Maroon Bells & Crater Lake


May 19, 2012
Due to the fact we cannot visit the Maroon Bells I thought I would post some shots from 2011 when we happened to hit the Bells perfectly for fall color. It is our favorite place to be at this time of year, with or without color. Of course today it is covered in about 8" of snow, which would have made it more spectacular. But I digress. This day in 2011 we woke up early before the sun rose, so we could drive all the way to the parking lot at Maroon Lake, so I could maybe get a spot to get the iconic shot that everyone else has. We encountered photographer hell, every linear foot of the prime area on the lake was taken up, at least 300 people, tripods crossing each other, people sitting there freezing their asses off. What a zoo! All to get exactly the same shot. More power to them.

So we decided to hike up to Crater Lake, and leave the multitudes to duke it out. I knew about this grove along the trail as I had been there many times, half way between Maroon and Crater lakes. The cool part is you are up in the trees as the trail is on a fairly steep hill, and you are encapsulated in yellow. We were hoping the color would be perfect and consistent. Enough talk, I hope you enjoy the pics.




Just before Crater Lake:


At the lake. BTW, there is a spectacular camp spot far right, we camped there several times with our son and his buddies when they were young, it is only about 1.5 miles from the parking lot at Maroon Lake:




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Very nice. An area of Colorado I have avoided thus far because of the crowds....maybe one day I'll decided to finally try it.

Since I've never been there, how is parking with 300+ photographers around the lake....I imagine it would be tough to find a spot...unless many take the bus?
Thanks Randy and Yvonne.
If you get to the gate before 8am (I think) you can drive up and park next to Maroon Lake. I have always found a space, just get there early.
Beautiful! I'm jealous. I was going to go last week, but cancelled due to the snow. I managed to reschedule for this weekend, only to cancel again because of snow. Now I'm kind of glad I cancelled because I would have been pissed if I'd driven all the way out there only to find the number one area on my itinerary closed. Thanks for posting these. I'll be trying again next year.
Thanks for your comments. Yeah it is always a crap shoot with the weather here, sorry both you got rained out. wes242 that picture is very sad!

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