Sunday, June 24, 2012

6-24-12 Silver Queen Campground Maroon Bells

When I was looking at the options for camping near Maroon Bells, I wasn't able to find a whole lot in the way of pictures of the campsite. 

Here's the report:

Silver Queen is the last of the three small campgrounds on the road to the Bells. It is still more than three more miles up the road to the lake.

Once you stop in at the ranger station and show them your reservation, you will need to hand over $5 for the parking pass that allows you access on the road for the duration of your stay. The gates into Queen are pictured at right.

Only site #3 is a pull-through, which is why we chose it for two cars plus a trailer. All the others are back-ins and just long enough to accommodate a truck and smaller sized camper. The sites are primarily intended for tent camping.

 All of the sites are covered in aspen stands that offer varying amounts of shade. Sites 1, 2, 3, and 6 (the manager spot) are along the left of the road near the river. Sites 4 and 5 are at the back and to the right, along with the toilets. The road circles at the end at sites 5 and 6 around the water faucet and garbage dumpster.

Campsite #4 nearest the toilets with the truck and people out for the day.

Campsite #5 on the other side of the toilets away from the water has a shorter looking back-in space. #4 and #5 offer some views of the Bells behind them. 

Campsite #6, according to the reservation site it is designated "manager" but these folks pulled out on Friday. 

Down the little trail by the dumpster is a rock garden and slow moving water that is perfect to wade around in. 

This is campsite #2, with water access.
This is campsite #1 nearest the road on the water's side.

The only road noise you will hear throughout the day is the shuttle bus taking day trippers to the lake and back. It's a very quiet spot and the sound of the rushing water drowns out even the bus noises for the most part.

You are just six miles from Aspen, although finding much in the way of camping supplies is a lost cause. The City Market is very small and on the other side of town. Plan on paying premium for anything you need and not needing anything unusual. Campers can buy a pass for $5.60 the last 90 minutes of the day (7:30 to 9:00 weekday nights, earlier on weekends) to access the facilities at the Aspen Recreational Center, which is on the same road before the traffic circle that takes you back into Aspen. They have a very small weight room, cardio room, ice rink, pool, rock climbing wall, hot tub, and showers. Be advised you are allowed in, but if someone who is not a member is inside, you will be locked out without a pass key through the doors to the weight and cardio rooms. The woman at the desk was very friendly and suggested we just bring our PJs, play, showers, and head for the tents set for bed. Had we been able to stay longer, we would definitely have made use of those hot showers that Friday night. 


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