Maroon Bells hotline to give visitors a heads up before they go |

Maroon Bells hotline to give visitors a heads up before they go

Staff Report

bus to bells fees

Buses leave every 20 minutes from Highlands to the Maroon Bells scenic area. Here are the 2017 prices for bus service:

Adults 17-64 $8

Adults 65-older $6

Children 6-16 $6

Children 6-younger free

Highlands parking rates

Weekdays $5

Weekends $10

Visitors who want know how crazy it is at the Maroon Bells before they venture up this summer will have a new hotline to check for live updates.

The U.S. Forest Service announced Friday a couple of changes to help the “visitor experience” at the Maroon Bells scenic area. The annual summer bus service begins today for rides from the Highlands parking area to the Maroon Bells parking area.

This year, the hotline — 970-945-3319 — will provide real-time information on parking and the area.

“The info line will be updated daily by Forest Service staff to provide current information to people so they know what to expect and can make the best decisions for their personal travel itineraries,” Kate Jerman, public affairs officer for the White River National Forest, said in a statement.

The first bus leaves Highlands at 8:05 a.m. daily, and the final bus back departs the Bells area at 4:30 p.m.

When bus service is available, vehicles are limited on Maroon Creek Road to those carrying persons with disabilities, children younger than 2 in car seats and campers with sites at Silver Bar, Silver Bell and Silver Queen campgrounds.

Before 8 a.m. or after 5 p.m. when there is no bus service, the cost is $10 per car (cash or check only) to drive up.

Also new this season, during weekends in September there will be free overflow parking at Buttermilk. RFTA buses will run from Buttermilk to Highlands every 20 minutes Friday to Sunday on those busy weekends.

For information on bus schedules, go to; for more on the Maroon Bells area, contact the Sopris Ranger District (970-963-2266) or the Forest Service’s website.

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