Hiking to the Maroon Bells in Colorado

One of the bonuses of living in the mountains and being back in the states, is that you have friends that want to come visit! Fortunately, Colorado doesn't disappoint when trying to find fun things to do and beautiful scenery. After Libby and Megan arrived in Colorado I whisked them away to the Maroon Bells in Colorado.

Independence Pass

Driving over Independence Pass

From Breckenridge, we took the windy trail of Independence Pass to Aspen. There were quite a few hair pin turns where I heard muffled gasps from the backseat, or saw the front seat passenger hitting their invisible brake. 

Driving Independence Pass is an experience in itself. Some parts of the road are one lane and you can only cross your fingers that you don't have to pass another car. At one point we did meet another vehicle and passed with literally an inch between our side view mirrors.

By the time we arrived in Aspen, we were ready for a quick bus ride up the mountain to see the Maroon Bells. Only people meeting certain criteria can drive up to see the Bells (and overnight campers). We didn't fit that VIP status, so we took a bus with the rest of the plebeians for $8.

The bus ride is worth it, because your driver doubles as a tour guide, giving you information about the area. We learned that the mountains get their maroon color, because of the iron in the soil. It's essentially rust.

One of my favorite facts was that all the aspen trees were essentially cloning themselves. The root system allows the trees to reproduce not only by dropping seeds, but a new tree can pop out of the ground from the roots.

We timed it perfectly, with a small window to see the fall foliage in it's prime the views were stunning! The three of us walked around the lake and up the mountain, in search of the best photo. It was difficult to pull myself away from my camera lens, because every time the clouds changed the mountains and trees would look completely different.

Maroon Bells

Maroon Bells

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