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Maroon Bells Scenic Loop Trail

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White River National Forest

Maroon Bells Scenic Loop Trail is a 1.9 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Snowmass Village, Colorado that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, running, and nature trips and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 1.9 miles Elevation Gain: 160 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

running

forest

lake

partially paved

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

This incredible route is one of the most photographed locations in the entire state. No matter what time of year you plan your visit to this area you will be stunned by its beauty. Clean, beautiful, and family-friendly, this trail sets the bar high for trails in Colorado. Independence Pass (Highway 82) is normally open on a weather dependent basis from Memorial Day through mid-October. During the summer season, access to the Maroon Bells Scenic Area is restricted to the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. In the winter, the road is closed and converted into a cross country ski trail about 6 miles from the trailhead, making it around 12 miles round trip.

hiking
1 month ago

I loved this little loop when I did it back in August 2019. I’ll be returning in the summer again to backpack and spend more time in these beautiful mountains!

hiking
icy
snow
1 month ago

I the winter the road is closed and it’s made into a cross country trail about 6 miles from the trailhead so hiking is around 12 miles round trip. Although the Aspen trees aren’t in season, it’s still a great hike to do in the season since there’s practically nobody there and the mountains are still stunning

hiking
2 months ago

A lovely walk beset on all sides with some of the best gifts of scenery the mind could dream of. Fantastic in August, would love to return to see how the seasons affect the views!

hiking
closed
4 months ago

Did this walk yesterday (1/6/2020). Trail road is closed during the winter time. This adds an extra 6 miles (one way) to get to the trail head as you have to park your car where they block it off. The trail is groomed though due to snowmobile tracks and cross country skiing. Great walk if you’re up for the extra miles. Dog friendly area. Snowshoes not needed, but will be going back in the summer time for the shorter walk!

hiking
4 months ago

Gorgeous. Tons of photographers present since it is a paved path and easy to get to

hiking
6 months ago

Hiked the upper loop on November 13th 2019. The middle bridge for the lower loop was out. The trail was super easy and quiet with absolutely beautiful views. There was a lot of fresh snow on the course but it wasn’t unmanageable. Would highly recommend to anyone looking for something quick and fun with great scenery.

closed
6 months ago

The lake is beautiful, and driving right up this season instead of taking the shuttle is awesome. The lake is literally steps from the parking lot, so even though the scenic loop is closed for the season we still got a beautiful view! We didn't do Crater Lake but others were and it looked like a great alternative.

hiking
6 months ago

Beautiful

hiking
6 months ago

Was here on 10/24/19 around 3:30pm. Expected to hike a little before the view, but a minute from the parking lot the maroon bells opened up towering over the lake. Beautiful on a day with clear / semi cloudy skies even this time of year. If you like shooting time lapses this is a neat spot to set up. It’s nice how you can drive up yourself this time of year instead of having to catch the shuttle!

hiking
snow
7 months ago

Nice and easy trail. The views are great

hiking
bridge out
7 months ago

Awesome hike with gorgeous views wherever you look!!

hiking
7 months ago

Deeper into the trail is quiet and serene. Not heavily trafficked. Most of the time we were alone. Family of 4. Kids 10&14. Easy gorgeous hike.

hiking
7 months ago

This was a nice hike on 10/14/19. It was rated as easy; however, it was quite rocky terrain on the other side of the loop. Some snow. But...doable for two 50-year-old Texas gals. Lots of people on the first third of the trail.

hiking
7 months ago

Trail is rated as easy. However on the other side of the loop, there was quite a bit of a rocky terrain to navigate. All in all it was a great hike and took about an hour for two 52-year-olds. I would recommend this hike. We hiked October 14, 2019.

hiking
7 months ago

First trail taken in Colorado, and the standard is set pretty darn high now my friends!! Absolutely loved this trail! Clean, beautiful, moderate workout, and oh so photogenic!!

hiking
bridge out
7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

Did this before heading to Crater and again when we got back. Beautiful loop.

hiking
rocky
7 months ago

GORGEOUS!!! Someone posted a picture here about a week ago that was very misleading- it looked like the aspens were all already dead. I was so worried we were going to miss the views, but the colors are in peak right now!! Unbelievably gorgeous. The drive in is stunning, and the trail loop even more so. Also- the locals had us all sorts of confused about accessing the trail... the shuttle is no longer running, but personal vehicles can access the road again. It’s $10 cash only to park, but then you can park up at the trailhead. We went on a Monday and there was parking along the road and in the lot still. The trail itself was quiet, we had it basically to ourselves walking through the Aspens.

hiking
7 months ago

Lovely little trail. Be sure to get to the far end of the loop, where it is just gorgeous. Part of the trail is closed, but the loop is fully open.

hiking
7 months ago

BEAUTIFUL

hiking
rocky
7 months ago

I have admired these mountains via photos on Instagram and cannot say enough, it was worth the wait! I believe after a certain time they do not allow cars to park near the lake because hey want you to take a shuttle. It was $10 to park and $8 per person. The shuttle ride was 20 minutes. The trail is well done, lots of people. Since they have much of it roped off it not only preserves the wildlife but also guarantees everyone will get that classic “bells photo”. The visitor center was great, I learned a lot about Aspen trees. The avalanche shoots are also really cool to see. If you come this far, drive up to Independence Pass afterward. A local suggested we make a day of driving to the bells and doing a loop on the highway to drive up independence pass, it was so worth it. Highly recommend.

hiking
7 months ago

I went today and saw peak fall colors! Remember that you have to park at the Aspen Highland area and pay $8 for the bus ride that will take you to the trail heads (unless you arrive prior to 8 a.m.). Also you will pay an hourly rate at the Highland parking area (if you can get a parking place!). Today was a perfect fall day and not too crowded in the early morning.

Now we came during the peak of the color changes, but this truly is one of the most beautiful places in CO! Well worth any wait or the bus. There are always a lot of people, but if you head up past Crater Lake the people disappear. We did the scenic trail since the kids were worth it and they LOVED it. Very easy 2.5 mile hike. The east side of Of the loop is closed due to the many avalanches we had last winter. It won’t open until at least next year either.

hiking
8 months ago

Beautiful and moderately easy hike. Perfect for a fairly quick hike in, have lunch, hike out. Scenery is some of the best in the Rockies. Gorgeous.

hiking
8 months ago

I absolutely love Maroon Bells. It is one of my favorite places in Colorado. I have been in the Fall with all the yellow leaves and during other times of the year. Either way, it is beautiful. If you can make it during the turning of the leaves, it is beyond gorgeous. This is a crowded area. There is a bus that you will most likely take to get up there. Check their website on details. There are other hikes you can do in the area. Technically, to get to the beautiful "Maroon Bells" that you see all the photos of, you just walk right up. You don't have to hike there. We hikes beyond and went to crater lake. It was a nice hike and would recommend.

hiking
8 months ago

Easy & crowded of course

hiking
8 months ago

Trail is an easy walk, beautiful scenery, and no dogs.

hiking
bridge out
rocky
8 months ago

Short and easy little trail with amazing views. Dogs are not allowed on the scenic loop but they are allowed on all other trails. Definitely worth it!

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