Explore the most popular forest trails in Maroon Bells Snowmass Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Dogs are prohibited here. it's in the Snowmass wilderness. This is protected wilderness. you may get a huge fine. Better do your research.

1 month 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.

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

Beautiful!

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: https://www.flickr.com/photos/geoffreydgraham/albums/72157688773204146

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!

hiking
5 months ago

Lots of animal tracks. No people.

hiking
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!

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.

hiking
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!

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

hiking
7 months ago

Best hike of my life so far! Stunning. Very difficult. Very worth It!
We did it in 4 days and 3 nights.
We took too much food. There were plenty of spots to fill up water so I started carrying no more than 1.5 to 2 liters of water any given time.

We only walked from the parking area to the lake- primarily walking along lake only. It was seriously cold and windy, we weren't really dressed properly. We went on the afternoon of October 9th, 2017, the same day the area received a 4 inch + snow fall. OMG it was gorgeous- everything covered in snow- seriously a winter wonderland!
This area is nice because it's good for everyone- even those who can't walk very far, or for children. Everyone can get to see these beautiful sites!

hiking
7 months ago

For the sea level dwellers, this is a hard hike! The terrain is easy to traverse however the elevation presents some difficulty. All in all take your time, the view is worth the breathlessness!

Not technically hard, but climbing straight up the side of a ski area isn't exactly easy either, especially at 8000 feet. The views were totally worth it though. We went the first weekend in October so the foliage was perfect

There is no hike involved to see the iconic views of Maroon Bells from Maroon Lake that you see in all the photos, but if you want to get in a short, easy walk past the lake, this is it! Leashed dogs are allowed every where else in the area BUT this scenic loop. There are signs specifically stating no dogs on the scenic loop. Fall foliage is definitely past its peak when we visited on 10/8/2017. Only one patch of yellow aspens left near the start of the trail.

We went for the sunrise during peak fall weekend! It was wonderful. We slept in our car in the parking lot the night before because of how popular it is to go this time of year, but it was well worth it (the parking lots filled up by 5am). It was a very easygoing trail if you're just looking to see some great views and have a relaxing afternoon.

Loved this hike. I'm coming back with more friends.

hiking
7 months ago

Such a wonderful hike! Beautiful views throughout, moderately challenging, with quite a bit of wildlife (mule deer, marmot, pica, birds/hawks). It was pretty snowy while hiking over the pass, so make sure to bring at least poles +/- crampons. Make sure to get transportation EARLY through Dolly's or Alpine Express, as they run out of permits weeks/months ahead of your trip ($20 each way/person). The Aspen to CB hike is much harder than the way back, so I would recommend going from Aspen to CB, staying a few nights to enjoy the charm of CB, and hike back. You can get a shuttle to take you back or transport your car to CB from Aspen, but I think this is a waste of money and a missed opportunity to enjoy an absolutely beautiful hike. It is about 2/3 downhill on the way back, and much easier than the way to CB. Don't be lazy, finish the loop, and hike back :)

As an aside, rent a hardtail mountain bike and do the Lupine Trail to the Lower Loop trail. Such an awesome ride with gorgeous scenery throughout! It took me a couple hours, but I stopped to take a bunch of pictures. I rented a bike up at the Elevation Hotel for $35/half day (maybe a bit more expensive than in town, but higher up the hill and closer to the trail). Throw your bike on the free shuttle that goes through town and up the hill, and do it a few times if you wish!

Happy hiking!

Beautiful trail! Heads up at the first creek crossing....easily missed. Just check your map. Trail is well/heavily traveled so it is noticeably obvious except in the scree.
Highly recommend *

hiking
7 months ago

Did this hike about a week ago and it was just beautiful!
We started our hike at around 07:45 am at Maroon Lake Parking Area. There were quite a few people around Maroon Lake taking pictures of Maroon Bells in the morning sun which was just stunning. The trail to Crater Lake seems to be very popular as well but after that you won't see too many people anymore. The trail itself is not very steep but it is a constant incline and that combined with the mileage makes for a pretty significant hike. We usually hike at a very relaxed pace so this hike took us about 8.5 hrs to complete and needless to say I was very happy to be back at the car! That being said, the scenery is incredible all the way to the pass (and back of course) and I highly recommend the hike!

Just one more tip: If you plan on camping at one of the campsites on Maroon Creek Road and didn't make a reservation online you better be there early (they start giving away the few walk up spots at 7am)! When we got there in the afternoon every single campsite around Aspen was completely full with a lot of people driving around trying to get a spot so keep that in mind.

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