No trip to Aspen would be complete without visiting the Maroon Bells. Don't let the crowds deter or the fact that you have to take a bus from Aspen Highlands Village mid-June through Labor Day (and on the weekends throughout September) you, the views and photo opportunities are beyond worth the effort. The easiest hike is more of a stroll than a hike, it’s flat and short and makes the area a great place to bring small children and the elderly. It’s also a great place to snap some incredible family photos. Maroon Lake is just a couple hundred yards from the parking areas and the bus drop off. You can stroll along the west side of the lake or go around it to the south.
If you feel a little more energetic resolve to hike to Crater Lake, a high-alpine lake that sits at the base of the Maroon Bells. The rocky trail’s grade is moderate and the hike to Crater Lake requires about 500 vertical feet in gain over about 1.5 miles. To access Crater Lake hike to the west end of Maroon Lake. Here, you’ll find a trail that splits off to your left, take that. You’ll notice at the trailhead there’s a sign cautioning people about the "Deadly Bells" and the dangers of climbing the two peaks.
Crater Lake provides not just a great view of the Maroon Bells, but Aspen’s famed 14,000-foot peak, Pyramid Peak, sits to the left. West Maroon Pass, the popular hiking route to Crested Butte, is accessed via the south and east sides of the Bells. Four Pass Loop sits west of the Bells, which is another renowned three- to four-day overnight route over Buckskin Pass.
Colorado Must Visit: The Maroon Bells