The Maroon Bells are the most photographed peaks in North America. Named for their color and distinctive bell shape, the mountains rise over 14,000 feet. A smooth paved road runs up to Maroon Lake offering easy access and incredible views.
The heavy traffic and exhaust fumes were taking its toll on the surrounding White River National Forest. Instead of closing the popular road, the Forest Service restricts the use of vehicles during summer months. The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority (RFTA) provides bus service from Aspen Highlands Village to the parking lot by Maroon Lake. Buses run every 20 to 30 minutes from 9am to 5pm.
Maroon Lake is only about 12 miles from downtown Aspen. Subsequently the Maroon Creek Road is very popular with local cyclists, rollerbladers, rollerskiers, and hikers. In the winter, avalanches make the road dangerous to plow but it is still enjoyed by cross country skiers and snowmobilers.
During the height of the fall color season, photographers line the shore of Maroon Lake each morning. Sunday, September 24th was a memorable day. An early winter storm had just cleared the valley leaving blue skies, golden aspens, and lots of snow. Delighted photographers proclaimed it was the best day in 15 to 20 years. A panorama of the lake that morning can be found at http://www.aspenportrait.com/maroon_bells/bells1.html