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Unique Areas

Unique Areas Around Aspen

Aspen is not just a place for skiers and the rich and famous, as it also attracts a variety of outdoor enthusiasts drawn to the unique recreational opportunities the area has to offer.

Maroon Bells

The twin peaks of the Maroon Bells, Colorado's most recognizable scene and fourth largest wilderness, is a major attraction for hikers from all over Colorado. 

Maroon Lake sits in the shadow of 14,000-foot peaks and is surrounded by fields of wildflowers in the summer. The views of the Bells are stunning and it’s easily accessible via a paved road. During the busy summer months, the forest service restricts vehicle traffic and you have to take a shuttle bus. The road does stay open to non-motorized traffic including bicycles, skateboarders, hikers, and others. It is usually closed during the winter months from mid-October until some time in May. Click here for updates.

The 174,000-acre Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Area boasts several excellent hiking trails, one of which leads over a total of nine 12,000 foot passes.  A hiker can expect to find beautiful aspen groves, spruce and fir trees and stunning meadows. Big game animals are abundant too, and mule deer and elk sightings are commonplace. 

In a neighboring valley, close to the Bells, are the popular Conundrum Hot Springs.  

Hanging Lake & Spouting Rock

Hanging Lake and Spouting Rock lie deep within the steep walls of Glenwood Canyon, in the White River National Forest. The trailhead is easy to get to and well marked off I-70. 

After hiking a quarter mile east upstream from the parking lot, you'll see where Deadhorse Creek meets the Colorado River. Follow the well marked trail from here on the north side of Glenwood Canyon and hike for about an hour up the steep path to reach Hanging Lake

The lake is a travertine oasis, and very unique among lakes of the world. You can usually see many fish in the clear, aquamarine water, which has a tropical look to it.

Before heading back down the trail, be sure to visit Spouting Rock, which sits above the lake and is marked on a trail sign. This unique waterfall pours directly from the face of the cliff.

Independence Pass

Another attraction near Aspen is the breathtaking, 12,095-foot high Independence Pass. The road is the second-highest paved mountain pass in Colorado, and is usually closed from mid-October until Memorial Day due to heavy winter snows. Both quality rock climbing and excellent hiking can be enjoyed in the alpine environment found between Aspen and the summit of the pass. In Fall, the changing colors of the aspen trees are simply stunning and not to be missed.

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