Maroon Bells CRMP

Maroon Bells Comprehensive Recreation Management Plan Overview 

Visitation to the MBSA has increased steadily over the past 10 years, and the need to sustainably monitor and manage visitors recreating in the MBSA is critical. Increased visitation without sustainable management can degrade natural resources, health and safety, and the overall visitor experience.

PW CRMP imagePitkin County, the City of Aspen, the White River National Forest, Roaring Fork Transportation Authority, Aspen Skiing Company, and the Aspen Chamber Resort Association are developing a comprehensive plan to sustainably provide for and manage recreation at the iconic Maroon Bells Scenic Area (MBSA). The Maroon Bells Comprehensive Recreation Management Plan (CRMP) aims to provide a framework to sustainably manage recreational access to, and activities within, the Maroon Creek Valley. This plan will identify goals and recommendations to improve sustainable access to and recreation in the Scenic Area while accounting for local economic and other community impacts. All modes of transportation and types of recreation activities will be considered as part of this planning process.

The study area for this effort includes Maroon Creek Road from the Highway 82 roundabout to the MBSA, which includes the scenic loop, East Portal, the campgrounds, and access up to Crater Lake.  

Planning Approach

Through a collaborative process with key partners and stakeholders, the CRMP identifies, projects, and addresses visitation impacts by defining and recommending improvements in sustainable access to and recreation in the MBSA. The development of the Maroon Bells CRMP is informed by input received from four main groups:

  • CRMP Steering Group (core agencies)

  • CRMP Advisory Group (relevant stakeholders)

  • Locally Elected Officials

  • General Public

The plan is composed of four main sections: Introduction, Existing Conditions and Current Trends, Recommendations, and Next Steps. The goals and recommendations in the plan will be framed within five focus areas: Conservation and Preservation, Experience, Access, Activities, and Management.

The plan is expected to be complete by July 2023.

How You Can Stay Involved

Public Meetings
The involvement of stakeholders and the public throughout this effort is critical to ensuring that the project team considers and addresses all interests, ideas, and concerns. We invite you to share feedback and ideas by participating in future Maroon Bells public meetings.

Next Public Meeting:

The public is invited to participate in a workshop on December 7 in Aspen to provide input and learn more about the Maroon Bells Comprehensive Recreation Management Plan effort.

Members of the project team, including Pitkin County, the City of Aspen, the White River National Forest, Roaring Fork Transportation Authority, Aspen Skiing Company, the Aspen Chamber Resort Association, and the U.S. Department of Transportation will provide an update on the work completed to date and will solicit input on potential strategies to support sustainable levels of access to the Maroon Bells Scenic Area. This input will help inform the plan's recommendations and next steps. The project team will also present a progress report to the Pitkin County Board of County Commissioners on December 6.

The public can stop by anytime between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. December 7 at the Pitkin County Building at 530 E Main St. in Aspen.

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Youth Photography and Art Contest
The project team invites members of the public ages 18 and under to submit original photography or art to be featured in the Maroon Bells CRMP. The contest is free, and winners will be chosen by public vote at an upcoming public meeting.

The contest is only open to youth ages under 18 and allows one (1) submission per person.

Please submit original photos or art capturing your favorite area or activity at the Maroon Bells. You may email your submissions to including the following information:

  • Your name

  • Your age

  • Photo/art caption

  • Location of photo/art

Stay In Touch
If you have any comments or questions or would like more information, please contact: