I did this trail as my first solo backpacking trip. It could definitely be done in 2 nights 3 days, but I chose to enjoy my time and did 3 nights 4 days. I was so thankful the weather was gorgeous for the first three days. The scenery was breathtaking and the trail was challenging, especially before each pass. I went in the beginning of September last year and there were quite a few other backpackers and some trail runners, but I had plenty of time to just enjoy myself in the presence of just mother nature. I highly recommend this trail to anyone looking for an adventure filled with life's beauty!!
One of my favorite loops. We did it as a really fast overnight at the end of August. Take your time and enjoy the hike.
Only ran into a couple people early on and then didn't see anyone until we got back to the trailhead. Going to head up there again this July to try and catch The wildflowers. ****I've read the forest service is looking at implementing a backcountry permit system in the next year 2.
Great loop! Seemed a little busy, but can get super secluded after the first 10 or so miles. Tons of rangers monitoring the loop, which is extremely helpful since old trails cross the mapped one and it can be easy to get off course. Be sure to carry bear spray and a bell or two on your gear.
Loved this hike! If you arrive before 6am, you're able to park your POV at the trailhead. I had the privilege of meeting a bull moose near the beginning of the trail, but he didn't mind me. The elevation can be a bit of a killer if you're new to CO, but such incredible views make it work the effort.
I enjoyed every step of this trail. The view of the Bells is magnificent. Not much water in the lake when we were there in October but still definitely worth the hike. Make sure you have water as the air is very dry and, if you live at sea level, be ready to take frequent breaks as the air is also thin at nearly 10,000 feet.
Yes, it's as amazing as you hear or read. The scenic route is an easy hike, with the option to go on up to Crater Lake which I highly recommend.
If you can, go for a sunrise hike on a weekday, it's the best way to experience the experience.
The fall foliage is unreal, but at that time (like in Oct of 2016) Crater Lake can be one dry and Maroon Lake low.
Best seasons are spring and summer.
One of my favorite places for photography in CO. Shocker!
Maroon Bells in the fall, there's a reason this area gets so many visitors. Seeing the Aspen change color in Aspen, CO should be on everyone's bucket list. Trailhead parking was closed so we jumped on the Aspen shuttle bus with our dog. Maroon Lake was a madhouse with visitors, lots of tourists. A quick hike through the woods and then you're at Crater Lake, which will be considerably less crowded and will take you a lot closer to the Bells.