Is there anything else more iconic than sunrise glare over Maroon Bells? Though nor Eugene, nor I am sunrise raiser, it was worth to do our best and wake up early.
We stopped at Snowmass Village, and the road was near 30 mins. I was so afraid that we will not find a parking place again as on Hanging Lake. But we’ve been lucky that time through the parking lot was already 50% full.
I did expect backpackers and photographers to be on the lake(because who else is so crazy to lose few hours of a good morning sleep?). What was a surprise when I saw a bunch of tourists with iPhones and selfy sticks, and more camper-alike people with folding chairs along the bank of the lake. I count only three tripods that morning.
It was fresh and quit. Only geese walked like they had important things to do and not have time to watch some sunrise.
Gush, I never had any expectation of what I will see. So as soon as mountains started to change color from violet to pink, I was excited! And then color changed again and again until the pick became dark yellow. Truly an experience worth to wake up.
What to know before the visit
- Because of the popularity, there are restrictions to drive to Maroon Bells during the summer and fall.
- There is a public bus between 8 am and 5 pm from mid-June to early October. You could buy bus tickets at the base area of Aspen Highlands Ski Area – adults $8; children 6-16 $6; seniors $6; children 5 and under – free.
They also have parking there – 5$ weekday, $10 weekends. Or you could take the free bus from Rubey Park Transit Center.
- You can drive to Maroon Bells before 8 am or after 5 pm. Entrance will cost you $10, or you could use America the Beautiful pass if you have one.
- If you decided to drive be prepared that parking lot near trailheads could be full
- The road is always open for bicyclist and hikers
- The way is closed in the winter with closures starting in mid-November and opening in the middle of May
- To shoot sunrise be there in advance. The whole light show starts 20 to 30 mins before dawn
- The easiest way to be there for sunrise is to camp nearby – there are three campgrounds on the road to Maroon Bells. Also, we saw people camping in pullouts
- There is a bunch of trails starting from Maroon Bells; all are pet-friendly: starting from most leisurely Maroon Bells Scenic Loop Trail, moderate Maroon Creek, hard Maroon Peak Trail. And of course, there are a lot of backpacking options.
Google Maps directions to Maroon Bells.