Maroon Bells Amphitheatre

White River National Forest

Reputed to be the most photographed mountains in Colorado, the spectacular Maroon Bells dominate this setting. Hemmed in by Maroon Lake, aspen groves and evergreen forests, Maroon Bells Amphitheater is designed for interpretive talks, and is especially popular for recreational events and weddings.

The amphitheater is available for use by the general public and can be reserved for private events. The maximum number of people allowed at the amphitheater is 50. Receptions are not allowed at this location, but can be held at the East Maroon Portal Picnic site, approximately a four mile drive.

Reservations are not accepted for Fridays and Saturdays in June, July and August; Reservations are not accepted for Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in September and October.

The Amphitheater is a venue with a view, tucked behind the visitor center and overlooking a vast meadow (speckled with wildflowers mid-summer), Maroon Lake, and the Maroon Bells. It’s the perfect space for interpretive programs, weddings, spoken-word poetry performances, contemplate thought, or a picnic! 

The Amphitheater can be rented for private gatherings most days of the week throughout the summer. Reservations open one year in advance on a rolling basis for $200 per day. The space can hold a maximum of 50 people. Accessible vault toilets and a water fountain area available at the site- electrical outlets and phone service are not.

Decorations are allowed within the amphitheater, however the following are prohibited from use:

All decorations must be removed upon leaving the amphitheater.

Amphitheater reservations include five vehicle passes to the Maroon Bells Scenic Area, available for pickup at the Welcome Station five days prior to the event. Guests that cannot be accommodated with the included vehicle passes will have to either purchase a vehicle pass or reserve a seat on the shuttle bus well ahead of time at Operating hours for the shuttle bus are 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Dogs are permitted on the Maroon Bells Shuttle.

Vehicle traffic is restricted on Maroon Creek Road past the Forest Service Welcome Station from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. so guests with vehicle passes must come through the Welcome Station before 8:00 am. Handicapped individuals and vehicles with children under 2 years old in a restraining car seat are exempt from needing prior reservations and from road restrictions.

Parking for the amphitheater is available at the day use parking area, 200 yards from the site. Park all vehicles in the day use parking area. No vehicles are allowed in the bus loop for any reason. The shuttle bus drops guests off just 25 yards from the Amphitheater. 

While receptions cannot be held at the amphitheater, the nearby East Maroon Portal Picnic site is a popular option for the after-party. The East Maroon Portal Picnic site is a small, developed area situated along Maroon Creek, sharing a parking lot and path with the East Maroon Creek Trailhead. The picnic site can accommodate up to 75 people and may be reserved for the morning (10AM - 2PM) or the afternoon (3PM - 7PM) , or both. All food, beverages, and scented items must be properly stored until the time of the reception. A bear-proof food locker is available to store these items while not being attended. Click here to reserve the East Maroon Portal Picnic site.

Need to Know

Natural Features

The amphitheatre has views of the surrounding Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness. This wilderness is one of the five original Colorado wilderness areas designated by the 1964 Wilderness Act. Its scenic value exudes from its aspen groves, meadows of wildflowers, and dark forests of spruce and fir that rise up from the valleys to alpine landscapes. Here, bighorn sheep, pika, and ptarmigan find habitat above timberline.

Towering over glacial valleys at over 14,000 feet in elevation, the Maroon Bells are the most recognizable peaks in the Elk Mountains. The Maroon Bells are unique in the Rockies in that they are made up of metamorphic sedimentary mudstone that gives the peaks their maroon color and unstable nature for climbing.


There are hiking trails of varying length and difficulty. Trails next to Maroon Lake are fairly flat and wheelchair and stroller accessible. Beyond Maroon Lake, trails become steeper and rocky.

For hikers and backpackers, the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness epitomizes the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Starting from the Maroon Bells Scenic Area, the West Maroon Trail winds through aspen groves, crosses streams, and switchbacks through forests. Climbing to alpine terrain, backpackers will find high mountain lakes and a smattering of wildflowers in early summer. Check specific regulations for camping in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Area.

Changes & Cancellations

Changes: If your new stay dates are completely different from your original stay dates, there is a $10 change fee 

Cancellations: You can cancel the reservation any time before the date of your scheduled arrival. You will receive a refund for your stay, minus the following fees:

$10 cancellation fee

Any reservation fees (only if paid when booking)

Any previous change fees

Late cancellation penalties may also apply.

Contact Information


Aspen Sopris Ranger District PO Box 309 Carbondale CO 81623

Phone Number

For campground inquiries, please call: 970-963-2266; MAROONBELLS@USDA.GOV

Rental Options

Learn more about gear rental options for your trip

Driving Directions

Coming to Aspen via Independence Pass: Take Highway 82 West from downtown Aspen, 1 mile to the roundabout (rotary). From the roundabout, take Maroon Creek Road 4.7 miles to the Maroon Bells Welcome Station. Continue past the Welcome Station. The amphitheater is 5 miles beyond the Welcome Station at the end of the road. The Maroon Bells Amphitheater is approximately 9 miles from Highway 82 at the roundabout.

Coming to Aspen via Glenwood Springs: Take Highway 82 for 40 miles to the roundabout (rotary). From the roundabout, take Maroon Creek Road 4.7 miles to the Welcome Station. The amphitheater is 5 miles beyond the Welcome Station at the end of the road. The Maroon Bells Amphitheater is approximately 9 miles from Highway 82 at the roundabout.

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