We choose the longest trail @ Maroon Bells – The Crater lake trail. It is a 4 mile (round trip) hike and is considered moderate in difficulty.
As we started the hike we saw this sign:
Unlike other mountains in the Rockies that are composed of granite and limestone, the Bells are composed of metamorphic sedimentary mudstone that has hardened into rock over millions of years. Mudstone is weak and fractures readily, giving rise to dangerously loose rock along almost any route. The mudstone is responsible for the Bells’ distinctive maroon color. The Bells got their “deadly” name in 1965 when eight people died in five separate accidents. [Source: Wiki]
On both sides of the trail were the big bright yellow Aspen trees.
It was just so beautiful and very different from any other hikes we have done. As we walked the breeze forced the trees to shed and it was raining yellow confetti (so it felt).
The hike had so many view points as we walked. Different views of the Maroon Bells. Many opportunities to capture the fall colors in a snap creatively. We did try our share to do the same.
Shades of yellow with a tinge of green, orange and finally the dry brown leaves. All of these reflected in a blue lake. Nature is just so amazing!
As we moved along another pretty spot. This time from a little elevation.
The trail turned rocky after maybe a half of the way. We saw some of the visitors horse riding. They rode it in style and ease in this magnificent mountain.
After a long 2 mile hike we reached the crater lake. After seeing the Maroon Bell lake it wasn’t that impressive.
We realized that “It is not about the destination but the journey”.