"I used to think that anyone doing anything weird was weird. I suddenly realized that anyone doing anything weird wasn't weird at all and it was the people saying they were weird that were weird"
Sir Paul McCartney Singer/songwriter/former Beatle and only person to be inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame three times.
The Maroon Bells are located in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, (near Aspen), and are considered to be the most photographed peaks in Colorado. If you’re a nature lover and wondering what you want to see in Colorado, this is the place to be. I consider them to be the most spectacular mountain peaks in the whole United States next to Mount Elbert and Massive.
The Maroon Bells are two peaks in the Elk Mountains, Maroon Peak and North Maroon Peak, separated by about a third of a mile. The mountain is on the border between Pitkin County and Gunnison County, Colorado, about 12 miles southwest of Aspen. Both peaks are counted as fourteeners. Maroon Peak, at 14,156 feet, is the 27th highest peak in Colorado; North Maroon Peak, at 14,014 feet, is the 50th highest. The view of the Maroon Bells to the southwest from the Maroon Creek Valley is one of the most famous scenes in Colorado, and is one of Colorado's premier scenic overlooks.
The peaks are located in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness of White River National Forest. A US Forest Service sign on the access trail refers to these mountains as "The Deadly Bells" and warns would-be climbers of "downsloping, loose, rotten and unstable" rock that "kills without warning". Unlike other mountains in the Rockies that are composed of granite and limestone, the Bells are composed of metamorphic sedimentary mudstone that has hardened into rock over millions of years. Mudstone is weak and fractures readily, giving rise to dangerously loose rock along almost any route. The mudstone is responsible for the Bells' distinctive maroon color. The Bells got their "deadly" name in 1965 when eight people died in five separate accidents.
Their proximity to Aspen makes the Maroon Bells an accessible tourist destination. Although motorized vehicle access is limited, bus tours operate throughout summer.
We'll meet at around 9 AM at the Heritage Visitor Center up stairs to the second floor and pay a 6 dollar shuttle fee at the sports shop. When I went up there a couple years ago we rode the shuttle and it was quite the experience! Alot of education by our bus driver who told us of the geology, history and earth sciences of this area. It is a very pleasant 30-40 minutes drive to and from the Maroon Bells.
Directions to the Heritage Visitor Center: Located 4.7 miles southwest of Aspen, Colorado, on Maroon Creek Road. From Highway 82 from Glenwood Springs, travel about 24 miles to the town of Aspen, take the Maroon Creek Road exit at the roundabout on the west edge of town. Follow Maroon Creek Road to the Visitor Center.
Have a great week everybody