Maroon Bells

Elevation (feet): 14,156
Elevation (meters): 4,315
Continent: North America
Country: United States
Range/Region: Elk Range Area
State: Colorado
Latitude: 39.0708
Longitude: -106.989
Difficulty: Scramble
Best months for climbing: Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep
Year first climbed: 1890's
First successful climber(s): C. Wilson
Nearest major airport: Aspen, Colorado
Convenient Center: Aspen, Colorado

Maroon Bells are sometimes counted as two peaks, Maroon Peak and North Maroon Peak. The saddle that separates them, however, is only a 234 foot drop, so geologically this is actually a single mountain with twin peaks. In any case, the Maroon Bells are perhaps the most picturesque of Colorado's fourteeners, but they are also the most challenging, offering steep climbing on poor rock.

A sign at the trailhead

toward the Maroon Bells peaks reads:

“The beautiful Maroon Bells, and their neighbor Pyramid Peak,

have claimed many lives in the past few years. They are not

extreme technical climbs, but they are unbelievably deceptive.

The rock is downsloping, rotten, loose, and unstable. It kills

quickly and without warning. The snowfields are treacherous,

poorly consolidated, and no place for a novice climber. The

gullies are death traps. Expert climbers who did not know the

proper routes have died on these peaks. Don’t repeat their

mistakes, for only rarely have these mountains given a second


DO NOT ATTEMPT TO CLIMB IF NOT QUALIFIED”. The information provided here is for general information purposes only and no warranties are made as to its accuracy or suitability for use. This information is not sufficient to guarantee a safe climb. Use at your own risk and do not use if you are unable to assume full responsibility for you own safety.

Thanks to KMC for contributing to this description. (View history)