Monday, October 9, 2017

Maroon Bells in the Aspen Snowmass Wilderness


My husband and I celebrated an anniversary recently, and spent a few days in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. While we were there I wanted to take a side trip to the Aspen Snowmass area where the iconic Maroon Bells Mountains are located.  We began our drive early in the morning on CO 82 East passing beautiful autumn scenery along the way.


Although peak autumn color was probably a week before, there were still plenty of color to light up the hills in shades of gold.....


...and a few reds and oranges were also in the mix, making a lovely patchwork quilt of tree color.


When we turned onto to Maroon Creek Road, County Road 13, to approach the USDA Forest Service Snowmass Wilderness Area where Maroon Bells are located, I was very excited to see their peaks in the distance!


We were fortunate to be able to drive into the Snowmass Wilderness area to see the Maroon Bells Scenic area, as between June 11 and Oct 2 only shuttle buses are allowed to bring visitors between the hours of 8 AM and 5 PM, due to the high volume of visitors. Shuttle bus information can be found on the USDA White River National Forest web site at this link.  We visited at a later date in October so we were able to drive in, and our America the Beautiful Senior Pass was accepted as payment.


Driving along the aspen tree lined road was beautiful.


The pristine White River National Forest was filled with color


All the while I could see the Maroon Bells peaks in the distance beneath a blue sky.


The 14,000 foot Maroon Bell Mountains are the most photographed mountains in North America. They lie in a glacial valley with Maroon Lake in front of them that often reflects the mountains on a clear weather day.  The mountains are part of the Elk Mountain Range and are composed of metamorphic sedimentary mudstone that has hardened into rock over millions of years.  The mudstone gives the mountains their maroon color, and their triangular shape gives them their name.


After parking, we looked at the information placards...


...and then began walking on a short trail towards the mountains.  I noticed the blue sky we saw on the drive in quickly being replaces by heavy clouds


Finally, my first full view of the maroon Bell Mountains! Maroon Lake was not mirror like due to the weather, and the blue sky had disappeared, so my photos would not win any awards, but I was too excited to care.


I've seen so many photos of these mountains that seeing them in person was a thrill for me! 


This was the view to their right...


...and to their left....


....and the view looking back to where most people stand to take the mountain's photo, along the shore of Maroon Lake.  There can be hundreds of photographers there lined up here at dawn, to take their photo as the sunrise lights them in alpenglow.


There are many scenic hiking trail options in the area and we took the easiest trail along the lake towards the mountains to get a closer view.


 The autumn aspen color was still strong in this area and made a beautiful forefront for the mountains.




There was a foot bridge at the end of the lake, leading towards a continuation of the trail.


As we crossed over the bridge it began to snow!  I was so excited to see it snowing heavily on the mountains, as snowflakes also drifted toward us.


The mountains became almost impossible to see, due to the snow white out.  It was such a beautiful sight and an experience I'll always remember.


We waited awhile, but the snow continued, so we walked back towards the parking lot, taking a few last looks at the mountains in all their changing season magnificence.


I was very happy to have visited this area of Colorado in the fall season, and to be able to check off a sight on my list of places I've been wanting to see for a long time. We had some other long awaited adventures on our anniversary trip, and I'll be showing them on a future post!

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58 comments:

diane b said...

Gob smacking beauty. Fabulous scenery and photographs. Thanks for showing me this beautiful part of the world. You are so lucky to be so close to it.The colours are gorgeous.

Maggie said...

First of all congratulations on your anniversary, my what a wonderful way you chose to celebrate the occasion. Those autumn colours are amazing, especially the different shades of the aspen trees. The Maroon Bells mountains are stunning, it's no surprise to learn that they are the most photographed, standing tall above the lake they are a magnificent and majestic sight.
So glad you took the MM'ers along with you on your hike today!

Villrose said...

What pretty colors and mountains! Can feel the fresh air :)

Pondside said...

That was a wonderful way to celebrate an anniversary. The golds and yellows are spectacular. I love how you have embraced your Colorado home!

eileeninmd said...

