Lost Man Trail (Moderate–Difficult) The Lost Man Trail features some of the easiest access to an alpine wonderland of meadows and lakes anywhere in the area. Various designated campsites provide base camps for enthusiastic outdoor-types of all stripes and entrance … The pass comes roughly in the middle of a 32-mile (51 km) stretch of Highway 82 between the two winter gates, a corridor that is sometimes referred to in its entirety as Independence Pass. Often driving seems like an unattainable goal for those who are limited by illness, injury or the physiological changes associated with aging. To reach, take CO 82 west from Twin Lakes or east out of Aspen. Since you’ll be at an elevation of 12,095 feet, prepare for unpredictable weather. The capacity to drive is crucial to a person’s ability to regain their independence. Independence Pass, part of Colorado State Highway 82, passes over the Continental Divide between Leadville and Aspen, Colorado. Independence Pass takes you through the high Rockies of Colorado where peaks that touch the sky at elevations of more than 12, 13 and even 14 thousand feet – providing unparalleled scenery. Mobility and Independence are highly valued in our society today. On Independence Pass, CDOT will stop cars below the first one-lane section of road on the Aspen side and let through one group of cars at a time, Peulen said. The road (with switchbacks not for the faint of heart) navigates through aspen groves, granite walls and meadows, with alpine tundra at its peak. In the east, the journey begins at the junction with US 24 in the upper Arkansas River valley, already at quite a high elevation of 9,100 feet. You can access Independence Pass by traveling east on Route 82, which runs through the heart of Aspen. But someone writing about it said they do not recommend anybody that doesn’t know what they’re doing drive it, it’s narrow with no guard rails, and … 11 Reviews. It is about 20 miles from Aspen to the peak of the pass, but riders can turn around at any point and head back to town. Independence Pass offers one of the state’s most extensive above tree line, paved cycling experiences. There is a waterfall, some interesting rock formations, an ice cave and numerous short trails. A version of these article originally appeared on Aspen Chamber’s website. Today you can view the remains of miner's cabins, the Farewell Stamp Mill, stables and a general store. August 3, 2020 Leave a Comment. Featuring many stops along the way to enjoy scenic views, it twists around stunning groves of aspen trees and hugs the Roaring Fork River. Pam LeBlanc @fitcityleblanc Tuesday Aug 25, 2020 at 5:44 PM. Previously working in public relations with Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR), Karen has expertly blended over 35 years' driving experience with the patience of a PGCE IT teacher. There are several trails to enjoy right off of the pass, ranging from easy to difficult depending on your interests and hiking level. The road is steep, narrow and twisty with only a few guardrails but is completely safe. Elbert, and on the opposite (south) side you will pass La Plata Peak (the 5th largest mountain in CO). Driving Independence Pass may not be for the faint of heart, but the drive is worth it in its payoff of views and adventure. The patterns along the inner walls in the cave are remarkable, smooth to the touch and perfectly formed waves. Once, during a backpacking trip, I had to crawl on my hands and knees through a 200-foot stretch of trail that was making my eyeballs spin like plates balanced on the end of long, spindly poles. From this starting point the road turns into Independence Pass. At 12,095ft at the summit, Independence Pass is the highest paved pass in the state. Continental Divide The midway point between Aspen and Twin Lakes, the pass is on the border between Pitkin and Lake counties and is the dividing point between watersheds that drain into the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Enjoy lessons from a patient, Approved … Back then, it was a narrow, gravel stagecoach road. Planning on driving Independence Pass while I’m there... but while looking through certain details, I came across something that made me super nervous. The hike is no longer a dirt path, but instead it has transitioned you to trekking over one large rock. At 12,095 ft, Independence Pass is one of the highest paved passes in North America! Approach this oasis and find cliff divers plunging into a pool of water fed from a narrow opening between the rock. Ruby (Easy) The old town of Ruby is an abandoned mining camp. The highest paved pass in North America is a classic Colorado drive and offers