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East Maroon Creek Trail #1983

Intermediate
 4.4 (5)

A valley trail with stunning views of Pyramid Peak and the Maroon Bells.


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Map Key

10.5

Miles

16.9

KM

89%

Runnable

11,812' 3,600 m

High

8,736' 2,663 m

Low

190' 58 m

Up

3,266' 996 m

Down

6%

Avg Grade (4°)

31%

Max Grade (17°)

Dogs Unknown

Features Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views

Trailhead access is by shuttle bus with fee from mid-June to early October with some exceptions (eg horse trailers and people with babies in car carriers). Ask the bus driver to drop you off at East Maroon Trailhead. If you can drive your own vehicle up there is a fee but it is waived with the National Park Pass.

Description

This well-maintained trail starts by following Maroon Creek before entering pretty East Maroon Valley. The trail climbs steadily but not steeply. Early in your outing, you'll get a great view of the Maroon Bells to the west.

You've left the crowds heading to Maroon Lake by picking this trail with its tranquil aspen and pine forests. Large meadows give you grand views of the rugged Rocky Mountains that line this valley.

The sounds of wind whispering through aspen trees, East Maroon Creek tumbling over rocks and the occasional bird singing its joy, will let you leave the sounds of everyday life far behind.

Along the trail, keep an eye out for evidence of wildlife. We noted some deer and bear footprints in a muddy spot and found old bear claw marks on an aspen tree. Very cool!

There are a few small water crossings requiring stepping from rock to rock. Just check first that the rocks you are picking are stable. The use of trekking poles or finding a stick can help you keep your balance as you step from rock to rock.

Once below the ragged outline of Pyramid Peak you notice some beaver ponds slowing the progress of East Maroon Creek. Now's a good time for you to slow as well. If you've brought along binoculars check the upper slopes of Pyramid Peak for mountain goats. We spotted two the day we were out. It took careful looking, but that made it even more rewarding.

Let your energy level and abilities help determine how far to take the trail but keep in mind if you used the shuttle bus to access the trailhead when the last bus leaves Maroon Lake (5:30pm in 2015). You don't want to be stranded on the road.

Flora & Fauna

Starting in mid-September the fall colors add intensity to the stellar views.

Contacts

Shared By:

Janice Shepherd

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 5 votes

#7144

Overall
  4.4 from 5 votes
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Trail Rankings

#569

in Colorado

#7,144

Overall
20 Views Last Month
3,016 Since Sep 25, 2015
Intermediate

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Photos

Pryamid Peak peaking out from behind the aspen slope.
Sep 25, 2015 near Snowmas…, CO
Mid-September color landscape
Sep 25, 2015 near Snowmas…, CO
A dash of red to add spice to the yellow fall colors. Grab your binoculars to look for Mtn Goats high up on the rocks.
Sep 25, 2015 near Snowmas…, CO
Hikers share the trial with horseback riders. Here a horse enjoys a break in a ride.
Sep 25, 2015 near Snowmas…, CO
View from the Aspen side
Sep 19, 2020 near Snowmas…, CO
The trail beckons you onward.
Sep 25, 2015 near Snowmas…, CO

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