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Backpacking: Colorado > White River National Forest > Aspen Ranger District

Quick Facts

Maroon Creek Trail

Average Time: 1-4 Hours
Beginning Elevation: 8,709 Feet (2714.8 Meters) East Maroon Portal
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation Gain: 1,400 Feet (436.4 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 9,580 Feet (2986.3 Meters) Maroon Lake
High Point: 9,580 Feet (2920 Meters)
Length, One-way: 4.5 Miles (7.5 Kilometers)
Other Maps: Trails Illustrated 128 Maroon Bells, Redstone, and Marble
Pets: Yes - Leash required.
Recommended Season: Summer to Fall
Trail Number: 1982
Usage: Moderate
USGS Maps: Maroon Bells, Highlands Peak
Vehicle Accessibility: Shuttle Bus, Passenger Vehicle - From mid-June through September, Maroon Creek Road is closed from 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. You will need to take a shuttle.




Satellite and Topo Map




General Description

A beaver wades through Maroon Creek below the spectacular Maroon Bells
Copyright: Robbie George - Ute City Photo
A beaver wades through Maroon Creek below the spectacular Maroon Bells
The best views occur as you travel up the valley. For a more relaxing hike, start at Maroon Lake and hike down valley. During the summer, plan on taking the shuttle bus from Aspen which includes a very informative guided tour.

From the East Maroon Portal (8,709 ft), cross the bridge and bare right up the valley. At the trail junction with the East Maroon Trail, bear right and continue on to Maroon Lake (9,580 ft). An easy 3 1/2 miles one way. The trail receives moderate use.

From the west end of the Maroon Lake parking area pick up the trail by crossing the bridge. Bare left and follow the trail down valley. In about a mile, you will come to a bridge on the left. Continue straight ahead. At the junction with the East Maroon Creek Trail, keep left and continue down valley until you come to the bridge at the East Maroon Portal. To catch the bus back to Aspen, continue past the parking area to Maroon Creek road and flag down the bus.

Maroon Creek Trail is within the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, so please educate yourself about Wilderness Ethics and Rules.

Directions from Aspen: Drive 1/2 mile west of Aspen on Highway 82 and turn left onto Maroon Creek Road at the roundabout. Keep right and continue 6 1/2 miles to the East Maroon Portal (to hike up valley) or 9 1/2 miles to the Maroon Lake Parking Area (to hike down valley).From mid-June through September, the Maroon Creek Road is closed from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and you will need to take a shuttle bus from Ruby Park in Aspen. The bus includes an informative guided tour of the valley. Contact the Roaring Fork Transit Agency at 925-8484 for more information.

Seasonal Information:
Normal Summer Season: Mid-June through September (NOTE: Due to the very heavy use of the area, Maroon Creek Road is closed from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Visitors must catch a shuttle bus from the Ruby Park Transit Center in Aspen.) . Best Fall Colors: Mid-September through Early October (NOTE: The Fall colors are spectacular during the month of September. Call ahead to determine when the colors are at their peak for the year.) .



Current Conditions & Trip Reports
Winter Conditions. Beware of avalanche danger and hypothermia. Updated: 2002-12-23 14:37:00.0


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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Backpacking
Yes
ICON Cold Water Fishing Fishing in Maroon Creek, Maroon Lake and beaver ponds.
Yes
ICON Hiking & Walking Maroon Creek Trail
Yes
ICON Horseback Riding Maroon Creek Trail
Yes



Related Activities
East Maroon Portal Trailhead - The East Maroon Portal provides access to the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness. The Maroon Creek and East Maroon Trails start from here. Popular destinations include Maroon, and Copper Lakes, as well as East Maroon Pass.

Maroon Creek Area - The Maroon Bells Recreation Area is located southwest of Aspen and is subject to entrance fees. The most photographed peaks in North America, the spectacular Maroon Bells, are the focal point of this area.

Maroon Creek Road - Maroon Creek Road leads to Maroon Lake and the Maroon Bells, the most photographed mountains in the country. This route is good for taking an all day trip with a picnic stop.

Maroon-Snowmass (Willow Lake) - This scenic trail is heavily used. Hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, fishing and camping are available. The trailhead is 9 1/2 miles up Maroon Creek Road. It's located within Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness.

West Maroon Portal Trailhead - The West Maroon Portal provides access to the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness. The Maroon Creek and Maroon-Snowmass Trails start from here.

West Maroon Trail - This trail is one of the most heavily used trails in the Aspen area. Hikers, backpackers and horse travelers enjoy the wildflowers and access to the wilderness areas.



