The Maroon Bells are some of the most picturesque and frequently photographed mountains in America.  Their name is derived from the maroon color they appear to be when they are not covered with snow, in addition to the "bell like" shape of the three peaks.   They are beautifully situated at the end of a gorgeous valley full of aspen trees, pine trees and two crystal clear shallow lakes (Maroon Lake and Crater Lake).   They are easily accessed from Aspen by a free shuttle that makes frequent trips throughout each day.  Access is restricted by car during certain times of the day and year, and parking is very limited at the end of the road at Maroon Lake - so it is only recommended that you get there by car if you are visiting during the off season .  If traveling by car, the road leading up to the Maroon Bells is easily accessed just after you leave the northwest end of Aspen on highway 82.  When you come to the "round-a-bout" on highway 82, simply look for the sign for the Maroon Bells up Maroon Creek Road.  It is about a 25 minute trip from Aspen to Maroon Lake, and you don't have to go on a hike to see the Maroon Bells when you reach the parking lot at the end of the road at Maroon Lake.  Once you arrive, you are just 50 yards from the edge of Maroon Lake and a clear view of the Maroon Bells - making this a great outdoor adventure for all.  There are plenty of bathroom facilities at Maroon Lake and several places to sit and take in the view of the Maroon Bells.  For those who want more of a physical outdoor experience, the trail to Crater Lake is another 1.5 miles beyond Maroon Lake - taking you even closer to these majestic mountain peaks.