Forest Service reminds guests to take bus to Maroon Bells | SummitDaily.com

Forest Service reminds guests to take bus to Maroon Bells

Due to increased visitation to Maroon Bells in Aspen for fall colors photography, the U.S. Forest Service would like to remind and encourage visitors to utilize area parking lots and bus to the popular site.

The Maroon Bells Scenic Area parking lot is filling up on weekends and weekdays before 8 a.m., and when the lot is filled, visitors are asked to turn around and find alternative parking. Those lots include the Aspen Highlands parking garage and Brush Creek and Highway 82 Intercept Lot, or guests can catch the bus from Rubey Park. Visitors cannot drive to the Maroon Bells between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., and must take the bus.

"The past few weeks we have seen an uptick in visitation because of fall colors," Martha Moran, Aspen-Sopris ranger district recreation program manager, said in a release. "We are highly encouraging people to plan ahead, park in the structures and take the bus. Ultimately, they will get more time at the Bells if they plan ahead."

Bus service to the Maroon Bells will end after Oct. 2. At that time, the Forest Service will also be reducing services at the scenic area, the water will be turned off and the welcome station and bathrooms will be closed for the season. Silver Bell campground will still be open, but Silver Bar and Silver Queen campgrounds will be closed as the camping season wanes.

Public access for fall color viewing, photographing, hiking and camping will be unrestricted after Oct. 3, but the gate to the Maroon Bells Scenic Area will close Nov. 15. After that date only cross-country skiing, snowshoe and snowmobile operations are allowed up to the location until the following spring.