More Information

Visitor Information:

Aspen Chamber Resort Association, 425 Rio Grande Pl. , Aspen, CO, 81611, Phone: 970-925-1940

Hickory House, 730 W. Main St. , Aspen, CO, 81611, Phone: 970-925-2313

Annabelle Inn, 232 W. Main Street , Aspen, Colorado, 81611, Phone: 877-266-2466, Fax: 970-925-3328, info@annabelleinn.com

Aspen Alps, 700 Ute Ave. , Aspen, Colorado, 81611, Phone: 877-711-0522, Fax: 970-920-2522

Aspen Meadows Resort, 845 Meadows Road , Aspen, Colorado, 81611, Phone: 800-452-4240 or 800-452-4240

Aspen Mountain Lodge, 311 West Main Street , Aspen, Colorado, 81611, Phone: 970-925-7650 or 800-362-7736, Fax: 970-925-5744, aml@aspenmountainlodge.com

Aspen Square Condominium Hotel, 617 East Cooper Street , Aspen, Colorado, 81611, Phone: 970-925-1000 or 800-470-0530

Hotel Aspen, 110 Main Street , Aspen, Colorado, 81611, Phone: 888-738-8492, info@hotelaspen.com

Hotel Durant, 122 East Durant , Aspen, Colorado, 81611, Phone: 877-438-7268 or 970-925-8500, Fax: 970-925-8789

Hotel Jerome, 330 East Main Street , Aspen, Colorado, 81611, Phone: 877-916-5430 , Fax: 970-920-2050, jerome.info@aubergeresorts.com

Independence Square Hotel/Frias Properties, 404 S. Galena Street , Aspen, Colorado, 81611, Phone: 800-542-7736, Fax: 970-925-2006

Inn at Aspen/Aspen Administrative Office, 38750 Highway 82 , Aspen, Colorado, 81611, Phone: 970-925-1500 or 844-997-8727, aspeninfo@wynvr.com

Limelight Hotel, 355 S. Monarch Street , Aspen, Colorado, 81611, Phone: 855-925-3025 or 970-925-3025, Fax: 970-925-5120, info@limelighthotel.com

Molly Gibson Lodge, 101 West Main Street , Aspen, Colorado, 81611, Phone: 970-925-3434 or 888-271-2304, Fax: 970-925-2582, info@mollygibson.com

Mountain Chalet Aspen, 333 East Durant Avenue , Aspen, Colorado, 81611, Phone: 970-925-7797, Fax: 888-925-7798, res@mca.travel

Residence Hotel, 305 S Galena St. , Aspen, Colorado, 81611, Phone: 970-315-2977, reservations@aspenresidence.com

Residences at the Little Nell, 675 E. Durant Ave. , Aspen, Colorado, 81611, Phone: 855-420-9009 or (970) 920-4600, STAY@THELITTLENELL.COM

Sky Hotel, 709 E. Durant Avenue , Aspen, Colorado, 81611, Phone: 970-925-6760 or 800-882-2582, Fax: 970-925-6778

Snow Queen Lodge, 124 E. Cooper Ave , Aspen, Colorado, 81623, Phone: 970-925-8455, Fax: 970-925-7391, sqlodge@rof.net

St. Moritz Lodge & Condominiums , 334 W. Hyman Avenue , Aspen, Colorado, 81611, Phone: 970-925-3220 or 800-817-2069, Fax: 970-920-4032, info@stmoritzlodge.com

The Crestwood Condominiums, 400 Wood Road , Snowmass Village, Colorado, 81615, Phone: 970-923-2450 or 800-356-5949, res@thecrestwood.com

The Gant, 610 S W End Ave , Aspen, Colorado, 81611, Phone: 970-925-5000, Fax: 970-925-6891

The Innsbruck, 233 W. Main St. , Aspen, colorado, 81611, Phone: 866-925-2980

The Little Nell Hotel, 675 E. Durant Ave. , Aspen, Colorado, 81611, Phone: 970-920-4600, Concierge@thelittlenell.com

Tyrolean Lodge, 200 West Main Street , Aspen, Colorado, 81611, Phone: 970-925-4595 or 888-220-3809, Fax: 970-925-4598, stay@tyroleanlodge.com

Asie, 413 Main St. , Aspen, Colorado, 81623, Phone: 970-920-9988

Brexi Brasserie, 411 S. Monarch St. , Aspen, Colorado, 81611, Phone: 970-925-2838, Fax: 970-429-4348

Gwyn's High Alpine Restaurant, P.O. Box 6400 , Snowmass Village, Colorado, 81615, Phone: 970-923-5188

Grateful Deli, 223 E. Main Street , Aspen, Colorado, 81611, Phone: 970-925-6647

New York Pizza, 409 E. Hyman Ave , Aspen, Colorado, 81611, Phone: 970-920-3088

Sam's Smokehouse, On Mountain , Snowmass Mountain, Colorado, 81615, Phone: 970-923-8686

Stew Pot, 62 Elbert Lane , Snowmass Village, Colorado, 81615, Phone: 970-923-2263

Taster's Aspen, 455 Rio Grande Pl , Aspen, Colorado, 81611, Phone: 970-925-1952

Links to other sites:
Forest Conservancy - Current Information from Local Volunteers: Closings and Conditions

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Local Lodging

Stay at the Aspen Square Hotel
Stay at the Aspen Square Hotel



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