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Photographing the Maroon Bells

Aspen, Colorado


Added by Alan Maxcy

"The Most Photographed Mountains in North America"Two 14,000 ft peaksA gorgeous lake reflecting the mountainsMiles of picturesque trails for hiking (watch out for the moose and bears)

So how do you get a great photo of "The Most Photographed Mountains in North America"?

Time of Day: First, you have to get there early. Really early. Sunrise is the best time to see the mountain peaks and photographers will get to the Bells hours before sunrise to claim the perfect spot on the coast of Maroon Lake. 1 hour to 2 hours before sunrise should ensure you get parking and a decent spot to set up your tripod. There will be a lot of waiting around and then almost without notice you will notice the peaks illuminating and seemingly catching fire. The spectacle will only last about 10-15 min before the sun tucks back behind the mountain behind you, but the wait is worth the reward.

Time of Year: Maroon Bells offers beautiful and unique features in all four seasons. Spring (late April and May) has the freshness of new life as leaves begin to sprout on the Aspens. Summer is beautiful and lush and if you time it right you can catch some wildflowers in bloom. Winters can be harsh and difficult to reach since the road from Aspen is closed due to snow. The only way to reach Maroon Lake in the Winter is by snowmobile or Cross-Country Ski. Fall (late September and October) is by far the most popular time to photograph the Maroon Bells. The Aspens have turned bright yellow and hopefully you can get some fresh snow on the peaks as well.

*Mid-June-October 4th the parking lot is closed between 8am-5pm so you will need to take the shuttle from Aspen. If you plan on getting there early to catch sunrise then this will not affect you, but be prepared to pay $10 dollars for parking (cash only).

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