Prior to emigrating to Australia seven years ago, I was fortunate enough to live in a place called Buxton. This historic spa town is located in the picturesque Peak District and has the distinction of being the highest town in England. Therefore, as the name of the region might suggest, there are many challenging hiking trails. When I was younger, these activities didn’t appeal to me at all, as it involved a certain amount of exercise. However nowadays, I love connecting with nature and make it an integral part of my holidays. That is why places like ‘Maroon Bells’ in Aspen, Colorado are hugely appealing to me.
As I have recently discovered, Aspen is far, far more than just a glitzy ski resort. Certainly, this city has become synonymous for its luxurious winter offerings; however, if you are not a snow lover, this historic location has an abundance of other enticing attractions, making it a fantastic vacation destination during all times of the year.
One of the many highlights for hikers and non-skiers is Maroon Bells, which consists of two peaks called ‘Maroon Peak’ and ‘North Maroon Peak’ in the Elk Mountains. The distinctive maroon color of the peaks is a result of their mudstone composition (which has hardened to rock like substance over millions of years). With a summit of 14,163 feet (4317 metres), these impressive major peaks are listed as the 50th highest in North America.
In a previous article, I focused on some of the most photographed hot spots in Aspen. Unequivocally, ‘Maroon Bells’ is a tourist favorite, especially due to its close proximity to downtown Aspen (roughly 12 miles). In fact, approximately 300,000 people travel to this wonderful destination each season. The peaks have become so popular that a regular bus service is now operational from mid-June to October. Judging by some of the amazing Instagram images posted online, pre-dawn seems to be a crowd favorite.
At 9,580 feet (2,920 metres), tourists can enjoy the splendour of Maroon Lake. This is accessible via a scheduled bus service from Aspen Highlands every 20-minutes. Alternatively, for the more adventurous, there are a variety of hiking trails (long and short). The scenic area of ‘Maroon Bells’ is a great picnic area for families and attracts a lot of campers, who desire peace and tranquillity. Certainly, these majestic peaks are a must for discerning nature lovers, and those who are pursuing an unforgettable experience.