Click to Expand
|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2016-07-29||Route: South Ridge
Info: The trail from the parking lot up past Crater Lake is well defined. Just make sure you read the signs. We missed the turn off towards South Maroon at the big rock (photo 1) and went along the Four Pass Loop trail. Doh! One of the steeper sections reminded me of Columbia, steep with lots of loose dirt. I did some unintentional breakdance moves about 5 or 6 times during the descent. The route on the south/southwest face of the mountain can be difficult to find, at times. Look for cairns along the way. It is much easier to spot the cairns on the way down than on the way up. The gullies are full of loose dirt and rock so if you have multiple people in your party or there are other hikers nearby, stagger them left and right and make sure everyone knows to call out rock if they kick something loose.
|2016-07-20||Route: South Ridge
Info: All snow is avoidable if one is paying attention. Fun mountain! There are goats wanting to send rock bombs down on you the entire time, adds to the excitement.
|2016-07-09||Route: South Ridge
Info: Sorry I don't have photos, as I forgot my camera in the car. I will try and be as objective as I can. The trail is dry almost the entire way to the summit, with a few snow crossings needed. The first snow crossing is not to far up the south face, when you cross the first major gully. There is moving water under it, but it is still thick enough people are not punching through. The second snow crossing which will melt out fast, is not much further than the first. Once on the saddle you can avoid any snow that is left. The Chimney is clear of snow as you exit the ridge. The traverse to the next gullies is clear and dry, but snow is around you. The second gully has snow at the base, but a safe and dry passage up that is possible(which we did) The large gully that takes you to the notch at 13,500 is totally dry, but past this some snow fields block the typical route. It requires very easy scrambling around, maybe low 4th class, and then on to easy 3rd class. The rest of the route is dry and free of snow. There is still a large bit of snow on the summit, but is melting out fast. Crampons, Ice Axe, etc are not needed.
|2016-07-08||Route: Bells Traverse
Info: I would say the traverse is in summer'ish conditions. There's a few snowfields that possibly could be avoided but it might get you off route. They weren't in locations that would fatal if you slipped but you may encounter issues if you did slip. I did not have traction and honestly if I did I don't know if I would have put them on. Most of the crossings were 10' or so. I was on route for most of it and it appears to be in "ok" condition. Some locations have cairns everywhere so just pick a route and go. I never did go up the dihedral in the route description but managed just fine. What a fun route!
|2016-07-08||Route: South Ridge
Info: Standard south ridge route is almost entirely snow free. There's a few spots around 12,000'-12,500' that can be avoided. No need for traction. The route is in great shape and very easy to follow.
|2016-07-01||Route: Bell Cord Couloir
Info: The Bell Cord is good. Snow is firm and continuous somewhat runneled. Descent by southeast couloir also good and smoother .
|2016-06-11||Route: Bell Cord Couloir
Info: Snow melting super fast in the elks. No snowshoes needed at all on the approach. The cord has a massive runnel throughout the middle, which isn't a surprise. I would give it another week before it is crap. From the saddle and up to the summit of south, it is mostly dry with areas of snow. No crampons needed on that scramble. Get it while it is still decent. FYI, traverse looks ready to go.
|2016-05-13||Route: Bell Cord Couloir
Info: Climbed Maroon peak via the bell cord on Friday. The road to maroon lake is now open. Lots of slide debris in and around couloir. Snow was very variable on different aspects and even throughout the couloir. The easiest and most solid snow to walk up was the avy debris, other parts were very punchy. Once I topped out on the saddle and crossed over to the backside (WEST) of the mountain the snow was much harder but as I reached the summit the route crosses over to a NE aspect and the snow softened considerably. Started from maroon lake at 3 A.M. and wished I would have started earlier
|2016-04-25||Route: Maroon Creek Rd
Info: Road closed approx 6 miles from the Maroon Lake. Freeze/thaw cycles on the road consistent up to the day-use parking. Full snow coverage 1.5 miles from the lake. Coverage is 2 feet deep at Maroon Lake. Alpine start, brought snowshoes and didn't need them. Gaiters were good to have at the lake.
|2015-12-11||Route: Live camera from Aspen Highlands
Info: I was just scouting current conditions of the road up to Maroon Lake and ran across this live camera from Aspen Highlands. It refreshes ever 10 minutes. This is awesome having a fresh view of the whole valley and the Maroon Bells from both Aspen Highlands and Snowmass ski areas. Just wanted to share for people who are interested. http://aspen.roundshot.com/highlands/ http://aspen.roundshot.com/snowmass/
|2015-10-13||Route: South Ridge
Info: As Lawrencebg reported previously, the South Ridge route up to Maroon Peak was dry all the way to the top in absolutely pristine fall weather - zero clouds in the sky all day - with only one other hiker encountered on the route. Had planned to attempt Bells Traverse, but encountered enough sketchy snow coverage on the north-facing descent from Maroon Peak to N. Maroon that we ultimately decided against it - given the combination of slipperiness, loose rock, route-diversion necessity, and last but not least the unknown factor of what the descent off the summit of N. Maroon might end up like snow-wise. All that said - a spectacular day.
