Maroon Bells is one of the most famous and photographed peaks in the US. Located in Aspen, CO, getting to the popular photo spot is quite easy - it's only a few minutes down from the parking lot. The hardest part is knowing how to get there, when to go, and what to do afterwards.
- Quick viewpoint from the parking lot at sunrise
- Between 8AM-5PM you need to take a bus
- There are various hiking options that leave from the famous photo point
If you're looking for more solitude, you'll want to go to Maroon Bells at sunrise. Yes there are a ton of tripods and photographers, but 20 photographers is nothing compared to 100 people in the middle of the day. At sunrise, you can go ahead and park at the Maroon Bells Trailhead for a $10 fee. Otherwise you'll have to take a free shuttle as explained here.
An hour after the sun rises and you've enjoyed your morning, you can continue counterclockwise around to the Crater Lake Trail which is a 3.6 mile there-and-back trail that takes you closer to the Maroon Bells. It's a super relaxing hike and ends at the pristine Crater Lake. The temperature dropped considerably as we arrived to the lake. The terrain is mostly small rocks, so having at least sneakers on is recommended although hiking boots are probably more comfortable.
All in all, it was a great morning spent at Maroon Bells. It would be a nice spot for a picnic too if you have a full afternoon free.