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Exploring the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness


Marble, Colorado sits amidst the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, offering visitors to Crystal Mountain Ranch a host of outdoor activities and places to explore. These landmarks include mountains, lakes and many others that can fill up any vacation plans. Experience scenic Colorado through the lens of the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness.
What is the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness?

Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness is one of five areas in Colorado that received wilderness designation from the original Wilderness Act of 1964. The wilderness encompasses the White River and Gunnison national forests in central Colorado. It is also home to many iconic landmarks including the Maroon Bells, Snowmass Mountain, several lakes and a host of other mountains. Visit the wilderness's website to learn more.


Maroon Bells

One of the more iconic mountains in the area are the Maroon Bells. These are two mountains — Maroon Peak and North Maroon Peak — that stand a third of a mile apart in the Elk Mountains. Both mountains stand above 14,000 feet in elevation. Though the Maroon Bells sit just east of Marble, you'll have to take a roundabout way of close to 70 miles to reach them. The mountains are home to some great hikes including the Maroon Lake, Scenic Loop, Maroon Creek, Crater Lake and Willow Lake trails. Another popular activity at the Maroon Bells is photography because of the idyllic nature of the mountains and their surrounding area.

Snowmass Mountain

Snowmass Mountain is another popular mountain in the wilderness that stretches above 14,000 feet in elevation. This mountain sits northeast from Marble and offers a lot of great activities. Hiking is one of the most popular activities to do on the mountain but visitors can also go biking. While Snowmass Mountain is the tallest peak on the mountain, there are several others that are great to explore including Hagerman Peak and Snowmass Peak, both of which stand above 13,000 feet. Along the bass of Snowmass sits Snowmass Lake, which is a great place to go trout fishing. Snowmass Village is also worth a visit.


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Crater Lake

Mountains aren't the only great natural landmark in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness. There are many lakes in the area and Crater Lake is one of the more popular locations. This body of water sits on the east side of the Maroon Bells and, like the iconic mountains, requires a roundabout way to reach it from Marble. This idyllic lake came to be about 7,700 years ago when a volcano eruption collapsed the peak. There are many ways to experience this lake including a 33-mile drive around it. You can also summit Garfield Peak, Watchman Peak and Mount Scott for different views of the lake. You can take some time to capture photographs of animals and the wildlife during the day or go stargazing at night. Summer months are a great time to go fishing or take a swim in the lake.

Maroon Lake

A short distance from Crater Lake sits Maroon Lake, another great alpine body of water. You can reach the lake via a hiking trail from the parking lot and circle the body of water. This is a one-mile round trip and ranks as an easy hike. Upon arrival, you can enjoy time fishing for trout. Whatever you decide to do will be worth your time and you'll get to enjoy scenic Colorado at its finest.


Best Time to Visit the Maroon Bells

The above-mentioned attractions aren't the only places to visit within the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness. Exploring the area is the best way to truly experience its natural beauty. Finding the right time is crucial so make sure you understand the Maroon Bells' weather. Summer is often the best time to visit the wilderness as much of the snow is gone and many of these attractions are more accessible. If you visit during the summer, Crystal Mountain Ranch is here to offer you some top-notch accommodations.