How to take that famous Maroon Bells picture

Posted at 5:35 PM, Sep 16, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-16 19:35:32-04

The snow is already falling in Colorado's high country, so it's time to start thinking about your fall colors' photos.

Have you ever wanted to take one of the most famous pictures of Colorado - the Maroon Bells' mountains with Aspen trees turning in the fall? You can't just drive up to Maroon Lake and take the photo.

From 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. until October 4, the road to the Maroon Bells Scenic Area is limited to shuttle bus traffic only. Some exceptions will be made for high occupancy vehicles, vehicles displaying disability placards and vehicles carrying infants in cars seats on a space available basis.

The shuttle bus is $6 for adults, $4 for children 6-16, $3 for seniors and free for children under 6. Bus tickets are sold at the Aspen Highlands Ski Resort's Four Mountain Sports.

Buses depart Aspen Highlands Village every 20 minutes from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., then on the half-hour and on the hour from 2:30 p.m. to  4:30 p.m. The last bus departs Maroon Bells Day Use Area at 5 p.m.

RELATED: Guide to Fall colors in Colorado

Parking is limited this year at the Aspen Highlands bus plaza because of planned parking lot re-construction. 

The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority(RFTA) is recommending visitors use the free Castle-Maroon bus (route #3) from Rubey Park to Aspen Highlands.

If you visit before 8 a.m. or after 5 p.m., you may drive to the Maroon Bells Scenic Area, but there is a $10 use fee or you must have a National Park pass.

Beginning Monday, Oct. 4, the Maroon Bells Shuttle buses will no longer be running and the road will be open to vehicles 24 hours a day. Again, visitors will have to pay the $10 day use fee or use a National Park pass.

Once you arrive at the Maroon Bells Scenic Area, Maroon Lake is a short, easy walk away from the bus stop. Many visitors stand near the lake to get a photo of the mountains and the trees reflecting in the water.

Learn more about fall colors viewing around the White River National Forest.