Aspen Area Memories: Bells Reservation System Ready; compensation project near Redstone

The Maroon Bells reservation system starts on April 11

The RFTA shuttle to the Maroon Bells will start on May 27 this year and will run until the end of October, through the reservation system. (Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times)

The reservation system for access to the Maroon Bells Scenic Area will launch for the season on April 11 at

Reservations are required for bus trips to Maroon Lake and for parking private vehicles in the upper parking lots.

“The reservation system we’ve used for the past two years has been very successful in reducing overcrowding and improving the visitor experience at this iconic Colorado location,” said District Recreation Manager Shelly Grail. of the Aspen-Sopris Ranger, in a statement.

Parking reservations will be required for the entire season, beginning when the road opens May 15. Parking reservations are available for half day, full day or overnight. The price of a parking pass is $10.

The shuttle service operated by the Roaring Fork Transportation System will begin May 27 and run through the end of October, with the exact end dependent on weather conditions. The shuttle will run every 15 minutes from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. from the base in Aspen Highlands.

The shuttle fare is $16 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under and seniors 65 and over. It is not known at this time if masks will be required on the transit service due to COVID precautions.

Private vehicles will be permitted to offload hikers and backpackers at Maroon Lake between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. without parking reservations. Commercial depots – including taxis, hotel shuttles and transportation services are prohibited.

Hikers planning to return to Maroon Lake after their backcountry adventure should pre-book a one-way shuttle ride back to Aspen Highlands. Return tickets and reservations are not available in the Maroon Bells scenic area and there is no cell phone service to log into the reservation system there.

“Advance downhill ticket reservations are essential as they allow us to anticipate the space needed each day for one-way downhill passengers who have been dropped off in the morning or have hiked from Crested Butte or other locations,” RFTA CEO Dan Blankenship said in a statement.

For more information on visiting the Maroon Bells Scenic Area, please call the Maroon Bells Information Line at 970-945-3319 or visit

Fire prevention project near Redstone

Forest Service work on a 130-acre wildfire fuel reduction project north of Redstone is scheduled to begin this morning, the USFS said in a news release Friday.

Heavy-duty machines called masticators will create a patchwork of openings in thick oak brush and shrubbery across 132 acres of National Forest System land, and “the resulting patchwork will reduce the risk of wildfires by breaking up vegetation cover. continuous,” according to the Forest Service. Release.

The project will continue until mid-May and could resume in August after the bird nesting season if necessary.

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