Maroon Bells at first light. Photo courtesy of Riccardo Savi.

Maroon Bells at first light. Photo courtesy of Riccardo Savi.

The Maroon Bells Birthday Bash runs from 3 to 9 p.m. – but various organizations are organizing free wilderness-based activities beforehand, so why not make a full day of it? See a schedule of pre-Bash activities below.

Birthday Bash stage schedule (tentative)

3:00-3:45 p.m. – Let Them Roar
3:45-4:00 p.m. – Ute presentation
4:00-5:30 p.m. – Paper Bird
5:30-6:00 p.m. – Rick Bass keynote address
6:00-7:15 p.m. – Halden Wofford & the Hi*Beams
7:15-7:30 p.m. – Birthday cake!
7:30-9:00 p.m. – Shook Twins

Children’s activities, contests and wilderness exhibits will be held continuously during the event. We’ll post more details as we get them.

Pre-Bash daytime activities

8 a.m. – Independence Lake headwaters hike
This moderate, high-elevation 4.6-mile hike gains 1,290 ft., topping out at 12,810 ft. at Lost Man Pass in the Hunter-Fryingpan Wilderness. Meet at the Brush Creek Intercept Lot at 7 a.m. to carpool (optional). Hosted by Roaring Fork Conservancy. Registration is required at and opens July 12.

8 a.m. – East Maroon hike
Moderate hike into the heart of the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness. Meet at Aspen Highlands. Hosted by the Wilderness Workshop. Registration required at

8 a.m. – Early morning bird walk
Easy 2-mile walk from Maroon Lake to East Portal with ecologist Delia Malone and author Janis Huggins (Wild at Heart). Meet at the Highlands parking lot to carpool. Sorry, no pets! Hosted by Roaring Fork Audubon. Info: Mary Harris, 970-510-5544.

9 a.m. – Walk with a wilderness ranger
Learn about the best job in the world and what a ranger does to keep wilderness wild. Meet at Lost Man Trailhead. Hosted by the U.S. Forest Service. Info: Andrew Larson,

9 a.m. – Wilderness rangelands hike
Ranchers are stewards of Wilderness too! Join the discussion with a local rancher and USFS range manager. Meet at the Capitol Creek Trailhead. Hosted by the U.S. Forest Service. Info: Wayne Ives,

9 a.m.-3 p.m. – Guided hikes & nature presentations
Volunteer naturalists will be available to give guided nature hikes at the Maroon Bells visitor center and also at Independence Pass. Hosted by the Forest Conservancy. No registration necessary.

9 a.m.-2 p.m. – Maroon Bells guided bus tour
The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority operates buses to the Maroon Lake Visitor Center every 20 minutes, departing from Aspen Highlands. Buy tickets from Four Mountain Sports: $6 adults, $4 ages 6-16 and over 65, free for kids under 6. Please note that private vehicles are not allowed to drive up to Maroon Lake between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. (with some exceptions), so if you want to see the Bells, figure on taking the bus.

10:15 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. – Maroon Lake hike
Easy 1-mile out-and-back stroll along the shore of Maroon Lake at the base of the towering Maroon Bells, guided by Aspen Center for Environmental Studies’ naturalists. Suitable for all ages. Meet outside of the Maroon Bells Information Center near the bus drop off. No reservation necessary. Info here.

10:15 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. – Crater Lake hike
Join an Aspen Center for Environmental Studies naturalist for a splendid and fairly strenuous classic hike from Maroon Lake to Crater Lake (1.8 miles). Meet outside of the Maroon Bells Information Center near the bus drop off. No reservation necessary, but 9 person maximum, first come first served. Info here.

Recent Posts