MAROON BELLS (copy)
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The aspen leaves shimmer under the sun at Maroon Lake in Aspen in this 2016 Gazette file photo.

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ASPEN — The U.S. Forest Service says the popular Maroon Bells Scenic Area in western Colorado will not open as scheduled May 15 because of avalanche debris that must be removed from the access road.

The Aspen Times reports that the Aspen-Sopris Ranger District is tentatively setting the opening for June 15 after consulting this week with Pitkin County public works officials.

Maroon Creek Road has been covered by numerous slides in the 7 miles (11.2 kilometers) between T-Lazy-7 Ranch and Maroon Lake. The road is covered with snow several feet (91.4 centimeters) deep as well as tree trunks.

Sixteen couples planning weddings in view of the Maroon Bells between Memorial Day Weekend and June 14 have been notified that they have to change their plans.

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