Travel: Maroon Bells – Most Photographed Spot in Aspen

If I were to ask most folks on the streets of Aspen, Colorado what the most photographed spot in their state is, I think I’d get plenty of answers before someone came up with the right shot.

They might say Pike’s Peak, some stretch of the Colorado River, Mile High (home of the Broncos) or some sky hill out of Telluride or Breckenridge. But, there’s a spot just outside Aspen that makes it seemingly impossible to take a bad picture.

The Maroon Bells (less than 20 minutes’ drive from down Aspen) are pair of 14,000+ foot peaks rising above a small, calm glacial lake. The arrangement of the surrounding mountains leaves the valley perfectly still unless the weather is particularly fierce. The gentle conditions forge a perfect reflective service on the lake surface, making for postcard images no matter where the camera lens points.

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During a recent trip through Aspen to test the new Lexus NX and check out the renovated St. Regis Hotel, I knew I couldn’t let an opportunity to see the Bells get by me. The attraction is off-limits by car during the day, with Aspen running a bus serve to the lake. It’s legal to visit by car after 5 p.m., and the beautiful drive through the Rocky Mountain foothills ends with a $10 fee before entering the White River National Forest. 

Once on the idyllic scene, visitors can admire the view, fish, picnic and hike very walkable trails. Until you have a chance to enjoy all of that, you can check out the gallery below for a preview.

All photos by John Scott Lewinski