Crater Lake (Maroon Bells Park in Aspen, CO)
- Attempted August 2014
- Apprx 4.2 miles round trip (from the Maroon Bells Lake, where the shuttle will drop you off)
- Apprx 2 hr hike
- Difficult-easy trip (not a walk in the park, but young kids or older adults could handle this hike)
- +600′ net elevation gain to Crater Lake (10,076′)
- sunblock (remember elevation makes a difference, closer to the sun)
- tech shell (you will want a shell to protect you from the rain, wind won’t be an issue since you stay below tree line for most of the hike)
Once you get off the shuttle, the Maroon Bells Lake is just a minute away. Very pretty. Made me really want to try to summit South Maroon Bells (14er) sometime in the near future!
Stay to the right side of the lake to reach the trail that’ll take you to Crater Lake.
As you walk along the right side of the lake, you will find the trail branches off to Crater Lake, and most people will take the lower trail to stay walking around the Maroon Bells Lake.
The trail is no cake walk, but can be conquered by almost anyone with patience.
The trail is mostly in the trees, but once in awhile there will be a clearing giving way to some spectacular views.
The end of the lake kind of just appears, you wouldn’t expect it! Just a quarter mile back from the lake is the fork that one would take if they are backpacking around maroon bells. You’ll want to stay left at this fork and it’ll be rather obvious.
Even on a rainy day this was a beautiful hike. I plan to return to either tackle the class 3 Maroon Bells Peak (Standard South Ridge approach) hike or to take on backpacking around the base of the Maroon Bells.