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How to Visit the Maroon Bells Without a Reservation

Posted: 9 Jul 2020

Any Aspen summer vacation must include a visit to the Maroon Bells, Colorado's most photographed peaks. The wine-colored, craggy mountains tower over a mirror lake surrounded by vast groves of aspen trees. The scene is simply stunning.

During normal summers, car traffic is limited to protect the treasured ecosystem, and visitors can access the Maroon Bells Scenic Area by bus during peak hours (8 a.m. - 5 p.m.) or by car early in the morning and in the evening (before 7:30 a.m. and after 5 p.m.).

This summer, with COVID-19 social distancing requirements in place plus the U.S. Forest Service's need to safely manage demand, reservations are required to access the Maroon Bells Scenic Area. Visitors must reserve both bus seats and parking spots, depending on the time of day of their visit.

Don't worry! If you did not secure your reservation and they are sold out, there are other ways to access the Maroon Bells.

3 WAYS TO SEE THE MAROON BELLS WITHOUT A RESERVATION

  1. RENT AN E-BIKE
    Providing the most fun you'll have on two wheels, e-bikes are motorized bicycles that offer "pedal-assist" to riders. An electronic motor kicks in relative to the effort and force the rider exerts, providing a boost uphill!

    Maroon Creek Road is easy to access from town, and it's the perfect route for e-biking. Cruise through the forest service gate and up the gentle grade, glancing at the dramatic views on your way to the main attraction.

    Ask the Frias Properties concierge for recommendations on where to rent your e-bikes!

  2. HIRE A TAXI
    The forest service does not require a reservation for drop-offs at Maroon Bells Scenic Area, and you can hitch a ride on the RFTA bus on the way down. Make sure you bring an extra $10 for the taxi driver to pay the Forest Service vehicle fee!

    Aspen does have Uber and Lyft service, but there are more taxi drivers. We recommend contacting Smiddy Limo or High Mountain Taxi.

  3. SIGN UP FOR A DOWNHILL BIKE TOUR
    Blazing Adventures offers downhill bike tours that start at the Maroon Bells scenic area and descend Maroon Creek Road back to town. This outfitter carries a special permit that allows them to take vans and bike trailers to the coveted area.

    You'll have time to scope out Maroon Lake, snap a few pictures, and saddle up. The ride down is incredibly picturesque and includes a stop at the East Maroon Portal, another great photo opp.

Join us in Aspen!

Book your Aspen vacation rental with Frias Properties and receive many more tips like these that take your getaway from good to great. Start by searching our online selection, and contact our Aspen-based reservations team for rates and availability.