MAROON BELLS HOTLINE AND INFORMATION
The hotline will be updated daily by Forest Service staff to provide the most current information so you know what to expect and can make the best decisions for your personal travel itineraries.
MAROON BELLS BUS
Service runs June 9, 2018 through October 8, 2018
The Maroon Bells Bus started in 1977 after it was recognized that the beautiful roadside wildflowers were dying and that the overhanging Aspen trees were being choked to death. It was then that the problems of automobile air pollution, inconsiderate drivers, and very fragile high altitude mountain terrain had to be addressed. The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority worked with the National Forest Service to prevent the complete closure of the road to the Maroon Bells. To this end, a bus service was initiated during the peak hours and months. The road was closed to private cars from 7:30am to 5pm with the exception of handicap vehicles and those with 12 passengers or more. Since the buses have been in use the trees and flowers have substantially recovered from the damage the heavy car traffic had created and the valley is therefore still available for recreational use. We thank you for your cooperation.
The Maroon Bells Bus service runs every day starting June 9th through October 8th. Your driver will point out areas of interest and geographical features, describe the wildlife, and tell you some of the area’s history on your 20 minute scenic ride to the Maroon Bells. When you arrive at Maroon Lake at the base of the Bells you may depart the bus and return on any later bus, affording you the opportunity to hike, take a ACES guided nature tour at 10:15am and 1:15pm, picnic (there are no food vendors at the Maroon Bells), take pictures or have a moment of solitude. One should be sure to bring a jacket (afternoon thunder showers are common), walking or hiking shoes and of course a camera.
MAROON BELLS BUS SCHEDULE
All buses depart from Aspen Highlands Ski Area. Continuous bus service starts at 8:05 am, the last bus departs to the Maroon Bells at 4:30pm and returns to Highlands from the Maroon Bells at 5:00pm. Parking is available at Aspen Highlands or you can take the free Castle Maroon Bus from Rubey Park Transit Center to reach Aspen Highlands.
LEAVING ASPEN HIGHLANDS HEADING UP TO THE MAROON BELLS
LEAVING MAROON LAKE HEADING BACK TO ASPEN HIGHLANDS
MAROON BELLS BUS TICKETS
Each individual must have a ticket in hand in order to load the Maroon Bell Bus at the Aspen Highlands parking lot loading zone. The ticket prices are listed below for the 2017 season. A $0.65 Forest Service recreation fee is part of the RFTA bus fee. This fee goes towards repairs, maintenance, improvements, and education.
$8.00 for adults
$6.00 for youth aged 6-16
$6.00 for 65 and over
FREE for Children 5 and under
TICKETS can be purchased right next to the Maroon Bells bus loading at Four Mountain Sports in Aspen Highlands.
Sightseeing Package – $35
- One ticket to ride the Maroon Bells Bus
- Up to 3 days of gondola & chairlift rides (Aspen & Snowmass)
- $10 lunch credit at Sundeck (Aspen) or Elk Camp (Snowmass)
- $5 food and beverage credit at the Limelight Lounge – Aspen
- 20% off bike rentals and clinics
To purchase the Sightseeing Package visit any Aspen Snowmass ticket office, Four Mountain Sports location or aspensnowmass.com.
ASPEN HIGHLANDS PARKING
Vehicles can park at the Aspen Highlands Village Parking Lot for an additional parking fee.
Aspen Highlands Parking Rates
0-3 Hours – $5.00
3-8 Hours – $10.00
Full Day (8+ Hours) – $20.00
Saturdays & Sundays
0-3 Hours – $10.00
3-8 Hours – $15.00
Full Day (8+ Hours) – $25.00
For more information on parking at Aspen Highlands, contact the Aspen Skiing Company at (970) 923-1227 or (800) 525-6200.
If the Highlands Parking Lot is full, alternative parking is available in the City of Aspen’s parking garage at 427 Rio Grande Pl, Aspen, CO 81611. For more information, contact the Aspen Chamber at 970-920-5430.
Overflow Parking in September: Specific weekends in September RFTA buses will shuttle passengers for free from Buttermilk to Aspen Highlands to catch the Maroon Bells buses. The Buttermilk lot will provide free, overflow parking, when parking is expected to be full both at the Scenic Area and at the Highlands parking lot due to popular fall colors viewing activities. Buses are expected to run every 30 minutes from the Buttermilk lot to Aspen Highlands.
Leashed dogs are allowed on the Maroon Bells buses. If you have questions regarding the bus service please call (970) 925-8484