In Colorado’s Rocky Mountains lie the two fourteeners -- Maroon Peak and North Maroon Peak -- that together comprise the Maroon Bells. As Princess Di was the most photographed woman in the world, so the Maroon Bells are the most-photographed peaks in North America. Iron-rich mudstone distinguishes the two mountains from the rest of the Rockies with a signature maroon tint that’s accumulated over the last 300 million-ish years. Nestled into the Elk Mountains near Aspen and woven through with hiking trails and fishing holes, the Maroon Bells are so sublime that more than 300,000 people will descend upon them in the summer months alone -- though the most popular time of year to visit these peaks is September, when the leaves are turning and the aspens are quaking.
Pristine slopes around Aspen draw people from around the world each winter; wildflower fields carpet the mountains each spring. The region holds hiking trails that’ll challenge even the most practiced climbers. Perhaps a look at a few of the most stunning spots will inspire your next trip -- you’re the only one who hasn’t had a Maroon Bells photoshoot yet.
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