2.5 Wilderness Backpacking

You can backpack into the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness from East Maroon, West Maroon and Maroon Lake. There are several other trailheads surrounding the Maroon Bells Snowmass Wilderness that provide access to a variety of other backpacking destinations. Please read on for more detail on backpacking trips.

Food Storage: If you plan on backpacking in the Maroon-Bells Snowmass Wilderness, be aware that there is a mandatory food storage order in place. Hanging food is no longer allowed. Bear canisters that are IGBC (International Grizzly Bear Committee) certified are required. Not carrying a bear canister while backpacking is a finable offense. While camping in developed campgrounds, food must be sealed and stored in vehicles or bear boxes provided at the camp site.

Overnight Registration: Those who are backpacking into the Wilderness are required to register at the trailhead before entering the Wilderness. Groups larger than 10 are not permitted.

Dispersed Camping Locations: If you are backpacking into the Wilderness you must camp farther than 100 feet from any lake, stream or trail. There is no camping within ¼ mile of Conundrum Hot Springs, Copper Lake, Crater Lake, Geneva Lake, Capitol Lake and Thomas Lakes except at designated sites.

Campfires: Building, maintaining or attending a campfire or wood-burning stove within 100 feet of a lake, stream, or trail. Campfires are not permitted within ¼ mile of Crater Lake or above 10,800 feet elevation.

Dogs: Dogs must be leashed, with the exception of stock dogs and/or legal hunting dogs used for hunting purposes. Leashes cannot exceed 6 feet. Dogs are prohibited in the following areas: Conundrum Creek Valley starting at Silver Dollar Pond and going south to Triangle Pass.

We need your help to take care of the land!

The Maroon Bells Scenic area and the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness are iconic places to visit. As such, these areas see a lot of human use and impact. When visiting, please use Leave No Trace ethics. If you pack it in, pack it out. Stay at a safe distance from wildlife when viewing and keep dogs leashed so they don’t disturb wildlife. Bury human waste properly or pack it out. Camp in the appropriate areas and adhere to the campfire regulations. Stay the trail. The White River National Forest is all yours to enjoy, discover and care for. We are counting on you to be good stewards of the land.