Bell LbNA # 1708 (ARCHIVED)
|Placed Date||Apr 29 2003|
Placed by: I think Uncle Mikey
Name: The Bell Letterbox
Location: Maroon Bells Recreation Area, Aspen, CO - Pitkin County
Distance: 1.8 miles to letterbox, 3.6 miles round trip
Difficulty: Moderate for acclimated hikers
Elevation: 10,000 feet at letterbox
From I-70, take state road 83 east to Aspen. As you approach the city limits, you will encounter a traffic circle. The first road off the circle will be Maroon Creek Road, and this road leads to the Maroon Bells area. Traffic is restricted to the Bells - during the day, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., no cars are allowed in the area. You must park at the Aspen Highlands and pay $5.50 for a bus ticket up to the Bells. The intent is to keep cars (and thus, smog and pollution) out of the area. There is a steeper charge ($10 and up) to park at the Bells after hours. If you take the bus, it will drop you off at the terminus of the road, but if you are driving in, just follow this road until it ends in a small parking area.
Once at the Bells, Follow the trail up to Crater Lake. Its not too
terrible, but very very rocky in some places. Once at the lake, it's a beautiful view! You will come out at the north end of the lake. Keep walking south along the side until you come to a junction point. The trail continues onward, but there is a "reverse course" choice to the extreme left. Take this left, and walk up to an intersection a few meters away. A wooden sign should be pointing the way to campgrounds 3-5, and here you want to turn left.
Shortly, the trail will split around a huge rock outcropping. Just before this split, there is a small lone fir tree growing next to a rock outcropping. The Bell Letterbox is hidden in the rocks right to the left of the tree, in the middle and under a whitish stone with iron oxide stains on it.