Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness - GMUG


Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness

Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness encompasses 183,847 acres and spans the Gunnison and White River National Forests. The majority of the area is within White River National Forest. Elevations range from 9,000’ to 14,000’. There are more than 100 miles of trails for foot and horse travel through extremely rugged terrain.

Six peaks rising above 14,000 feet draw mountaineers to challenge themselves on the rugged terrain. These peaks are among the most difficult to scale in the state. Caution and skill are advised.

In midsummer, the wildflowers are abundant. Native Bighorn Sheep make their home in the rocky terrain. Elk and deer currently thrive in the Elk Mountains, but development threatens their habitat.

The Maroon Bells Scenic Area provides access to popular Wilderness trailheads. Due to the popularity of recreation in the Maroon Bells Scenic Area, shuttle buses operate during the summer months (approximate mid-June through Labor Day, plus weekends in September) to Maroon Lake.

A permit is required for overnight stays within the Conundrum Hot Springs Zone, this zone includes: all of Conundrum Creek Valley from Silver Dollar Pond to Triangle Pass, and includes the popular Conundrum Hot Springs. This permit must be acquired in advance at  All other overnight visitors to the Maroon Bells - Snowmass Wilderness are required to self-register at trailhead registration boxes. Always use Leave No Trace techniques to help keep this area wild, clean, and pristine.

At a Glance

Permit Info:
Usage: Medium-Heavy
Restrictions: Wilderness restrictions apply.
Closest Towns: Aspen, Colorado; Crested Butte, Colorado;
Water: Treat all non-potable water before consuming.
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center:

General Information


Trailhead/trails that access Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness at Gunnison National Forest:

See also: 

General Notes:

National Forest Recreation Map- North Gunnison (pdf)  (Zoomify)

Topo maps

Forest Service Topography Maps: These maps overlay Forest Service assets, such as roads, trails, and campgrounds, on USGS's topographic maps. They are available for download by quadrangle.

Buy maps online

National Forest Store: Offers a full, nationwide selection of National Forest, Ranger District, Wilderness, and Specialty Maps for purchase online or by phone, fax, and mail.

Colorado’s Fourteen Thousand Foot Peaks (14ers)

Fourteen Thousand Foot Peaks on the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forest.

Find more information about climbing Colorado’s peaks at the Rocky Mountain Region 14ers page.

Go to for additional maps and information about Wilderness.


Areas & Activities