There’s a pair of fourteeners just south of Aspen Colorado called collectively the Maroon Bells. Fourteeners, in high country lingo, means that the peak of the mountain is above 14,000 feet above sea level. Maroon peak reaches 14,156 feet while North Maroon peak is slightly less grand at 14,014 feet. We set out to see this popular photography scene soon after checking into our hotel in Snomass village. The nice part for lazy people, or weary travelers like ourselves, is that the hike to see the iconic view of the Bells is only about a 5 minute walk from a parking lot in the White River National Forest. Along the 15 minute drive through the park a few of the inhabitant said "Hi".
A small entrance fee grants access for a few days and we took advantage of it, twice. This was our first view of the bells overlooking Maroon Lake.
I wished for more clouds so there would be some more drama in the sky, but for the majority of our time in Aspen we had very few “white puffies”. I tried putting the Sun in the picture for a bit more to look at and I think it works pretty nicely.
If you’ll notice there’s not a lot of reflections from the lake, that’s because I was using a polarizing filter to cut them down. I think the clarity and color of the water itself created a nice aquamarine depth to Maroon Lake.
The Bells are maroon are mainly formed of sediment instead of the granite like most mountains in the area, that's what gives them their maroon color.
Behind us stood this small grove of Aspen trees. I was envious of their view, for they get to watch Maroon Lake and the Bells season after season while storms, snow, fog , and sunsets transform the scene.
We returned to see the Bells after our second day a little later in the day after the Sun had fallen behind the cliffs to the right. I left the polarizer off the lens this time because I felt the reflection added to the calmness of the water.
The Sun setting behind the ridge yielded this wonderful view.
Of course we did take notice of this sign as we were leaving. We were glad we had left our unicorn at home this trip.