Even in the warm, reassuring light of the summer sun, the Maroon Bells are imposing. The crumbling red rock rises in well-defined layers to the pointed summits— there is clearly no easy way to the top. So why bother? This hike will take you to a shallow lake fed by snowmelt from the awesome Bells, whose magnificence is just as inspiring from the lake’s peaceful shores. Should you be concerned that you are not meeting the challenge of the surrounding peaks, fear not: The hike is steep in spots, and you will have earned the spectacular views. The trail begins by circling the western shore of Maroon Lake, then climbs the headwall at the southern end of the valley to the basin that cradles Crater Lake. Headwall is an intimidating word, but it’s a brief climb, and more than worth the effort.
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Directions to: Crater Lakeprint directions
Trail Statistics & Information
|Elevation Gain||496 ft|
|Season||Best spring to fall|
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