Any trip to Aspen must include a visit to see the Maroon Bells, the most photographed peaks in North America. Explore the pristine valley where trails meander through aspen groves and mirror lakes reflect the two 14,000-foot, wine-colored peaks.
Car traffic to the Maroon Bells is always limited during peak summer months, and reservations are now required to both comply with COVID-19 restrictions and preserve the area's pristine natural beauty. Read on for important information about how to access Maroon Bells Scenic Area, and read our Guide to Visiting the Maroon Bells to start planning your excursion.
SUMMER 2020 OPERATING DATES & HOURS
- Maroon Creek Road is currently open. Car traffic is permitted for a $10 fee, and parking reservations are required.
- RFTA bus service runs from June 28 through Oct. 18, 2020. Car traffic is limited between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Visitors may access the Maroon Bells via RFTA bus, which picks up and drops off at Aspen Highlands ski area. Reservations are required.
- Overnight parking is allowed during summer 2020. Overnight parking reservations are required.
HOW TO ACCESS THE MAROON BELLS
Reservations are now required for both car parking and bus travel and can be made on AspenChamber.org.
Getting to the Maroon Bells by Bus
Roaring Fork Transit Authority (RFTA) provides bus service to the Maroon Bells Scenic Area between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. during peak summer months. Reservations are required and can be made here.
The bus picks up and drops off at Aspen Highlands ski area. To get to Aspen Highlands, visitors can either take the free Castle/Maroon Creek bus from Rubey Park Bus Depot in downtown Aspen or drive and park at Aspen Highlands (paid parking only).
Getting to the Maroon Bells by Car
Car traffic is permitted before bus service begins in June and after it ends in October while Maroon Creek Road is open. It is also permitted before 8 a.m. and after 5 p.m. during the summer season. There is a $10 access-and-entry fee, and reservations must be made online.
During bus-service hours, there are some exceptions to the vehicle restrictions. For a list of those vehicles and visitors who are permitted to access the Maroon Bells Scenic Area during bus-service hours, visit AspenChamber.org.
Getting to the Maroon Bells by Bike
With car traffic restricted on Maroon Creek Road, the journey to the Maroon Bells can be an excellent activity in itself. Rent a road bike or e-bike from one of our trusted outfitters, and enjoy the eight-mile ascent from Aspen Highlands.
Getting to the Maroon Bells without a Reservation
If reservations are sold out during your travel dates, there are two additional ways to access Maroon Bells Scenic Area during normal daytime hours: by bike and by outfitter.
- Rent a bike or an e-bike and ride up Maroon Creek Road. 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!
- Sign up for a downhill bike tour with Blazing Adventures. 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.
QUESTIONS? WE ARE HERE TO HELP.
Our Concierge Team can help you plan your Maroon Bells excursion and answer all your transportation questions. Contact us at (970) 429-2449 or email concierge (at) friasproperties (dot) com.