Road to Bells free and clear |

Road to Bells free and clear

Aspen Times Staff Report

Lube up the in-line skates and dust off the road bike. The road to Maroon Lake is open.

Pitkin County crews have finished plowing away the snow and cleaning avalanche debris off the road, allowing it to open to traffic on Monday, said Kerri Hamouz of the Forest Service office in Aspen.

Trails are open to some extent, Hamouz said, though hikers will encounter some snow. The scenic trail around the lake is open but muddy, she reported.

“We’re recommending leather boots and gaiters, because there are still some patches of snow,” Hamouz said. People were getting as far as Crater Lake yesterday, she said, and the East Maroon Trail is relatively clear for the first four miles.

Snowshoers should get an early start, before conditions get mushy, Hamouz advised.

For now, access to the Maroon Lake area is unrestricted, Hamouz said, and motorists may drive the road at any time. The road will be gated and closed to motor vehicles during the day starting in mid-June, when RFTA bus service to the lake starts.

Later in the summer, probably around July 15, the Forest Service will initiate fees for motor vehicles. Motorists will be charged $10 for a five-day pass or $40 for a season pass. The bike ride will remain free.

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