Fall Colors @ Maroon Bells!

The Fall is here. The entire city is getting ready for Halloween and all the stores are draped in Orange!!

Living in Colorado, we had to visit Maroon Bells during the fall and that’s exactly what we did. My first fall colors!!

Maroon Bells are the most photographed peaks in Colorado. You will see why in sometime!!

As we planned this trip, we were very skeptical about the colors arriving by then. As here in Denver there weren’t much changes in the colors of the landscape. Adding to our worry, the drive to Aspen showed us very little colors. We had lowered our expectation with a little disappointment. We drove to Aspen Friday night, so that we could catch the sunrise @ Maroon Bells.  Cars are allowed before 8 am only and the sunrise was at 6:50 am. So we had planned to start by 6 am. With great difficulty we (party of 6 – 3 couples) woke up at 5 am and got ready to leave by 6 am. Very enthusiastically we drove up, only to find out the parking was full by then. Entries were closed and we missed the sunrise.

We decided to have our breakfast and catch the earliest bus to the Maroon Bells. There is a Bus shuttle every 15 minutes starting at 8 AM. It costs $6/head. We caught the 8:45 AM bus.

The ride to the maroon bells has a beautiful scenic view of the mountains with these yellow trees (Aspen trees) all over. There were some green pine trees poking in between them. The colors were just magnificent. We were in awe looking at the yellow mountains – bright beautiful yellow.

We reached the Maroon Bells. I really cant describe the beauty of the spot. I wish i could! Even the pictures doesn’t do justice to the scenic beauty of these peaks. Two bell shaped peaks with lines of snow on top, to its left and right are mountains covered in green and yellow trees. Below is the Maroon lake carrying the reflection. Man! No wonder photographers go crazy. It is just picture perfect.

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Both peaks are fourteeners. Maroon Peak, at 14,163 feet, is the 27th highest peak in Colorado; North Maroon Peak, at 14,019 feet, is the 50th highest.

The Aspen trees are those which turn color during the fall and the pine tree doesn’t change color, so it is green through out the year.

Fun fact: Did you know the largest living organism in the world is Aspen grove ?!?!!!

Yes, its not the blue whale it is the Aspen tree colony. These trees have connected roots making them largest living organism. Maybe even the oldest as they survive intense fire with the underground roots intact.

Science and beauty of this place keeps you mesmerized.  None of us could stop taking pictures. When we started to feel a little photo crazy, we looked around to realize we were not alone.Everyone visiting were all photo crazy giving wacky (yet creative) poses. This picture below has some of those poses!!

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As the sun light changes, the colors of this view differs. So we decided to catch the sunrise @ Maroon bells the next day. To be on the safer side, we started at 5 AM. It was 34 degree F (1 degree C). We are half sleepy and totally cold. It was so dark to see anything but dark shadows. We were so early so we did get a spot. We reached there by 5:45 AM. The sunrise was at 6:58 am. It was so dark that we couldn’t even see the lake. Despite the darkness and cold weather there were so many photographers waiting with their cameras. They used the tripods to mark their territory (the best spot to catch the sunrise @ Maroon bells). Though we didn’t have any tripods we found a sweet spot for ourselves. Stood there waiting for the sun to rise. Our palms were getting so cold and yet there we were clicking pictures with all the 6 phones and one SLR!

At 6:50 AM there was this small beam of light on top of the bells. It added a golden crown to this magnificent peaks. Take a look at the changes in a matter of minutes!

Before the sunrise @ 6:36 AM

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First rays of the sun @ 6:59 AM

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7:00 AM

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7:01 AM

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7:02 AM

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Look at the sheer number of photographers. Waiting for the light!

Photography 101: Light is the key!

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I have to say (again!), though the pictures look great, it doesn’t cover the entire scenic beauty. Just doesn’t do justice! The depth perceived by our eyes are not captured in a photo.

Sunrise! Ah it was worth all the pain.

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