access to excellent hiking, biking and more. At this point the route becomes a four-wheel-drive road, where you can begin your hike. Elliott W.04/22/2017. The highway provides some … A flagger at the top of the second one-lane section on the Aspen side will ensure that two-way traffic through those areas doesn’t happen. It was a popular stop during the gold rush. Featuring many stops along the way to enjoy scenic views, it twists around stunning groves of aspen trees and hugs the Roaring Fork River. Always keep your eyes on the road and drive slowly while remaining prepared to yield. Driving past the abandoned houses and structures is captivating and will have you longing for more knowledge about the people and history behind the ghost town of Independence. Unfortunately, drivers become so encompassed with pulling over and taking pictures, they often fail to realize that on this very road, there are trails that lead to concealed ice caves, waterfalls and a cliff diving hotspot. Glimpse of Aspen Tour. Below are a few top picks: Grottos (Easy) This is a popular area for picnicking and exploring and for families. More info. Menu & Reservations Make Reservations . Welcome to our website... About us. Independence Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 3.692m (12,112ft) above the sea level, located in Pitkin County, in central Colorado, USA. The summit of Independence Pass is 18 miles west of Twin Lakes and 19 miles east of Aspen. The Official Site of Colorado Tourism © 2020 Colorado Tourism Office. At 12,095 feet, Independence Pass is the fourth highest paved road in the state. The Ride for the Pass is a recreational ride and road-biking race that takes place every May and allows cyclist to enjoy the beautiful road before it opens to cars for the season. Independence Pass, a spectacular scenic byway, offers public access to federal lands within the White River and Pike & San Isabel National Forests. In the summer, the journey from Denver to Aspen reveals something not shown to the world, something hidden and beautiful that will make you wonder why you didn’t know about it all along? All rights reserved. Aspen Independence Pass Day Tour. Be prepared to white knuckle your steering wheel and use your laser eye focus however, because you will come across switchbacks and areas without guard rails. (Duh). Drivers must follow the speed limit and proceed with caution. Aspen Scavenger Hunt: Get An “Altitude” Adjustment. Highway 82 over Independence Pass reopened on Friday evening to vehicles only, no semis. Heed these tips . Join us as we drive Independence Pass through a rainstorm and enjoy a day of hiking in Aspen. Aspen's DarkSide Ghost Tour. This is a small lot where you’ll likely find some cars already pulled in. Independence Pass is part of the great Top of the Rockies Byway. The ride from Twin Lakes to the summit is 35-miles round-trip with a 3,100-foot elevation gain. Independence Pass [30604 - 47499] Highway 82 Aspen CO 81611. This is the spot to explore, people will crawl in and out of this cave and the echoes of their voice can be heard from a distance. Planning on driving Independence Pass while I’m there... but while looking through certain details, I came across something that made me super nervous. Pass with Kaz Driving School is run by Karen Burgoyne, an experienced Approved Driving Instructor. FOR THE MOST UP-TO-DATE INFORMATION ON TRAVEL CONDITIONS, OPENINGS, AND CLOSURES ON COLORADO ROADs, click HERe. Highway 82 over Independence Pass reopened on Friday evening to vehicles only, no semis. Highway 82 across Independence Pass is best driven from east to west, since this direction offers the nicest views. Sheer, exposed cliffs make my kneecaps clatter like castanets. When driving on State Highway 82 over Independence Pass, use extra caution and remember to share the road. Going west on Independence Pass, there’s a small dirt parking lot to the left for Grotto’s Trail. Driving up Independence Pass is a beautiful way to spend the afternoon and along the way to the top of this 12,096’ pass you can stop at highlights. It begins in Twin Lakes and ends in Aspen’s world-famous ski resort village. The capacity to drive is crucial to a person’s ability to regain their independence. It’s closed from October though May, so be sure to take on this journey some June through September, on a hot day. Your email address will not be published. It was a popular stop during the gold rush. Think of Aspen and the image of Colorado Ski Resort comes to mind, there’s a reason for that. This seasonal road usually closes in October, depending on snowfall and doesn’t reopen again until late spring. Here, five great