|2015-10-10||Route: South Ridge
Info: Essentially snow free all the way up. I was surprised to see only 3 other people on a perfect weather on a Saturday.
|2015-10-04||Route: South Ridge
Info: Standard route up Maroon Peak was just about completely dry. The one or two spots holding a little snow could be avoided.
|2015-09-26||Route: Passing through the area
Info: Fall colors from the South Elbert Trailhead are peak and some what coming to an end. Independence Pass is holding fall colors better than Elbert. La Plata has good colors at lower elevations. Most of Independence Pass is holding good fall colors. Maroon Bells (Maroon Peak/N. Maroon Peak) and Pyramid are the best fall colors Leadville to Aspen right now. The Bells and Pyramid have a thin layer of snow 13,500 and above. North Maroon looked like it had unavoidable snow above 13,5.
|2015-09-26||Route: Bells Traverse
Info: Maroon Peak is dry going up the standard route. A couple inches of snow in places on the north side of Maroon, but you can find dry places to step on, or rocks to avoid a lot of snow, with care. The traverse is dry. Going up N Maroon on the south side is dry. Going down N Maroon on the north side, there is about 1-3 inches of fairly consistent snow above 13k feet. Take care going up or down.. You can avoid some of the snow by carefully stepping on rocks, but in other places it is more packed down and a bit slick. It CAN be done without traction.. We made it down without microspikes.. We made it okay, but were very slow and careful. I would recommend taking yaktrax or microspikes though. I was thinking about putting them on, but was almost past the snowy area at that time. The chimney is dry in most places, but if your shoes are wet from the snow, it is more tricky.
|2015-09-21||Route: South Ridge
Info: Snow Free on the west side standard route.
|2015-08-15||Route: South Ridge
Info: This is my 25th fourteener I have climbed this summer. I am attempting to climb them all. You can read more about this hike and others at sunshineof1985.com! Enjoy! Time started: 5:15am End time: 5:00pm Time to Summit: 5 hours and 45 minutes Time to Descent: 6 hours *GEAR (to bring): GPS, extra socks, phone, SPOT Satellite Tracker, Map, Topo Map from 14ers.com, hiking boots with 2 pairs of socks on, long-sleeve, wind-guard/raincoat, light weight puffy coat (didn‘t need), lightweight gloves (didn‘t need), day pack with water sack, snacks. *Road Condition: It‘s perfect! A black top road all the way to the trailhead! You‘ll know you‘re going the right way when you pass the beautiful garden on the side of the road! *Trail Condition: Easy to follow until you get to the first junction needed to go up to the Maroon Bells. Look for a very large cairn in the talus rocks by the stream. Head right! The trail is very steep and you‘ll gain a lot of elevation quickly. I didn‘t have too many problems with slipping on scree either. Once you‘re up on the ridge, the trail is well marked by cairns, but make sure you take mental notes of the area for when you‘re coming back. The gullies aren‘t nearly as scary as what it looks online. We went up the first gully, stay to the left. The easiest way up the second gully is staying all the way to the right. Past that you‘ll get to use your arms to pull you up and it gets fun, but know your limits. I never felt too exposed, or in danger for my life.
|2015-08-07||Route: South Ridge
Info: At about 11,600-11,800ft on the south ridge the well-defined trail encounters a rock out-cropping. There is a largish cairn on the left side of trail before the outcropping and the trail pivots left at the cairn. Now, critical twist, immediately after the cairn if you continue 20 feet there is a large rock in the middle of the "trail." Someone obviously placed it there to block that route. If you look right the "trail" skirts the rock outcropping. The real trail only goes a few meters right along the outcropping and then steps onto and over it. In less than perfect light you will have to be careful not to miss it. Our group went too far right along the outcropping before going over it and we never found the main trail again. We scrambled 1300 feet straight up the south ridge in very loose rock. EXHAUSTING. Watch this section carefully. The main trail has little to no scrambling.
|2015-08-01||Route: South Ridge
Info: would recommend checking the forest service site before heading out. We were told when we got there at 4:15 that the 14er site is incorrect now. They do have restriction on overnight campers not being able to enter until 5 pm. You have to use the bus from 8 to 5, luckily he let us in since it was so close. Also, you do have to have a bear canister and they heavily police that. A group we ran into from Chicago said that when he talked with them on the phone they strongly discouraged him from camping because of the bear activity and that they might have to close the area to camping for awhile. I am not sure how true that is, but might be worth a call before heading out. There is a mother and cub that are causing all the problems. We never saw the bears and had no problems with camping. Saw lots of porcupines early in the morning and there was no damage to our tent or area while we were gone.
|2015-07-25||Route: South Ridge
Info: Trail is completely clear of snow. Water in the first gully makes the second gully a better choice. The second gully seemed like it would be a better choice in any case. Reports from other climbers indicated that there was ice on the traverse, but we saw some folks complete it. The long climb onto the shoulder has a couple of routes. There may have been a reroute since the GPX file was posted. Also, on the way down, resist the temptation to go down at the earlier saddle, use the correct saddle. The earlier one looks good at the top and degrades to nasty as you go down. FYI: Last week 3 campsites had bear incidents. We stayed in a hotel and drove in.