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Nature at Its Finest in Aspen: Maroon Bells

Surrounded by pristine forests on the border of Pitkin and Gunnison Counties in Colorado rise South Maroon Peak and North Maroon Peak -- the Maroon Bells -- two imposing peaks so-named because of their reddish colour and distinct bell shape. They are popular attractions on Aspen holidays, and are the most photographed mountains in North America.

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Explore the glacial valley speckled with vast fields of wildflowers and aspen groves, and highlighted by the scenic view of Maroon Lake, mirroring the Maroon Bells in the distance. A multitude of plants and wildlife are found in the area, including big-horn sheep, red foxes, and yellow-bellied marmots.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service offers guided naturalist hikes that immerse tourists into the exceptional beauty of the area. Various hiking trails traverse through rocky terrain and aspen groves, taking hikers to Crater Lake high up the mountain. Maroon Creek trail is a less crowded track, offering picturesque views of Maroon Bells and Pyramid Peak. It is a popular site for horseback riding.

Picnics and camping are only allowed in Maroon Valley, home to three developed campsites: Silver Bar, Silver Bell, and Silver Queen. Tourists can reserve the sites by calling the park’s toll-free number.

Maroon Bells is most accessible to non-motorised forms of transportations. Cars have limited access in the area, although those with vehicle passes can enter at specific times. Scheduled bus trips take hosts of tourists to the site from Aspen Highlands.

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