UPDATE: Maroon Bells Won’t Be Open Until Mid-June
Aspen-Sopris Ranger District tentatively sets a June 15th opening date.
Earlier this month we informed you that the road to Maroon Bells Scenic Area would not likely have the snow and avalanche debris cleared by the normal mid-May opening day. After three weeks of effort, it's become obvious that it will take several more weeks to open Maroon Creek Road. “We hope to have the road open by June 15,” so says Shelly Grail, recreation manager for the Aspen-Sopris Ranger District, “...everything is tentative.”
The road was buried by several slides along the 7-mile stretch from T-Lazy-7 Ranch to Maroon Lake. One of the massive slides covers the road past upper Stein Meadow all the way to where the road bends towards Maroon and North Maroon Peaks. The road is completely impassible. It's covered under several feet of snow, tree trunks, and other debris.
As far as the trails in the area, it’s impossible to know when they will reopen if at all. They too are buried under tons of debris deposited by the "historic" Five Fingers avalanche. That avalanche was over a mile wide and roared more than 3,000 feet down the mountain destroying everything in its path. A second avalanche occurred in the next bowl up the valley depositing debris across the creek and onto the other side of the valley completely covering the trail.
The Forest Service has informed The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority of the new tentative opening day. They're the local bus service that delivers visitors to the Bells. For the latest info or to schedule a Roaring Fork Transportation Authority ride to the Maroon Bells Scenic Area, call 970-945-3319 or click HERE.
Credit: Aspen Times