ways to experience Independence Pass in fall, from high-elevation hikes to … The road continues 5 miles to the ghost town of Ruby. Photo: mark byzewski. Also from Independence Pass, is a pull off that rests in between the Grottos Trail and the Weller Lake Trailhead, easily located and accessible from the road and just 0.4 miles from the prior hidden gems mentioned, Devil’s Punchbowl. Independence Pass is part of the great Top of the Rockies Byway. Once parked, there’s a bridge allowing you to cross Roaring Fork River where the beginning of the trailhead is easily seen. Independence Pass, part of Highway 82, passes over the Continental Divide between Leadville and Aspen. But take away all those things and there are hidden gems to be discovered. She loves outdoor adventure, whether it’s a solo trip or with her daughter, she takes any opportunity to be outside. With our programs, we assist individuals to achieve safe driving skills. As scary as the trip can be now, today’s trips are not as scary as those before the road was paved and widened and guard rails installed. Follow the dirt road 6 miles to Grizzly Reservoir. Now is the time! Independence Ghost Town Sixteen miles east of Aspen is the historic ghost town of Independence, once a thriving mining town with over 40 businesses and an estimated population of 1,500. When road is open to vehicles, be alert to all the traffic, which is especially heavy on summer weekends, since the route is extremely narrow in some sections. The iconic pass is situated on Highway 82 at an elevation of around 12 thousand feet. Amber Inthavong is native of Boulder with immigrant parents from Laos. So no, my favorite … https://www.mapquest.com/us/colorado/independence-pass-16110122 Free camping can be found along Lincoln Creek Road. There is plenty of parking and a scenic overlook near the pass where you can take in the 360-degree views. Aspen represents the epitome of world-class skiing. So no, my favorite part of my recent camper van tour of Colorado wasn’t taking Highway 82 over Independence Pass, between glitzy Aspen and down-to-earth … $12.31 per adult. Slowly driving the winding mountain road approaching this location you can feel the anticipation built as you reach the top and see nothing but mountains going on forever in all directions. Without question, the can't-miss drive to Aspen from the Front Range is over Independence Pass (via Hwy 82, which is open during non-winter months). Highway 82 over Independence Pass is now CLOSED to vehicles for the winter season. I almost died driving on the Independence Pass. Driving over Independence Pass is unnerving, especially for flatlanders as they negotiate sharp curves and perilous-looking drop-offs for the first time. Drivers must follow the speed limit and proceed with caution. Beware of the risks of cliff diving and remember that even in the hottest summer day, that mountain water is still freezing cold. … See you in May 2021! In addition to 360 surrounding mountain views, the various species of trees provide gorgeous colors along the way. Driving past the abandoned houses and structures is captivating and will have you longing for more knowledge about the people and history behind the ghost town of Independence. The air smells the way it does when it had just stopped raining outside, and it’s the perfect photo/picnic spot. … One thing to be thankful for, Google maps leads you right into the lot, just as long as you entered in “Grottos Trail,” Aspen. See you in May 2021! The road over the pass is not for those who fear heights. See all tours & tickets. Driving Colorado’s Independence Pass? $40.00 per adult. Keep in mind, there aren’t any signs with the name ‘Devil’s Punchbowl,’ but again, Google maps leads you right to it. The road out of Aspen was a little windy, but, it wasn't bad. 4 reviews. Driving Independence Pass Independence Pass is one of the highest paved roads in Colorado. In addition to being a scenic byway, Independence Pass, just east of Aspen, is a favorite recreation location during the summer months. Views are outstanding, with hiking routes that branch off to Geissler Mountain and points on the Continental Divide. 