ASPEN, Colo. (KDVR) – The snow in the high country is melting and that means that seasonally-closed roads will soon open up, signaling the start of the camping season here in Colorado.

Park visitors will be able to start making reservations to access the Maroon Bells Scenic Area by vehicle and will be available for purchase starting on April 11. This year, parking permits will be required for the entire season.

“The reservations system we have used for the past two years has been very successful in reducing overcrowding and improving the visitor experience at this iconic Colorado location,” said Shelly Grail, Recreation Manager for the USDA Forest Service Aspen-Sopris Ranger District. 

Half-day, whole-day, and overnight parking permits will all be available on the Aspen Chamber Resort Association homepage, where they will start at $10.

Additionally, you can add the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority shuttle service to your trip, which will run every 15 minutes between Aspen Highlands and the Maroon Bells Scenic Area between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Fares will start at $16 a person and will kick off on May 27 before wrapping up around October 24, when the park-roaming season comes to a close. You are encouraged to avoid buying tickets for the shuttle on the day of your trip as they may sell out in advance.

Driving your personal vehicle to drop off passengers is not prohibited, but at the Maroon Bells Scenic Area, it must be done between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. Those park visitors who were dropped off MUST purchase a one-way shuttle return reservation beforehand, as vehicles will not be permitted to pick them up where they were dropped off in the morning.

Commercial drop-offs, like those performed by taxis, ride services, and hotel transportation, are prohibited 100% of the time.

For more information on visiting the Maroon Bells Scenic area, feel free to contact them with any questions you have at 970-945-3319.