ASPEN, Colo. (KDVR) — Rangers are seeking feedback from visitors about how to best maintain the beautiful Maroon Bells scenic area.
Kevin Warner, the White River National Forest District Ranger for the Aspen-Sopris Ranger District, says more than 300,000 people visit the Maroon Bells every year, which takes a toll on the environment and infrastructure.
“The Maroon Bells scenic area is one of the most iconic areas in the Colorado rockies, it’s very well-loved by Coloradans as well as out-of-staters,” Warner said. “It’s a beautiful area for people to have an engagement with their public lands that we manage for them, and so it’s important for us and the local community to manage those areas to the best of our abilities for all of those visitors who want to come and see them.”
Before creating a comprehensive plan for the future, rangers hope to acquire information in five areas: conservation and preservation, visitor experience, visitor access, activities, and overall management.
Part of this plan could include fees and permits for backpacking, in addition to the current reservation system.
The reservation system for the bus and parking spaces has been in place since 2020. If you would like to make a reservation, click here.
Rangers will continue gathering feedback for an entire year, then create and implement the plan accordingly.
Thursday’s meeting will be held in Aspen from 5 to 7 p.m. and rangers say they will announce a virtual open house in the coming days.