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I am a New York-based writer, travel lover, and author of The Drive North and Destination Paranormal. I have several other books in the works, including fiction.

Hiking the Maroon Bells

The Maroon Bells

The Maroon Bells

Hiking the Maroon Bells near Aspen is one of the best experiences to be had when visiting Colorado. But when a friend of mine and I recently stopped in for a short walk, I left disappointed. That’s something not many people feel when leaving the area. The mountains and reflective waters are, after all, one of the most beautiful spots in the state. So why’d I leave disappointed? Because I didn’t have more time.

A map of the area around the Maroon Bells

A map of the area around the Maroon Bells

Like so many people,  I had seen more than my fair share of pictures from the Maroon Bells. Repeatedly I had been told how I needed to go. And more than a few times did I make plans to do so. Yet something always got in the way. Now that it happened, though, and I look back on my short time spent hiking in the White River National Forest, I see I drastically under budgeted my time.

In truth, there was no way around it. We were driving back to Denver the long way from Steamboat Springs, because the Ride the Rockies bike race had the most direct route shut down. So while we knew we weren’t going to have more than a couple of hours to spare, we agreed that stopping for any amount of time was better than nothing. And it most certainly was; but there are trails to explore, adventures to be had, and now I’ve got a bug to get back.

A waterfall up the trail behind Maroon Lake

A waterfall up the trail behind Maroon Lake

While at the Bells, we walked the path along the lake. We hiked up to the waterfalls in the trees at the base of the mountains. And we simply sat and enjoyed the view. In case you’re not able to do so on your travels, don’t worry. I’ve got you covered. I took a big panoramic of the whole area:

Click on me for the full screen panoramic

Click on me now and again when I open for the full screen panoramic

Even if you loved that photo or the others, I’m not going to tell you to go. No. I’m not going to jam it down your throat like others have done to me. But just know that it is one of the most photographed areas on the continent for a simple reason: it’s amazing. So while Aspen may be out of the budget for a lot of folks, myself included, there are ways to make it happen, whether it be by driving down from nearby Glenwood Springs, over Independence Pass from Leadville, or going it on the cheap with some camping. No matter how you do it, though, you likely won’t be disappointed so long as you give it plenty of time.

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2 Comments on “Hiking the Maroon Bells”

  1. Traveling Ted (@travelingted) July 12, 2014 at 10:22 am #

    I think it is a good thing to leave a place knowing you wish you had more time to stay. It gives you a reason to go back and gives you something to look forward to. It beats the alternative which is leaving a place after you felt like you saw everything or even worse leaving a place after you felt you saw too much.

  2. sayyestohappy November 22, 2014 at 12:36 am #

    Maroon Bells is my boyfriend and I’s favorite place! I blogged about our short trip there as well. Such an unbelievably beautiful place!! Great post and pictures!

    http://sayyestohappy.wordpress.com/2013/09/19/travel-thursday-maroon-bells-colorado/

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