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Maroon Bells Four Pass Loop

A beautiful long hiking trail near Aspen


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Maroon Bells Four Pass Loop is located in the Maroon Bells Snowmass Wilderness just outside of Aspen, Colorado. The beautiful area features fragrant alpine meadows, melting snowfields, turquoise lakes, and emerald forests. The trail is quite popular and can be crowded during peak summer months of July and August, but it gets better in September and October. The area is known for summer afternoon downpours so it is better to get to the trail as early as you can.

The hike starts at the West Maroon Portal (Maroon Lake) entrance to the White River National Forest at the end of Maroon Creek Road. You start the trail marveling at the twin Maroon peaks, towering over blue waters of Maroon Lake. Wildflowers meadows complete a picture-perfect alpine scenery.

Four Pass Loop crosses four mountain passes—West Maroon Pass, Frigid Air Pass, Trail Rider Pass, and Buckskin Pass, each granting a new view. Also, beautiful Elk Range peaks stretch as far as the eye can see. The loop trail runs for 27 mi (43 km) with more than 8,000 ft (2,438 m) of elevation gain, so it is rated difficult. Also, if you decide to stay overnight, beware of black bears that roam in the area.

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