West Maroon #1970


ALERT: Due to recent bear activity, bear canisters are required for all backpackers in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness.

West Maroon Trail #1970 starts at Maroon Lake and climbs through aspen trees to Crater Lake. Take the left fork at Crater Lake. After the lake the trail follows the stream for a short distance and then enters the forest. Upon emerging from the forest you will cross a rocky scree field. The first stream crossing is in a little over three miles. The trail climbs through forest and willow before reaching another stream crossing in an open area. After crossing, the trail climbs steadily through willow and then tundra. This area is very open and the pass can be seen in the distance.

The trail continues to climb steeply through switchbacks followed by a long traverse that ends at the top of the Pass. The views are spectacular on a clear day. From the top of the pass the trail descends on the other side to the East Fork Creek Trail and Schofield Park into Crested Butte or Frigid Air Pass.

View a trail description and map (.pdf)

At a Glance

Operational Hours: Maroon Bells Access information
Fees Maroon Bells Scenic Area is a fee area. 
Permit Info: Each party overnighting in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness is required to self-register (free) at the trailhead and to carry a copy of the registration with them during their visit. 
Open Season: Memorial Day Weekend - weather dependent - October- weather dependent
Usage: Heavy
Restrictions: Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness restrictions (trail)
Closest Towns: Aspen, CO
Restroom: Vault Toilet (1)
Passes: Valid Recreation Passes are accepted. 
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Maroon Bells Information Center at Aspen Ranger Station
806 West Hallam
Aspen, CO 81611
(970) 925-3445
Maroon Bells Hotline: (970) 945-3319 

General Information


Make sure to review Maroon Bells Scenic Area Access information to get latest rates, seasonal vehicle restrictions & bus information.

From Aspen, Colorado, head southwest for 6.5 miles on Maroon Creek Road. From Highway 82 take the Maroon Creek Road exit at the roundabout on the West edge of town. Follow Maroon Creek Road to the Maroon Bells Welcome Station.

Maroon Bells Access Vicinity Map

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



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  Area/Length : 
8.4 miles

  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
9,580' - 12,500'


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