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Colorado > Colorado Wilderness Areas > Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness
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Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness

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Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness
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General Information

Maroon Bells from West Maroon Creek
Copyright: - US Forest Service
Maroon Bells from West Maroon Creek
Description - The Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness comprises 180,962 acres of the Elk Mountains in central Colorado. The area is most known for its twin 14,000+ foot high peaks known as the Maroon Bells. From exhilarating valleys to high peaks and passes, the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness is an area full of hidden treasures.

Attractions - Maroon Bells-Snowmass was one of five areas in Colorado designated wilderness in the original Wilderness Act of 1964. The area is most known for its twin 14,000+ foot high peaks known as the Maroon Bells. From exhilarating valleys to high peaks and passes, the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness is an area full of hidden treasures. High Alpine lakes also dot the landscape. There are excellent opportunities for study of the geology and glaciation of Colorado.

Recreation - Recreation opportunities in the Hunter-Fryingpan Wilderness include hiking, backpacking, mountain climbing, fishing and horseback riding.

The White River and Gunnison National Forest maps will help to orientate visitors to the area. For more specific information consider the following USGS Quad maps (7 1/2 minute series): Aspen, Basalt, Capitol Peak, Gothic, Hayden Peak, Highland Peak, Marble, Maroon Bells, Mount Sopris, Pearl Pass, Redstone and Snowmass Mountain. They can be purchased at district offices or outdoor recreation shops.

Climate - Weather patterns change quickly. Summer weather is typically dry but afternoon thunderstorms can occur on any given day. Temperatures range from the 50-80's for highs to 20-40's for lows depending upon elevation. Snow can occur in any month of the year in the higher elevations.

Location - The Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness comprises 180,962 acres in the White River National Forest and the Gunnison National Forest. It encompasses much of the Elk Mountains of central Colorado.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

Filed By: Carolee (Richmond, VA)
Number of People Encountered: 11-25 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: We hiked from Maroon Lake to Buckskin Pass on July 28th. It's a strenuous hike that is worth every step! The Maroon Bells, Maroon Lake and Crater Lake are all beautiful and offer great photo ops for those who don't want to venture further, but if you're willing to start early and put more effort into an all day hike, the views from Bucksin Pass are stunning. The terrain on the hike up included a beautiful and long cascade of falls that ran along the trail and a gorgeous alpine meadow that was covered in wildflowers when we were there. From the ridge, we enjoyed stunning views of Pyramid Peak on one side and Snowmass Mountain and Snowmass Lake on the other. Great place to stop for lunch before returning! If you live at a low elevation, make sure to acclimate for a few days before doing this hike and carry lots of water!

Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: 20 mile half circle from East Maroon Portal to Conundrum Creek-- over a gorgeous pass, AMAZING views, wildflowers, hot springs. Including 1 hour at the springs, it was a 10 hour day.

More Information

Contact Information:
Aspen Ranger District, 806 W. Hallam , Aspen, CO, 81611, Phone: 970-925-3445

Sopris Ranger District, 620 Main St. , Carbondale, CO, 81623, Phone: 970-963-2266

Taylor River Ranger District, 216 N. Colorado , Gunnison, CO, 81230, Phone: 970-641-0471

Additional Information:
Aspen Area - Aspen sits at the upper end of the scenic Roaring Fork Valley, in the mountains of west-central Colorado. Aspen is a world-class ski resort, and with its mountain setting, a center for endless other outdoor recreation activities.
Aspen Ranger District - The Aspen Ranger District surrounds the resort town of Aspen, at the upper end of the Roaring Fork River Valley. It encompasses some spectacular mountain terrain in the Elk Mountains, and Sawatch Range.
Basalt Area - The small town of Basalt lies at the confluence of the Roaring Fork and the Fryingpan Rivers. The nearest highway to Basalt is Colorado 82 which passes through the southern end of town.
Carbondale Area - The Carbondale area includes the Crystal River Valley and portions of the lower Roaring Fork River Valley, south of Glenwood Springs. The area is approximately 175 miles west of Denver. Colorado Highways 82 and 133 intersect at Carbondale.
Colorado Wilderness Areas - Some of the most spectacular terrain in Colorado is preserved within Colorado's extensive system of Wilderness Areas.

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