June 25, 2016
Our family came to visit us for a long weekend. We were so happy that Matt and Lindsey wanted to hang out with us on their anniversary! They brought Charlotte, our totally sassy almost two year old niece, who we love to pieces. We had wanted to check out Maroon Bells and they wanted to go to Aspen, so we thought we would make a day of it.
There is limited access to the Bells by car but there are buses that run every 15/20 minutes during the summer months. Parking is $5 and then it’s $8 per person round trip. To make it cheaper you can always walk or bike to the Bells. For more information on exceptions to the car rules go here: Maroon Bells They limit the number of cars as the pollution was destroying parts of the park. We enjoyed the bus ride through the forest, our bus driver was a little crazy but she did give us some good information along the way.
Can you tell why these peaks are the most photographed in North America? They were stunning.
Charlotte loved them too!
There are multiple hikes that you can do from the lake. A longer one would be to Crater Lake and back. Since we had Charley we decided to do the hike along the creek. We thought it was 2 miles, but it ended up being 3.5 miles. It was an easy hike with different beautiful scenery along the way. I would highly recommend it. On the bus the driver mentioned that at the end of this hike there is a picnic bench along the road. If you are sitting there, the buses will stop and pick you up so you don’t have to go all the way back to the Bells. Perfect!
The path was perfect. Compact dirt right along the river. Even though we love the strenuous hikes, we do enjoy the leisurely ones that you don’t have to look at your feet so you don’t fall.
Charlotte insisted on hiking too!
We came across this bridge where the water was raging. It is a peaceful sound even though it is so powerful and loud. At this point do not cross the bridge to keep going, stay on the path along the river.
Charlotte absolutely LOVED the bridges and the water underneath. It was hard pulling her away, but there was so much more to see!
And again snow! It is weird being hot and then walking through snow at the end of June.
The path keeps changing, we ended up walking through this forest and it was refreshing.
We came across another bridge, the water was a little calmer, but still soothing.
The flowers along the path were amazing. All different colors, shapes, and sizes.
These Carpenter ants were hard at work and had created a huge home.
Towards 3/4 of the way to the end you enter an aspen forest. It was incredible. It was so quiet, you really feel like you are in some mythical place. I felt like I should see fairies or pixies.
And we lost her. Charlotte was a trooper and made it at least 2 miles walking with us and exploring, but then dad’s arms were too perfect for a nap. This is at the end where you end up at a parking lot and can walk up to the picnic bench to get picked up by the bus.
Even though this was a short 3.5 miles, being outdoors and surrounded by nature feels like you are replenished afterwards. No traffic, emails or people. We maybe came across two groups the entire time. We were able to enjoy everything that this walk had to offer. We try to be advocates of being outdoors and experiencing what the U.S. has to offer. You will not experience the same things if you are stuck in an office or a job 5 days a week. We are choosing a lifestyle over our corporate jobs, over making the most money, over any title that we may achieve. We have less, but experience more and we love it.
Spending time with these three is priceless for us and to do it like this is our happy place.
Do not let life pass you by.