We were in Aspen, Colorado in the first week of November and since there wasn't a whole lot of snow and we are not exactly ski enthusiasts, it was Maroon Bells that turned out to be the highlight of our Aspen expedition.
The drive from Aspen to the Maroon Bells area took us a little over a half hour. There weren't many vehicles on the two-lane road leading up to Maroon Lake so it was a nice and easy drive. When we got there, I found a board that said that this place received around 200,000 visitors every summer. So I'm guessing it is a great place to go camping. And let me tell you it is an altogether different story in the Fall; with all those trees turning yellow, it is quite a picture. When I saw some photographs for the first time, I had let out a loud gasp.
When we were visiting, it wasn't winter yet and the peak of Autumn was behind us. The Aspen trees had shed their leaves so the surroundings looked very bright. It looked like winter had come in a little early and served these parts with a few rounds of precipitation. There was some snow in the trails around the lake and on the hills in the vicinity. The two peaks that made up Maroon Bells were also dressed in some snow. As we got to the clearing I saw something I had never seen before -- a frozen lake.
The Maroon Lake, at an elevation of 9000 odd feet was absolutely still. There was not a single ripple and the morning sun that shone on it bounced off perfectly. There were stones and twigs, even bits of branches embedded in the crystal-clear ice, seeming like the lake had solidified all of a sudden.
The frozen lake, the mighty twin peaks, the dry Aspen trees and the snow on the super-straight ridges of the Maroon Bells made me feel like I was in a grand post card.
|Maroon Lake, and Maroon Bells in the background|
|Frozen: Maroon Lake|
|Up close: the frozen lake|
- Maroon Bells gets its name from the reddish tinge of the peaks mountains here. And the mountains owe its colour to the mudstone it is made up of.
- Maroon Bells is around 12 miles away from Downtown Aspen but it will take you a good half hour to get there, considering you’re going to be driving uphill on a two-lane road.
- If your Navigation System does not show the route to Maroon Bells or Maroon Lake, you could look up an address on Colorado Road 13 and drive up to the end of the road.
- There are several hiking trails around here, even one to Crater Lake that lies in between Maroon Bells and Maroon Lake.
- This place dons a different look every season. See how it looks in Fall (here).
Aboard the California Zephyr
Through Zephyr's picture windows (a photo post)