Hello Patricia, it is a wonderful trip to celebrate your anniversary. The views are just fabulous. Love the snow capped mountains and the beautiful trees. The yellow trees are gorgeous. I think this is one place that my hubby wanted to see during our Colorado trip, we did not have the time to visit. Lovely series of photos. Happy Monday and enjoy your new week ahead.

Felicia said...

Stunning. I could sit and look at them all day.

Daniela said...

Dearest Pat,
I've been missing you and your wonderful blog posts so much during my absence, cherished friend !

Sincerely grateful for all the Beauty you always share,
I'm sending hugs and ever much love to you

XOXO Dany

Lorrie said...

Happy Anniversary, Pat! What a wonderful way to celebrate a special occasion, in those very special mountains. The golden aspens are just stunning, as are the photos of the mountain. You live in an area with such spectacular scenery and your photos show it off so well. The tourist board should hire you as consultant!

From the Kitchen said...

When I clicked on your post I knew I'd better top off my coffee. So glad I did because my "trip" was spectacular!! Oh, those aspens along the roadside! I've seen photos of the Maroon Bells but none more beautiful than yours. Thanks so much for my armchair travel this morning.

Best,
Bonnie

Lady Fi said...

Wow - such beauty! I love the autumn colours and majestic scenery.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Absolutely stunning Pat... Colorado in Autumn is truly amazing! I would love to go to the Maroon Bells sometime...best in Fall of course. I enjoyed seeing the approach of the practically whiteout snowstorm in your mountain series.... that changeable weather is as much a part of Colorado as the mountains and the spectacular golden aspens.. thanks for sharing it all!

A Colorful World said...

Such gorgeous Fall photos! What a great Anniversary trip!

Tamar SB said...

Just gorgeous!!

Snap said...

I love the aspens -- spectacular! Happy Anniversary!

Charlene N.K. said...

That was such a wonderful anniversary! The place is just amazing! All your pictures are breathtaking. I would love to see that place in autumn too.

Rajesh said...

Very beautiful shots of the nature and mountains.

The Gathering Place said...

Oh, how I love the mountains! Seeing them covered with the magic effects of fall is my favorite way to enjoy their beauty. Your pictures were lovely! Thanks.

Ann said...

Yes I did forget this was Pioneer Woman line--I also have the salt & pepper shakers. Oh those Aspens are such glorious trees, our Son is itching for us to come visit. Have been there at Thanksgiving and the beauty is tremendous.

Ann

Linda W. said...

Absolutely stunning mountains and fall color!

NC Sue said...

The colors are stunning! Beautiful images!
Thanks for sharing at https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2017/10/beauty-on-wing.html

Tom said...

...the first word to come to mind is GORGEOUS! What fabulous landscapes, thanks for sharing all this beauty.

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

Colorado in the autumn is incredibly beautiful!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

Breathtaking....just absolutely gorgeous! It's always tricky to see the golden colors of the Aspen because they don't last long! Hugs!

Ruth Hiebert said...

Stunning photos. Now you have a reason to go back there and get that reflection shot as well.

Alycia Quiltygirl.com said...

Oh your photos are so beautiful! I have wanted to go there - and now I really really do!! thanks for making the trip!

Angie said...

Pat - these are truly spectacular photos in every way - the autumn colors, the natural beauty of the mountains, the water, the snow ... and how special that it was snowing while you were there! Best of all possible worlds! Coincidentally, my younger brother and his wife are visiting us right now, and they live in Glenwood!!! They got a real kick out of reading your post! Have a wonderful week!

The Furry Gnome said...

I can see why those mountains are so popular for photographs! The Aspen on the slopes are brilliant!

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Congratulations on your anniversary and kudos to you and your husband for celebrating it. (My last boss when I told her I was taking the day off to celebrate my anniversary, gushed, "That is so cute!! but of course me and my husband we are way past that, sometimes we don't even think to say Happy Anniversary until weeks later." I told her that was one of the saddest things I have ever heard. We should never get jaded about such things.)

And what a way to celebrate, going to these beautiful mountains.

ellen b. said...

Wow wow wow! Amazing and glorious!

jeannettestgermain said...

Wow, this is the most awesome landscape - you have everything here -snowy mountains, a lake, and the bright colors! Thank you for sharing this dream piece of earth with All Seasons! Have a beautiful week:)

Denise inVA said...

