You remember when I went (or attempted to go to) Maroon Bells in January? Let me refresh for you- there’s so much snow that you can’t drive up to the summertime parking lot in the winter, but you can ski or snowmobile. We went up to Aspen again in May, and this time the snow had melted, spring was peeking out amongst the winter brown, and things were generally gaw-gous, dahhhrling, allowing us to make it all the way up the road.
Mud season is a good time to be in the mountains. I mean, really any time is a good time to be in the mountains, but mud season is great because there are no tourists but there is usually sufficient snowmelt to hike and any mountain town exploration you were looking to get done can occur. We spent one day wandering the streets of Aspen and Carbondale in addition to a little hiking in the valley. If you’re ever up that way, you have to get barbecue at Hickory House- their food is fabulous.
The Bells are really close to Aspen- just a 20 minute drive or so by my estimations and well worth the fee to drive up to the parking lot. Once we got there we walked around a bit (there are some hiking trails that leave from the area, but we weren’t looking for a big hike-commitment, as it were) and on our way down we played spot the marmot, which I have to admit was probably one of the more distracting games I have ever played in a car. We attempted to pull over several times for marmot pictures before we finally spotted one with enough advance notice to get a good shot. Sorry Emily! :)