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Hiking trail

Maroon Bells Grand Loop

Hiking trail • Colorado
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Debbie Sanders 
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    Photo: Debbie Sanders, Community
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    Photo: Debbie Sanders, Community
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    Photo: Debbie Sanders, Community
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    Photo: Debbie Sanders, Community
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    Photo: Debbie Sanders, Community
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    Photo: Debbie Sanders, Community
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    Photo: Debbie Sanders, Community
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    Photo: Debbie Sanders, Community
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    Photo: Debbie Sanders, Community
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    Photo: Debbie Sanders, Community
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    Photo: Debbie Sanders, Community
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    Photo: Debbie Sanders, Community
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    Photo: Debbie Sanders, Community
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    Photo: Debbie Sanders, Community
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    Photo: Debbie Sanders, Community
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    Photo: Debbie Sanders, Community
  • /
    Photo: Debbie Sanders, Community
  • /
    Photo: Debbie Sanders, Community
  • /
    Photo: Debbie Sanders, Community
  • /
    Photo: Debbie Sanders, Community
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    Photo: Debbie Sanders, Community
  • /
    Photo: Debbie Sanders, Community
  • /
    Photo: Debbie Sanders, Community
  • /
    Photo: Debbie Sanders, Community
  • /
    Photo: Debbie Sanders, Community
  • /
    Photo: Debbie Sanders, Community
  • /
    Photo: Debbie Sanders, Community
  • /
    Photo: Debbie Sanders, Community
  • /
    Photo: Debbie Sanders, Community
Map / Maroon Bells Grand Loop
2500 3000 3500 4000 4500 m km 20 40 60 80 100

6-day hike around the Maroon Bells, Snowmass Mountain and Capital Peak following trails but also off trail sections. The reward is a nice bath in the Conundrum Hot Springs.
difficult
101.7 km
38:03 h
6275 m
6562 m
6-day hike around the Maroon Bells, Snowmass Mountain and Capital Peak following trails but also off trail sections. The reward is a nice bath in the Conundrum Hot Springs. When the wetters is okay, you can extend the hike with some mountain climbs to Capital Peak and Snowmass Mountain (pretty technical hiking!).

Difficulty
difficult
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Altitude
3996 m
2561 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Safety information

There are several off trail sections on this route with can still be covered in snow early in the season. In that case an ice axe and crampons can be useful. In July 2018 we did not need any of this, but every year is different.

Beware of thunderstorms in the afternoon, leave early!

Equipment

  • Normal hiking equipment is necessary.
  • As you have to camping out (no huts in het mountains) you will need that gear too. There are not so much mosquitoes in Colorado, however there are some so I recommend for sleeping an inner for the tarp/tent. 
  • A hard sided bear canister (e.g. Bearvault BV500) is compulsary. 

Tips, hints and links

No reservations of campsites is needed, however you do have to fill in your own permit with planned camping locations at the Maroon Snowmass Trailhead (there is a ranger office but you also find a sort of letterbox at the start of the trail).

Start

Maroon Snowmass Trailhead (2926 m)
Coordinates:
Geographic
39.098614, -106.940354
UTM
13S 332208 4329512

Destination

Conundrum Creek Road junction

Getting there

  • You can take the bus to Maroon Snowmass Trailhead from Aspen Bus Station (you just have to change of bus at 'Highlands').  
  • At the end of our route we hitchhiked back to Aspen. If you left your car at the startpoint, you will have to skip the last section of our hike.

Parking

Maroon Snowmass Trailhead
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Author’s map recommendations

National Geographic (1:50.000): 128 'Maroon Bells, Redstone, Marble' and 131 'Crested Butte - Pearl Pass' (you only need a very small section of this). The very last part to the road junction to leads to Conundrum Trailhead is not covered by these maps but the route is easy to follow.

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Difficulty
difficult
Distance
101.7 km
Duration
38:03 h
Ascent
6275 m
Descent
6562 m
Loop Stage tour Scenic Geological highlights

Statistics

: h
 km
 m
 m
Highest point
 m
Lowest point
 m
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