3 reviews. She also spends her free time blogging on her local travel website, We heard Santa likes hard seltzers. You won’t have to hike long, within the first 30 to 40 steps, take notice of a wooden sign to your left that says “ice cave,” with an arrow pointing downwards. Lost Man spans a diverse ridge between the Roaring Fork headwaters and Los Man Creek drainage. For a complete list of trails near Independence Pass, check out Aspen Trail Finder. Highway 82 over Independence Pass is now CLOSED to vehicles for the winter season. This is supplemented by the many nature trails and biking routes that surround the pass. In the second of three stories about how to Come to Life in Colorado, we’ve rounded up (in no particular order) 33 of the local favorites — those...Read more, Positioned at the heart of southern Colorado’s expansive San Luis Valley and ringed by the majestic Sangre de Cristo Range’s 13,000- and 14,000-...Read more, With natural beauty and plenty of kid-friendly options, it’s no surprise Alamosa is the...Read more, Watch: Hiking at the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park >>Read more, 10 Beautiful Places in Colorado You Didn’t Know About, 99 Gorgeous Places in Colorado: Part 2, The Local Favorites, Hiking in Alamosa: 11 Locals’ Favorite Trails, 10 Things Your Family Will Love About Alamosa, Moffat County: Colorado’s Great Northwest. Cyclists are often present and can be difficult to see around curves in the mountain road. Grottos Ice Caves Nine miles east of Aspen, pull into the day-use parking area on the right side of the highway. It is certainly “high” up there, in terms of altitude, but it’s not really a highway. Independence Pass is a 32-mile stretch on Colorado’s Highway 82, which winds through the Rocky Mountains and reaches 12,095 feet at its summit, making it the highest paved pass in North America. The road is steep, narrow and twisty with only a few guardrails but is completely safe. I remember Aspenites of the 1950s who would drive through Glenwood to get to Leadville rather than take the shortcut over … $545.46 per adult. 21 reviews. Embrace your independence - pass your driving test! Quick View . There are a couple of different jump off points and the water is clear enough to see through, making it absolutely entertaining to watch daring divers. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Quick View. ... and Independence Pass is the only one that gave me the willies. The summit of the Continental Divide is 12,095 feet above sea level, and Independence Pass is a 32-mile drive that takes anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and a half. 4. Motorists, cyclists and other travelers will benefit from a smooth new driving surface. From Aspen, Highway 82 heads east hugging the Roaring Fork River while climbing steadily 19 miles to its highpoint at Independence Pass. Quick View. Get directions, reviews and information for Independence Pass in Aspen, CO. Here you’ll discover the waterfall sliding down smooth, flat rock formations into a pool of water so blue that looks like glass. Sheer, exposed cliffs make my kneecaps clatter like castanets. The summit of the Continental Divide is 12,095 feet above sea level, and Independence Pass is a 32-mile drive that takes anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and a half. The cold Cascades. Day 13 of the Pandemic Road Trip finds us driving is one of the most dangerous roads in the state of Colorado. The pass itself is situated at 12,095 feet in the Sawatch Range and a scenic overlook at the summit provides excellent views east of Mount Elbert, Colorado’s highest peak and provides great access for hiking, biking, backcountry skiing, sightseeing, and more. Quick View. More info. Drive east on Highway 82 for 11 miles to the Lincoln Creek Road turnoff. LAKE & PITKIN COUNTIES – Independence Pass on Colorado Highway 82 is open for the season. Often driving seems like an unattainable goal for those who are limited by illness, injury or the physiological changes associated with aging. Aspen is 19 miles (31 km) to the west, with Twin Lakes 18 miles (29 km) to the east. Back then, it was a narrow, gravel stagecoach road. Driving Independence Pass provides jaw dropping views at a gradual elevation gain of 12,092 feet, so be ready for a photo op. After a fast & furious snow storm on September 8, Highway 82 was cleared of snow and re-opened to cars until November 13. Independence Pass, part of Colorado State Highway 82, passes over the Continental Divide between Leadville and Aspen, Colorado. Driving Independence Pass may not be for the faint of heart, but the drive is worth it in its payoff of views and adventure. If there's one reason to rent a car in Aspen, it's to take the 20-mile drive through Independence Pass. It’s also considered to be one of the best road biking climbs in Colorado. Independence is the highest paved mountain pass in Colorado, though there are several higher unpaved passes (such as Mosquito and Cottonwood), while three paved roads climb further (Pikes Peak Highway, Mount Evans Byway, Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park), but these are not passes. There