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Maroon Creek Trail

MODERATE 50 reviews
#45 of 230 trails in

Maroon Creek Trail is a 6.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Aspen, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 6.9 miles Elevation Gain: 1,161 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

snow

Note: This trail may be difficult to follow in the winter months due to heavy snowfall.

hiking
1 month ago

Do this trail backward!!! Don’t start at the lake, start down at the little rest stop area thing like three miles back toward the entrance. Much to my dismay, I started at the lake and hiked downhill the ~3.5 miles, walking AWAY from the Bells. Then had to turn around and go back uphill. Would love a do over. I would highly, hiiiiiighly recommend starting down at the “end,” hiking up to the lake, then farther up to Crater Lake for a good, long hike with great views and the reward of the downhill trek to end it. All that said...the trail is beautiful. Forests, Aspen groves, the creek. Truly dreamy. The worst part is being in eyesight of the road pretty much the whole time. True, the bridge was out, but you can still get through. It takes some risk and balance, but if I can do it, most people probably can. The fallen Aspen are really something to see (from avalanche I’m assuming?). Just whole fields of Aspen laying on their sides, like someone combed them down. Wild. The best part for me was not running into another living soul either direction. I also advise keeping your app handy...I got turned around a couple times. I also get all up in my head and stop paying attention, but I ended up adding almost two miles to my trip that way. Haha Thankful for the off-route alert, even if I forget to pull out my phone for confirmation until a mile too late.

hiking
bridge out
rocky
2 months ago

I’m sure if we went farther it would have been a lot cooler but we heard a bridge was down and decided to turn back. But it’s beautiful to walk along the creek and the views on the way back are breathtaking!

hiking
2 months ago

The “guide to maroon bells recreation area” says this trail is easy THIS IS NOT easy The all trails app says this is moderate which is a fair assessment Need to skillfully negotiate around rocks on trail Need to be able bodied

hiking
bridge out
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

We started ai Maroon Bells lake hiking downhill. Scramble over strewn rock falls, leads to a slowed pace due to uncertain footing. The trail settle down after that. All is well until the downed bridge. The flow of the creek is diverted away from the bridge by a damn of logs resulting in a wide complex set of streams that are difficult to cross without getting feet wet. All in all a fun trail, plan on at least 2.5 hours. Stopping often to take in the beauty and record pictures will lengthen the journey.

hiking
bridge out
2 months ago

The start of this trail from the transit center is great — mostly shaded, sounds of the creek along side you, and not too rocky. You do eventually come to a split where it’s not overly obvious if you should go left or right. Turns out, left takes you to a campsite near the main road, right continues on the trail. Fortunately, we ran into hikers coming back from having continued down the trail - they warned us that the bridge was still impassable. So we went left, and then started walking along the road back toward the Highlands parking lot until we got tired and flagged down a bus. Probably not worth doing this until the bridge is restored.

hiking
3 months ago

Would be five stars except for washed out bridge that made it impassable about 2 miles from Maroon Bells transit center trailhead. Still a beautiful hike!

5 months ago

Consider the trail CLOSED for now!!!! We went on this trail today starting from the day use area at Maroon Creek Trail hiking towards Maroon Lake. Because of all the avalanches that have occurred (we counted at least 7) the trail was very hard to find in some areas (it took us about an hour of hiking through trees and brush to find it eventually). After we found it we still had to navigate through numerous more avalanche areas of very large downed trees over ice and snow. Once the elevation got higher at about 2 miles in, the snow was very deep (we were sinking in up to our hips). With .6 miles to go in the trail we eventually bailed and found a trail leading to the road and walked the main road back to the car. I think once the debris is all cleared this trail would be beautiful but I would consider this trail CLOSED until it can be repaired!

Mon Oct 08 2018

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.

hiking
Sun Aug 12 2018

Awesome trail through every aspect of a mountain! Aspen groves, forest, meadows, rock slides. Hiked from the Maroon Bells down beside the Maroon Creek, took less than 1.5 hours. Beautiful!

hiking
Sat Jun 30 2018

Hiked up to Maroon Bells, it’s a nice gradual incline and goes through some aspens so there is some nice shaded areas. It’s also follows Maroon creek which is nice to hear while hiking. There are some areas that you go through rocky pastures, it was an excellent hike that I would do again!

ohv/off road driving
Mon Mar 26 2018

We went to hike this, but the road was still closed for the winter about 6 miles from the trailhead. We ended up taking a snowmobile tour out of Lazy T Ranch up to Maroon Bells Lake which was fabulous.

hiking
Wed Aug 23 2017

Very relaxing hike. Hiked down from Maroon lake down to the portal.

hiking
Thu Aug 03 2017

The trail was very nice and scenic for the first .6 of a mile from Maroon Lake. Once the trail (1982) mets up with 1983 then there is a lot of horse traffic and droppings to navigate. The hike is easy and very doable with the right foot gear.

Wed Aug 02 2017

Only walked down the trail...the 3.5 miles...one star is for the first part of the trail that was scenic...before we hit the rock hillside that hurt our feet so bad even with hiking shoes...then the next 3 miles were completely muddy and covered with horse poop with no scenery far away from the water...horrible hike...

hiking
Sat Jul 29 2017

Rocks, mud and way to many horses. But, the scenery is beautiful.

hiking
Thu May 11 2017

Enjoyed this one with my kids.

Thu Dec 01 2016

6-8 inches of fresh powder the whole way! Took about 7.5 hours on foot due to the snow. Well worth it!

hiking
Mon Sep 05 2016

09/2014

Thu Jun 30 2016

Breathtaking!!!!

hiking
Sun Aug 30 2015

Great hike, very easy, well shaded and leisurely stroll. This would be an amazing hike during the changing of the leaves.

Sun Aug 03 2014

We enjoyed this beautiful trail so much. Being from sea level, we didn't feel we were up for a more moderate trail. We decided to extend up further past the waterfall to do the loop through the forest so the entire loop was about 3.2 miles and from the point of view of a middle aged couple with two teens (all from sea level as I said before) we found the hike to be very pleasurable and a "just right hike" for our first week up in high elevation. Everywhere you look, you'll see beauty and color and magnificence. The mountains surround the valley, wild flowers of various kinds (white, yellow, orange, purple, lavender, pink, and red), butterflies (white/black, monarchs, and more), aspen trees, the creek and waterfall and lovely weather all combine to make this a spectacular hike that most everyone will enjoy. We took amazing photos. The scenes are imprinted in my memory as well as in photo. Will definitely want to come back for more.

hiking
Sun Oct 13 2013

We rode the bus up from Aspen Highlands to Maroon Bells. We were dropped off right at the lake. The views were amazing! We did the 3.6 mile, one-way hike down along the East Maroon Portal. The description of the trail says good for all skill levels, but it was tough in some places. It started off nice enough and then we hit the fields of rocks. It was very slow going, and you had to constantly watch your footing. I was only wearing tennis shoes and the rocks hurt both the bottoms of my feet and eventually made my ankles sore. I am an avid walker, but the ups and downs of this trail were tough. Also, we had only been living in Colorado for a month and the elevation took a toll on our lungs. Near the end of the trail, there are a few steep inclines that we really had to rally to get past. I thought the trail would take an hour and a half or so, but we were walking for nearly 2 1/2 hours. We definitely were moving at a very slow pace due to the rocks and elevation. There were lovely views along the way, so that was nice. This is not a trail for families with small kids because of the loose rocks and inclines.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

recorded Maroon Creek Trail

hiking
4 months ago

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