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    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    49 m
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    3.1 km
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
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    Directions to Trailhead

    Maroon Bells Scenic Loop Trail

    Maroon Bells Scenic Loop Trail

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    Table of contents

    Hiking the Maroon Bells Scenic Loop Trail is a spectacular family-friendly adventure near Aspen, Colorado that will take you around the shores of a charming lake with views of nearby mountain peaks. While out on the trail, you will skirt around the edge of Maroon Lake and pass by a beaver dam, taking in the amazing Rocky Mountain views as you complete a short loop over some rapids along Maroon Creek. Although there is ample parking at the trailhead, you will likely want to arrive early to beat out the crowds and enjoy the scenic views.

    Route Description for Maroon Bells Scenic Loop Trail

    Hiking the Maroon Bells Scenic Loop Trail is a laidback activity that features well-kept trails; however, you will still want to wear some sturdy hiking shoes that will keep your feet comfortable while out on the trail. Additionally, you should try to arrive early for this hike, as the Maroon Bells Recreation Area is a popular destination and parking will fill up quickly.

    Even though there will be plenty of other people around on this hike, it will not detract from the scenic beauty of the landscape here. As you meander along the trail, you will be greeted by breathtaking views across Maroon Lake, with the impressive sight of the Maroon Bells mountains in behind. This beautifully scenic adventure is perfectly suited for beginners and families with young children who are looking to take in the beauty of the Elk Mountains.

    Setting out from the parking lot, you will follow the footpath to the southwest for 275ft and head left at the fork, keeping left to arrive at the edge of Maroon Lake. Here, you will continue along the water’s edge and enjoy the beautifully scenic views across the lake that include the pristine woodlands and rugged mountain peaks of the Maroon Bells as a backdrop.

    Keeping left along the shoreline for 0.8 km, you will pass by a beaver dam and arrive at another fork in the path shortly after. Take the path on the left once again and cross the bridge over West Maroon Creek, following the trail to the southwest as it runs parallel to the creek for 0.2 km. Here, you will arrive at a bridge over the creek that offers some amazing views overlooking the rapids.

    Take some time to experience the views along the creek, but do not cross over to the opposite side, as you will be completing a short loop around the creek to arrive there anyway. Instead, continue to the southwest along the trail for another 0.8 km, passing by a small lake on your right and briefly passing through some tree cover, before bending around to the northeast to arrive at the opposite end of the bridge.

    From the bridge, you will make your way alongside the West Maroon Creek for 0.3 km, passing straight through a junction in the trail to arrive back at the edge of Maroon Lake. Turning left here, you will retrace your previous steps along the water’s edge until you arrive back at the car park where you began your adventure along the Maroon Bells Scenic Loop Trail.

    Trail Highlights

    Maroon Lake

    Situated in the Maroon Bells Recreation Area that sees over 300,000 visitors each season, Maroon Lake is a scenic alpine body of water surrounded by pristine woodlands and stunning mountain views. To the southeast of the lake are the Maroon and North Maroon Peaks, which tower above the landscape and offer a perfect backdrop when visiting the lake. Located at an elevation of 2,920 m, Maroon Lake itself sits in a basin that was carved out by Ice Age glaciers thousands of years ago.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Can you swim in Maroon Lake?

    Although the water looks inviting, swimming is not permitted at Maroon Lake

    How long is the bus ride from Aspen to the Maroon Bells Recreation Area?

    The bus ride from Aspen to Maroon Bells is a service that runs every day and takes approximately 20 minutes.

    Insider Hints for Maroon Bells Scenic Loop Trail

    • Arrive early for this hike, as the parking area can fill up quite quickly.
    • Wear proper hiking footwear on this trail.
    • Toilet facilities can be found near the parking area.

    Getting to the Maroon Bells Scenic Loop Trail Trailhead

    The starting point for the Maroon Bells Scenic Loop Trail can be found at the Maroon Lake Trailhead along Maroon Creek Road.

    Route Information

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    Maroon Bells Scenic Loop Trail Elevation Graph

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