West Maroon Creek Trail

Maroon Bells–Snowmass Wilderness Area, Colorado

Elevation Gain3,250ft
Trailhead Elevation10,131ft
Elevation Min/Max10083/12504ft
Elevation Start/End10131/10131ft

West Maroon Creek Trail

West Maroon Creek Trail is a hiking and horse trail in Pitkin County, Colorado. It is within Maroon Bells–Snowmass Wilderness Area. It is 4.7 miles long and begins at 10,131 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 9.5 miles with a total elevation gain of 3,250 feet. Along the trail there are camp sites. The trail ends near the West Maroon Pass (elevation 12,385 feet) saddle. This trail connects with the following: Maroon Snowmass.

West Maroon Creek Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"Classic Colorado. Simple and clear, Maroon Lake is classic Colorado. This is the picture on the postcards— the Maroon Bells clad in ribbons of snow during winter, skirted in greenery and wildflowers in summer, and set off by the electric yellows of the changing aspen in autumn, all reflected postcard picture perfect in the still waters of Maroon Lake.

You can place yourself front and center by hiking the Maroon Lake Scenic Trail. None of the braided trails around Maroon Lake are backbreakers, but the farther you travel toward the Bells, the more work you will do. A ten-minute ramble through soft meadow to the blue shore of the tarn, or a climb through whispering aspen that tests the lungs and knees— it’s your choice."

"There is something magical about the Maroon Bells. Perhaps it is their saturated pigmentation, or their lofty summits, or it could be the multifold layers of eroded sandstone. Most likely it is their magnificent setting, which is mirrored in jeweled Maroon Lake.

The Maroon Lake Scenic Loop is actually two loops formed into a figure eight. The bounty of wildflowers make this a wonderful experience for lovers of natural beauty. Wildflower Alert: You’ll find yourself wandering in a sea of wildflowers serenaded by water on this scenic trail."

"A brief stroll along Maroon Lake and West Maroon Creek. This easy day hike visits the shoreline of Maroon Lake, then explores the beaver-rich waters of Maroon Creek above the lake.

Fabulous views of the Maroon Bells can be had all along the route. The initial stretch along the lakeshore has been paved and is wheelchair accessible."

"There is a shuttle bus from Aspen from mid-May through mid-September that you must take if you are setting out after 8:30 AM, which is when the Maroon Lake Road closes to private cars. Shuttle stops are near the McDonald’s in town or at the Highlands Ski Area off Colorado Highway 82. People pay a fee, but dogs ride free.

Call the ranger district for information. When you are in Aspen, you must see the Maroon Bells, the most deadly and arguably the most beautiful and most photographed mountains in Colorado. You will not be alone in this sightseeing endeavor, so preplanning is necessary. In peak season, either plan an early start, or plan on taking the shuttle bus from Aspen."

West Maroon Creek Trail Reviews

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On the day my husband and I walked this trail, tt was perfectly sunny, the sky was cloudless and the views were astounding. The wildflowers were in bloom like you wouldn't believe - watch for the hummingbirds who were attracted to the tall slender stalks with small white blooms! This is a fairly easy trail for all abilities and you will not find any better Rocky Mountain scenery with such little effort. The reflection of the Maroon Bells in the lake will have you using up film or digital space in minutes! There is a small waterfall and rushing stream that is crossed by wooden bridges that add to the ambiance. With the lush foliage, it would be wise to apply bug repellant before walking through the narrow parts of the trail. Certainly use sunscreen and bring water as there is none for sale (just restrooms and fountains) at the Visitor Center.
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This is one of the most beautiful spots in the world. Alpine Peaks, crystal clear lake, Aspen trees. Because of its easy accessiblity it's always crowded. But, if you Bike in after 5:pm or camp you can have access when its not crowded.

West Maroon Creek Trail Photos

Trail Information

Maroon Bells–Snowmass Wilderness Area
Nearby City
Maroon Bells–Snowmass Wilderness Area
Skill Level
Maroon Bells - Snowmass Wilderness
Local Contacts
USGS Maroon Bells
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Nov 2018