Hiking Maroon Bells is a must for any Denver local or visitor, offering up stunning vistas, sparkling lakes, and towering aspens around every turn of the region’s many trails. With excellent trail options to suit novice and advanced hikers alike, the Maroon Bells mountain range and surrounding area is a veritable playground for anyone with a love for the outdoors.
Whether you’re planning your first or fiftieth Maroon Bells hike, five trails stand out as some of the area’s most scenic and exciting hikes.
The Maroon Lake Trail: Great for Families or Newbie Hikers
Just because you’re hiking with kids or just getting started as a hiker, that doesn’t mean you’re limited to bland, boring trails. The Maroon Lake Trail stretches less than a mile and has nominal elevation gain, making it doable for even the most inexperienced hiker. You’ll pass through awe-inspiring aspen groves and lush meadows on the way to Maroon Lake, the perfect place to enjoy a picnic lunch while taking in the postcard-worthy views of the Maroon Bells peaks.
The Scenic Loop Trail: A Maroon Bells Favorite
Ask anyone who’s hiked Maroon Bells before, and odds are they’re familiar with the Scenic Loop Trail. This three-mile lollipop loop trail is a fairly easy hike, serving up incredible scenery everywhere you look. Between the gurgling waters of Maroon Creek, the rainbow of wildflowers, and even the occasional moose, this popular trail is definitely one to check out.
The Maroon Creek Trail: The Road Less Traveled
This one-way trail gives you the option of a 2.5- or 3.5-mile hike, covering relatively easy terrain as it winds gently downhill alongside Maroon Creek. Sticking close to the creek waters makes the Maroon Creek Trail the perfect way to spot a variety of Colorado wildlife in its natural habitat – so make sure you have your camera ready to capture the sights.
The Crater Lake Trail: A Challenge Worth Conquering
If you’re prepared to tackle one of the more demanding trails in the Maroon Bells, consider challenging yourself to the Crater Lake Trail. Just over 3.5 miles, this rocky trail definitely requires solid footwear and moderate experience, but your hard work will be well rewarded when you arrive at Crater Lake. With the peaceful aspens and lush meadows at your back, you’ll be faced with the sparkling lake waters and unparalleled mountain views.
The Willow Lake Trail: The Ultimate Maroon Bells Experience
For hikers with plenty of trail time under their belts, the Willow Lake Trail offers a challenging 13-mile trek and an unforgettable experience. The hike is an out and back trail that takes you through Minnehaha Gulch, alongside alpine meadows, and to the shores of Willow Lake, and many hikers elect to set up camp overnight to make the most of the hike. Spend the night at one of the established campsites at Minnehaha Gulch to recharge before heading back out on the trail and come well-prepared with all the necessary gear.
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Check out the Maroon Bell Outdoor selection of outdoor clothing and gear today to find everything you need to explore the best Maroon Bells, Colorado hiking trails.