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Although the Maroon Bells and Snowmass Mountains in Colorado were contained within the White River National Forest and Gunnison National Forest, they didn’t have protection from commercial operations until 1964 when the Wilderness Act was passed. This granted them some extra protection, preserving the pristine wilderness for decades to come. The region was visited by miners searching for silver in the 1880s, but it didn’t truly take off as a tourist destination until the nearby Aspen ski resort was built in the 1950s. Today, around 300,000 people visit Maroon Bells Snowmass Wilderness annually.
The closest town is Snowmass, which is a bustling town centered around skiing and outdoor recreation. There are several boutique shops and restaurants, and of course, a small medical clinic for health emergencies. Snowmass is about eight miles to the northeast, as the crow flies. Search for an RV in Pitkin County, CO, and prepare for a once-in-a-lifetime RV camping trip.
Encompassing over 182,000 acres, walking through Maroon Bells Snowmass Wilderness is akin to stepping back into time. This piece of untouched wilderness is the same one that man saw over 200 years ago. There are around 100 miles of trails and six fourteeners, which are considered among the most difficult in Colorado, including the iconic Maroon Bells Peaks and Snowmass Mountain. Due to a high number of bears and other wild animals, all adventurers must carry out any waste and make use of bear-proof cans, which are mandatory. In addition to black bears, big-horned sheep are frequently spotted scaling the rocky cliffs. In the open valley of Maroon Bells Snowmass Wilderness, deer, elk, and moose roam.
Note: the main access road is often closed in winters, and the only way up is to backpack in. Snowshoe, cross-country ski, or hike the 12.4 miles to the Wilderness area. Taking a snowmobile is recommended, though, upon arrival, people are asked to keep the use of their snowmobiles to a minimum. The road usually opens in April or May, depending on how much snow was received that winter. Due to limited parking, there are shuttle buses available between June and September, also.
Want to fish at an alpine lake? Fulfill that dream at Maroon Bells Snowmass Wilderness. Maroon Lake is open to fishing, though all fishermen must have a state-issued license. Cutthroat trout and a few other fish are commonly caught. Keep a sharp eye out, though. Bears, hawks, and eagles have been known to steal catches right off the line.
Because parking at Maroon Bells Snowmass Wilderness is very limited, there is no RV camping. However, there are several RV campgrounds and parks within 30 miles. RV camp at Difficult Campground, just outside Aspen, CO, which has around 47 sites. It has running water, bear-proof trash cans, and vault toilets. A popular campground, reserving a site well in advance is recommended.
Carbondale’s Gateway RV Park may be a good option to consider, too. Operated by the town of Carbondale, Gateway RV Park has electric hookups, which is a nice plus on a chilly day, WiFi, and is one of the few campgrounds to allow pets.
Alternatively, consider camping at Carbondale KOA RV campground may be a contender. With only 25 RV sites, fewer neighbors mean a quieter camping experience. It also offers amenities like oversized sites, electric hookups, a hot tub, and WiFi.
Though the endless recreational adventures are a major draw for many visitors to the area, the small mountain towns in Colorado are full of history, charm, and shops with interesting items. Visit them all in search of the perfect RV camping souvenir to take home. During the gold and silver mining boom, mining towns popped up for a few years, and in a few cases, decades, before ultimately perishing as people moved out of the area. As a result, there are several ghost towns and abandoned mining towns in the area. One such instance is Independence, which was close to Champion Mills, CO. Independence has been restored and now functions as a living-history museum site.
Are you fascinated by the legend of Doc Holliday and his cohorts? Glenwood Springs, CO, houses Doc Holliday Museum, which has on display several photographs, memorabilia, and other artifacts like his beloved pocket watch and a derringer.
At the end of a long day of exploring and adventuring, retreat into the comforts of an Airstream rental. Listen to the sounds of nature as stars appear in the night sky. Use this RV camping trip to escape the nonstop buzz of smartphones, computers, and automobile horns. Book an RV in Pitkin County and find your bliss in Colorado’s wilds.