Maroon Bells bus service starts June 9 from Aspen Highlands | PostIndependent.com

Maroon Bells bus service starts June 9 from Aspen Highlands

Staff report

Visitors to the Maroon Bells Scenic Area prepare to board a RFTA bus with “Maroon Bells” displayed in the bus destination marquee. Riding the bus supports sustainable transportation to the Maroon Bells and can help visitors avoid road closures due to overcrowding.

Bus service to the Maroon Bells Scenic Area will gear up June 9 for its 40th season, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

"That's 40 years of reducing traffic congestion, carbon emissions and other impacts in the environment by limiting car trips," the agency said in a statement.

More than 300,000 people visited the area last year for day visits, camping or venturing into the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness.

The bus service provided by the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority will operate from June 9 through Oct. 8. Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for children 6 to 16 years of age and seniors 65 and older. Children 5 and younger ride for free. Tickets can be purchased at Four Mountain Sports at Aspen Highlands or the Rubey Park Transit Center.

Aspen Skiing Co. has increased parking fees at Aspen Highlands. The rates are $5 for up to three hours Monday through Friday and $10 for as many as three hours on weekends. For three to eight hours, the rate is $10 Monday through Friday and $15 for weekends. A full day, more than eight hours, will cost $20 for weekdays and $25 for weekends.

Use of private vehicles is restricted on Maroon Creek Road between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. A $10 fee per vehicle is charged during allowed times. User fees are accepted between 5 p.m. and 8 a.m. at the self-service fee station on Maroon Creek Road just past the welcome station. Put the recreation fee inside a self-service envelope and insert it into the green fee tube.

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This year, the White River National Forest is introducing a mobile app, free for download. Content is available on the app even without cell service, and includes information on parking, taking the bus, fees and safety tips. Download the app in the app store by searching "White River National Forest" or view by visiting http://www.whiteriver.oncell.com.