passes. We were hoping to summit Snowmass Mountain, but decided it was too much for a first time backpacker. The only bugs we encountered were immediately surrounding Snowmass lake. We saw no traces of bear. There were not many people on the trail when we were there, probably due to the amount of snow pack. Water was abundant and we never carried more than 2 quarts each. A few of the creeks were tough to cross without getting our feet wet, so I would recommend bringing sandals for the trip. The trip could easily be done in 3 full days, but add a fourth if you make a Snowmass Mountain summit attempt.

6 months ago

Hiked it on 11/03/17. Washington Gulch road was muddy and packed snow, but made it to the top ok.
A few inches of snow on the trail most of the way. Impossible to see trail if not for previous person's tracks, which stopped near the end of the forest. Up the ridge, it was entirely uncharted, and the snow drifts sometimes rose as high as 15 inches. Snowshoes would have been helpful, but made it with just microspikes and poles. Almost say it was easier this way than in the summer, since the steep dirt / gravel is actually more slippery. Gorgeous views at the top of course, CB, Whetstone, the Bells, Ruby, Baldy, etc.

Most epic backpacking trip I have ever done. Simply outstanding!

6 months ago

Did this hike two days ago and about half a mile in it was muddy, icy and snow packed. We brought micro-spikes just in case, and they were a HUGE help. Literally within five-ten minutes of getting to the portion of the trail with ice we saw three people take spills and what looked like one kid injured coming back down. Don't do this trail with the expectation of just being able to wear casual shoes this time of year.

Other than that, trail was absolutely gorgeous with snow still on some trees and surrounding the trail. One of the most beautiful hikes I've ever done. And of course Maroon Bells. Not sure how the trail would be now with the recent storm blowing through. I'm sure just as beautiful.

Enjoy yourself.

6 months ago

Good hike, a bit crowded. At the beginning all muddy but then snow covered, good view. Very easy fun hike.

My husband and I did this trail in October of 2016. Fall beauty in leaves everywhere. Absolutely gorgeous area!!!

7 months ago

7 months ago

Beautiful hike but pretty crowded when we went . People on the trail everywhere . Trail was icy at some points . Lots of rocks . Not too steep though as many options for trails depending on how far you want to hike . Dog friendly !

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