The Maroon Bells Wilderness is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited. It’s no wonder it’s Colorado’s most photographed location. No photo can do these mountains justice. They soar so much higher into the sky in life than in this photograph. They’re red and purple with bits of blue and swaths of green. It’s peaceful and quiet, with a shared sense of reverence among everyone I met. My heart leapt with every glimpse of them along the trail. At Crater Lake, at their feet, I could see distant West Maroon pass and the valley before it. I’ll explore that valley one day when I complete the Four Pass Loop. I set up my hammock between two old aspens for a perfectly framed view of the Bells. Below the peaks were verdant seas of pine trees and brilliant waterfalls that rang out against the mountain walls. Even as I hiked back in the rain, I was grateful to be there.