Located just outside Aspen, Colorado, Silver Queen Campground is hemmed in by aspen groves, a short walk from Maroon Creek, with views of 14,018 foot Pyramid Peak.
The campground sits at an elevation of 8,460 feet, allowing guests to experience warm summer days and cool evenings with probable afternoon thunderstorms. Come prepared for changing weather conditions. Snow is possible even at the peak of summer.
For hikers and backpackers, the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Area epitomizes the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Starting from the Deadly Bells Trailhead at Maroon Lake, the West Maroon Trail gains elevation through aspen groves and evergreens, traverses boulder fields, crosses streams, and leads hikers through high-elevation (10,000+ feet) mountain passes. Climbing through alpine terrain, backpackers will find high mountain lakes and a smattering of wildflowers in mid-summer. Check specific regulations for camping in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Area.
For day hikers and horseback riders, nearby Maroon Creek Trail offers a less crowded alternative to viewing the Maroon Bells, Pyramid Peak and the entire Maroon valley. The gentle, flat terrain offers scenic stops that are great for picnicking.
Silver Queen Campground has five campsites available for advanced reservation which are able to accommodate tents, trailers, and RVs. Sites are equipped with picnic tables, vault toilets, food storage lockers (bear boxes), campfire rings and drinking water. Electrical hook-ups are not available. Horses are not allowed in the campground.
The Maroon Bells Scenic Area is surrounded by the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness. This wilderness is one of the five original Colorado wilderness areas designated by the 1964 Wilderness Act. Its scenic value exudes from its aspen groves, meadows of wildflowers, and dark forests of spruce and fir that rise up from the valleys to alpine landscapes. Here, bighorn sheep, pika, and ptarmigan find habitat above timberline.
Towering over glacial valleys at over 14,000 feet in elevation, the Maroon Bells are the most recognizable peaks in the Elk Mountains. The Maroon Bells are unique in the Rockies in that they are made up of metamorphic sedimentary mudstone that gives the peaks their maroon color and unstable nature for climbing.
The nearby resort town of Aspen is a popular destination for visitors to the area. From downhill skiing and world-class fly fishing, to dining and resorts, there is a multitude of outdoor and indoor opportunities in this mountain town.
ADA Access: N
This is a very small campground. Of the six available sites, one is reserved for walk-ins. Our site was along Maroon Creek, and nestled in a thick aspen grove. With our camping pass, we were able to park in the Maroon Bells parking lot so we were able to catch both a sunrise and a sunset. (Don't miss the sunrise!) There were a lot of biting bugs—both at the campsite and on the trails—so come prepared, Crater Lake is a short but rewarding hike out of the Maroon Bells parking lot, but I also recommend driving over to hike to both American Lake and Cathedral Lake. Both have significant elevation gain, so if you are going in the summer, head up early, or late.
This campground is right on the main road up to the Maroon Bells, so buses do pass by. But the camping is so close to Maroon Lake and the hike to Crater Lake. The landscape is gorgeous, especially if you can catch the fall colors. You might want to book your reservations well in advance during peak season. These sites book up quick, but being close to Aspen, Snowmass, and the Maroon Bells, it’s worth the advanced planning.
Hard to find something wrong with this campground. It's small and sites are walk up, so get there early! Though sites are relatively close together, it still felt as though we had privacy nestled into the trees. Very close to the maroon bells so spending the day there is a must! Tons of hiking and amazing sites to be seen. Our campsite had a Firepit and a bear locker. There are toilets as well. Would definitely recommend this site to all. A little stream near by we walked down to and enjoyed to noises of nature.
This campground is super close to the Maroon Bells - Maroon Lake is just up the road. It has all the essential facilities - fire ring, picnic tables, toilets, water. It is set in an aspen grove and a creek runs right by it. There aren't many sites at this campground, so I recommend reserving a site especially during peak season. I've stayed at this campsite twice - it's a great spot. The Maroon Bells are super busy during September when all of the aspen trees are turning. The mountains turn gold. During peak season visitors are not allowed to drive up to Maroon Lake, there are buses you must take instead. If you're staying at this campground you're allowed to bypass the bus and drive up there in your own car. From Maroon Lake there is a trailhead. We did the hike to Crater Lake, a moderate hike to a lake at the base of a huge mountain. The Maroon Bells area is extraordinary. This campground is also very close to downtown Aspen - the location is perfect. There are 2 cons to this campground however, first is that it's right next to the road and secondly it is very touristy. If you're trying to get off the beaten path, then this is not it.