Destination Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness

Home / Articles / Destination Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness

Colorado’s Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness is a renowned recreation destination with 173 miles (278 km) of trails managed by the Forest Service. Beginning February 15, 2023 at 8am MT, overnight permits for Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, including Conundrum Hot Springs, Four Pass Loop, and Capitol Lake will be available on for trip dates of February 15 – July 31, 2023. Permits are required year-round and are available online up to the day of the trip, depending on availability. To reserve a permit for the Conundrum Hot Springs zone through February 14, please visit the Conundrum Hot Springs page on After February 14, visit the new Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Overnight Wilderness Permits facility page.

What you need to know to plan an overnight trip in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness

The Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness carries special legal designation to protect its natural, undeveloped and untrammeled qualities as well as to provide outstanding opportunities for solitude or primitive and unconfined recreation. A permit system and regulations are in place to help protect this unique wilderness treasure.

As you plan an overnight trip into the wilderness, keep in mind, only the most heavily used areas will require the overnight permit in advance including Conundrum Hot Springs, the Four Pass Loop (which includes Crater Lake and Snowmass Lake), Capitol Lake, and Geneva Lake. Together these areas make up about 28 percent of the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness. Wilderness zones outside of these five areas will still require a permit, which you can obtain in-person at the trailhead – no need for a reservation. Use this map to determine which zones you plan to visit.

The White River National Forest offers additional trip planning details on their webpage, including Frequently Asked Questions about this new permitting process.

Shallow blue spring in a verdant mountain valley.

Conundrum Hot Springs, Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness (Tyler Lee, US Forest Service)

Recreation in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness has exploded over the past decade, with a quadrupling of overnight use since 2006. This overnight permit and fee program is critical to giving the Forest the resources needed to effectively manage, restore, and protect this cherished but heavily used and impacted area.

As you plan your trip to the wilderness, it’s important to note the upcoming on-sale dates for the 2023 season. Permits will be released in blocks on under this schedule:

As a visitor to the area, it’s up to you to help protect this amazing place, and we know that you will!

Explore Related Trips

Bring Home a Story