Wow Pat, thank you for sharing these spectacular photos. The scenery is stunning!

Molly said...

Beautiful scenery

Mollyx

BarberryLane Designs said...

Absolutely gorgeous photos! And that is a walk of a lifetime---worth waiting for! Thanks so much for sharing! Sandi

Marilyn @ MountainTopSpice said...

Absolutely incredible pictures you were able to take! Oh my, I just soaked up the beauty of each picture! How wonderful that you were able to drive in and see the sights in your own vehicle. What a crazy hike, in the snow! These mountains! You just never know what kind of weather you will encounter in them. Truly a memorable anniversary experience to hold in your heart always :)

Lowcarb team member said...

Absolutely stunning.
A wonderful collection of photographs.
I could almost breathe in the good air ...

All the best Jan

csuhpat1 said...

Happy Anniversary and what a wonderful place to head to. Lovely pics.

carol l mckenna said...

Happy Anniversary to you and absolutely gorgeous photography and great place ~ USA

A ShutterBug Explores ~ aka (A Creative Harbor)

Sharon Wagner said...

Gorgeous! What a splendid fall adventure. I was there years ago. I always regretted not completing the hike.

Ida said...

So many stunning views and the color oh my it's just gorgeous.

Rambling Woods said...

Happy Anniversary! And what a great place to celebrate. Wow.... how beautiful even with a less than sunny day... just wonderful! Michelle

Andrea said...

OMG those are such amazing sceneries. How i wish i can have a chance to see them too, also in autumn! It is always very rewarding to come here in your site for a lot of informative posts, not only beautiful. Thanks.

bettyl-NZ said...

What fabulous autumn colors!! Wow! Thanks so much for sharing these awesome photos.

Sue said...

Anniversary wishes to you and your husband. what a wonderful anniversary trip you had, the photos are absolutely spectacular! Thank you for sharing.
Sue

Vicki said...

Happy Anniversary to you both! Your photos are amazing, I can only imagine what the views looked like in person!

Spare Parts and Pics said...

Absolutely stunning shots! Looks to me like you caught the colors at their peak. Oh, and happy anniversary!!

Stanley Hattman said...

OMG!! What a glorious set of shots. Enlarging each one made it all the more breathtaking...kudos!!! BTW..I had not heard of these mountains before, so thanks for the eye-opener.

Joyful said...

Happy Belated Anniversary to you! The scenery you've captured is absolutely stunning. Great photos!

Michelle Leslie said...

Happy anniversary to you and your hubby Pat and what a lovely place to celebrate your anniversary. Aspen Snowmass looks magical. All those colors. You photos are always so beautiful

irenewaters19.com said...

Wonderful photos and information. thank you for taking me with you.

Ruth Rieckehoff said...

Congratulations on your anniversary! What a fantastic trip. It is hard to beat the fall colors in the state of Colorado. I need to see those one day. This morning I got an e-mail alerting me that the color in California's Eastern Sierra are in. They should last one or two weeks. We are going to Lake Tahoe next Friday. Hope to see some of the colors while passing by. #TPThursday

Jan Robinson said...

This post is full of gorgeous photos. The second photo of the autumn colours actually looks like an oil painting. Such beautiful countryside. I like the dirt track photo also - it makes me wish I could be walking down it and exploring and isn't that what travel blogs are all about! Thanks for linking up.

Kelleyn Rothaermel said...

I can only imagine how spectacular Colorado is in the fall. I am a big fan of birch trees!

Gillena Cox said...

Awesome photos

have a nice Monday

Mine

much love...

Aletha Cress Oglesby said...

This makes me want to go back there, it has been much too long. I'm glad I got my Senior Pass, I'll use it here.

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

There's nothing quite so dazzling as golden aspens against a bright blue sky, Thanks for linking to Blue Monday.

Pat Tillett said...

Wow! One amazing view, and gorgeous photo after another.
I've got to go there sometime.
REALLY nice post Pat.

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

What a stunning part of the country in autumn with the golden aspens. Congratulations on your anniversary, I can see it was a memorable one.

indah nuria Savitri said...

Oh my God...gorgeous landscape and amazing vistas indeed! I really have to explore more of this part of the world!