Maroon Bells is a worldwide destination that lives up to the hype, permits, and regulations required to get here. We’ve hiked all over Colorado, and stepping off the shuttle within Maroon Bells left us speechless. Gorgeous is a minor description! Hike around Maroon Lake Loop and take a 3.5-mile out-and-back trail to Crater Lake, which is incredible!

MAROON BELLS

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Hiking towards Maroon Lake, it’s picture-perfect, leaving you wondering, “Is this real?” Snowmelt is rushing down the mountainsides against a bright blue sky among lush green high-altitude terrain and peaks. Below, Maroon Lake sparkles in the early morning sun. Maroon Bell Peaks dominate everything.

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It is the middle of June, and very few people are here, which surprised us and the rangers who greeted us. Hiking along Maroon Lake was idyllic, with only the sounds of water lapping along the edge as we inched our way to the Crater Lake Trailhead. 

HIKE to CRATER LAKE 

3.5 Miles out and back — Moderately challenging 

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Crater Lake Trail begins on an uphill ascent within a shimmering forest of Aspen trees and beautiful early summer wildflowers. Not long before, magnificent peaks appear ahead as we stumble up the rocky path, trying to keep our footing and take in the surroundings. It’s breathtaking.

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Hiking into Crater Lake is like walking into a Colorado postcard. A photo cannot capture this; you have to be here in person! 

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The views stretched out before us were spectacular. You will want some time to explore, eat a snack, and then not want to leave…

 

Plan to visit Maroon Bells > Reservations, Permits, Parking, and Shuttle Information

Crater Lake Trail

3.5 miles out and back

Moderately challenging – rocky with a moderate incline.

Family-friendly

Suggestions: Wear good shoes or boots. Bring extra water. Trekking poles are helpful. It is high exposure to the sun. Weather is unpredictable at high altitudes; watch the skies.

Note: Many of the links are affiliate links which means I receive a very small commission (at no added cost to you).

HIKES NEARBY to ALPINE LAKES!

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AMERICAN LAKE TRAIL

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LOST MAN LAKE TRAIL

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THOMAS LAKES TRAIL

Can't wait to see you on the trail!

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