West Maroon Bells Pass

HARD 33 reviews

West Maroon Bells Pass is a 7.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Elkton, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and backpacking and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
7.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,165 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

hiking

forest

views

wild flowers

snow

This version of the hike up to West Maroon Bells Pass is for those starting and finishing on the Crested Butte side of the pass. A 12-mile drive from Crested Butte Mountain Resort on CR 317 through Gothic, CO and on to the trailhead (will be on the right side of CR 317). A low-grade incline will take you up to the West Maroon Bells Pass for incredible views out and back.

hiking
1 month ago

A nice option and a way to split off from the possibly crowded main trail is to include Hasley Pass and Frigid Air Pass in a clockwise loop. I've heard this route referred to as the West Maroon Short Loop. The views east over the ridge between Hasley and FA are breathtaking. Then celebrate a successful day hike at Secret Stash Pizza in CB.

hiking
1 month ago

Just did this hike 2 days ago. The wildflowers were in full bloom. One of our favorite hikes in CB. The dogs loved the hike also. Took us about 5 hours from trailhead to the peak and back.

1 month ago

Unreal wildflowers

2 months ago

I’ve done this hike several times both from CB to Maroon Bells/Aspen or vice versa. If you hit it right, it is the most beautiful hike in Colorado from a flora perspective. Glimpse of heaven. The colors and variety of flowers is hard to rival anywhere else I have seen. You have a great range from meadows, to creeks, to the saddle and rock/shale fields, to forest and aspen groves, to lakes and rivers! Colorado and nature is showing off! The fireweed is about to burst and hike should be good thru early August for wildflowers.

hiking
2 months ago

I’ve lived in CO for over 30 years, and this trail is hands down the most breathtaking display of wildflowers that I have ever seen! The first quarter mile goes through a wooded area before opening into wide meadows, where we hiked through a sea of waist-high wildflowers in every direction. The meadows include abundant displays of mule’s ears, larkspur, columbines, paintbrush (red, purple, and sulfur), lupine, bluebells, cow parsnip, corn lilies, elephantheads, sneezeweed, daisies, fleabane, and more. The first couple miles are easy-moderate dirt single track. The third mile up to the pass summit is extremely strenuous and rocky, but the path is notable for more columbines plus king’s crown, Parry’s primrose, death camas, and other alpine flowers. The sheer quantity and variety of wildflowers in mid-July on this trail is mind-blowing—much better than Trail 403, which we hiked yesterday.. If you want to see wildflowers, this is the trail for you!

hiking
2 months ago

I did this in combination with the trail to Maroon Lake making for a 31 mile rt. First and foremost; the wildflowers on this trail are absolutely stunning right now! The views to the south are beautiful and when you add flowers in the mix it only makes it better. Trail is well graded and not too rocky (the exception being the last half a mile up to the pass). Do this trail early during monsoon season as there is limited cover.

2 months ago

This trail is gorgeous at the end of July! So many beautiful wildflowers along the way. The views were breathtaking the entire time. It got a little mushy and wet on the other side of the pass, so we set up camp about a mile after summiting. Better as a short backpacking trip, but can be done as a day trip if you leave early. I did this trip with 5 of my girlfriends as a backpacking trip and we had a blast. Not too difficult, but it did test out mental strength as well as our physical strength. Hiking poles were such a blessing. Also, wear hiking shoes that you don’t mind getting wet as you’ll be crossing streams and walking in snow at times. Layers are also helpful. We parked just outside of the town of Gothic and had to hike a few miles until we got to the trailhead. Such a magical hike with my best friends.

hiking
2 months ago

This trail pays! We hiked to the top of the pass in 3 hours. A camel pack and 3 power bars should do it. Get after it!

hiking
Thursday, September 14, 2017

Just got back from this! Surprisingly enough, this was the first trail I ever truly hiked. I am very new to hiking and my group set out to attempt the entire Four Pass Loop in the Maroon Bells, but quickly realized as beginners to hiking (and as Detroiters who are not accustomed to elevation) that to complete all four passes was too difficult. Instead, we decided to complete this trail. The trail is mostly up hill and the terrain is very rocky. There are a few streams to pass but since it is September, they were low and manageable. I would rank this as a hard trail - but it is SO rewarding. Loads of wildlife - we saw many Pikas and Marmots. I plan on tackling the whole Four Pass Loop after training long and hard but this trail was an amazing introduction to hiking!!

hiking
Saturday, August 05, 2017

Did this hike 2 days ago. Beautiful hike. There was 2 high-ish water crossings, but not that difficult. Lot and lots of mud on the Aspen side. CB side only had a few small mud patches. Once we got to the pass and saw the views and all the wildflowers the rain and mud were a distant memory. Definitely worth the hike.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

This was an amazing hike. The meadows of wildflowers are the best I've ever seen. The view from the pass is absolutely breathtaking. We hiked with two teenagers from CB to Aspen. The .5 up the pass and the .5 down the pass was nerve racking with children. Harder than I expected but well worth it. I would recommend poles. Lots of mudd and very rocky on the Aspen side.

hiking
Monday, July 31, 2017

I was lucky enough to do this hike on an absolutely beautiful day (7/30) - cool air, breezy, mostly sunny with a few clouds. I honestly can't imagine there being anything more beautiful in the world. The wildflowers just COVERED the fields leading up to Maroon Pass, and you're just surrounded by mountains on all sides. The entire length of the hike was as picturesque as it gets. Most of the hike was fairly easy, with the last mile (especially the last half mile) being pretty strenuous. But the views from Maroon Pass are totally worth the struggle.

Be aware before you set out - As of late July, there was still some snow on CR 317 (Gothic Road), so the road was closed about 3 miles short of the trailhead, just about .4 miles past Gothic Campground. This added about 3 miles to each end of my hike, making it about 14 miles total RT. This included walking up and over Schofield Pass each way. Silver lining - getting to walk by Emerald Lake, thus having more time to take in its beauty.

hiking
Monday, June 26, 2017

Gorgeous hike through Maroon Bells wilderness area our and back starting from the Crested Butte side as opposed to the Aspen side. Definitely good idea to have a 4x4 vehicle for the dirt road portion of CR 317 to get to the trailhead. The incline is very low, manageable, and steady through the foothills approaching Bellview mountain in an open valley with gorgeous wildflowers and streams to cross. As you gradually get higher the views get better and better. Switchbacks up through the rocks will take you the last bit up to the pass for spectacular 360 views. We did it on a wet day after it had rained a lot in the early morning but everything was very doable and worth the trek. We passed a few groups here and there but not too busy. Awesome hike!!!

hiking
2 days ago

recorded West Maroon Bells Pass

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9 days ago

1 month ago

recorded Track - Aug 06 12:52 PM

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11 months ago

Saturday, September 16, 2017

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Saturday, August 05, 2017

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Sunday, July 30, 2017

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