is a lot of recreation on both sides of the pass, including two national forests and a couple ghost towns The drive takes about an hour. about 10 Beautiful Places in Colorado You Didn’t Know About, about 99 Gorgeous Places in Colorado: Part 2, The Local Favorites, about Hiking in Alamosa: 11 Locals’ Favorite Trails, about 10 Things Your Family Will Love About Alamosa, about Moffat County: Colorado’s Great Northwest, Watch: Hiking at the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park >>. On the bright side, there are designated areas, where cars pull over to take pictures and drivers, are usually safety considerate — so there’s no rushing going on here. CDOT is hoping that stopping cars below the first one-lane section will allow enough room so that … 303 MagazineAmber InthavongCascades Waterfall AspenColoradocaribou.comDevil’s Punchbowl Aspenice cave aspenindependence passThe Grottos Ice Cave. As you approach, you’ll see makeshift stone stairs that lead down into an opening. Once, during a backpacking trip, I had to crawl on my hands and knees through a 200-foot stretch of trail that was making my eyeballs spin like plates balanced on the end of long, spindly poles. People jump from 20 foot cliffs into borderline hypothermic cold water that takes your breath away when you … The Independence Pass route is faster and incredibly scenic; however, it is only open in warmer months because it is steep and narrow and potentially dangerous to drive on it if there’s snow on the ground. Road biking on Independence Pass is popular during the summer. As you leave... more. The pass was initially built for mining purposes in 1879. The first 13 miles of the ride climb gently … At 12,095ft at the summit, Independence Pass is the highest paved pass in the state. In addition to being a scenic byway, Independence Pass, just east of Aspen, is a favorite recreation location during the summer months. For the thrill seekers, near the Grottos there is a series of waterfalls that flow into a crystal clear pool of mountain river water called the Devil’s Punch Bowl. Colorado’s Independence Pass is a Scenic and Historic Byway that passes over the Continental Divide between Aspen and Leadville. On the same Grottos hiking trail, after adventuring the cave, continue forward on the path another 50 feet and notice the sound of rumbling natural water from a distance. The pass was initially built for mining purposes in 1879. After a fast & furious snow storm on September 8, Highway 82 was cleared of snow and re-opened to cars until November 13. Independence Pass is a 32-mile stretch on Colorado’s Highway 82, which winds through the Rocky Mountains and reaches 12,095 feet at its summit, making it the highest paved pass in North America. Fee-based camping on the Aspen side of Independence Pass is available at Difficult Campground, Weller Campground, Lincoln Gulch and Lost Man Campground. $40.00 per adult. At 12,095 feet, Independence Pass is the fourth highest paved road in the state. Walk a bit further and suddenly, there it is. Get him, Located in the former #EuclidHall, Bao Brewhouse o, Still have a few names to cross off your holiday s, It’s been a hard year for music. May your trails be crooked, winding, … Independence Pass offers one of the state’s most extensive above tree line, paved cycling experiences. But within that, Join LEagle in celebrating the “12 Strains of, After a long wait, food truck Lobster Bliss has fi, Review – John Mayer Wrote A Book at The Pepsi Center, Playlist – The Best of Denver’s Diverse Hip-Hop Sound, 12 Local Bartenders Share Seasonally-Inspired Recipes, Contrarium Chainstitch Personalizes Vintage-Style Embroidery, Meet the New Owners of the Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver City Council Approves New Housing For People Experiencing Homelessness, Denver Art Museum Unveils Exhibition of Abstract Work by a Colorado Artist, A Look at Bao Brewhouse and Its Renovation of the Former Euclid Hall Space, “Bread & Jam” at Dazzle Serves as Food Pantry for Struggling Musicians. Approximately 65 vehicles were lined up at the Pitkin County gate on Monday, June 1, when Colorado Department of Transportation crews opened the gates on CO 82. Don’t let the name “Highway 82” confuse you. Obviously you can see in pictures, it’s a little narrow and on the edge of a mountain. Is Driving On The Independence Pass Scary? It begins in Twin Lakes and ends in Aspen’s world-famous ski resort village. We drove on the Independence Pass from Aspen to Leadville, CO. On your drive, you will pass by the tallest mountain in Colorado, Mt. Next. It’s also considered to be one of the best road biking climbs in Colorado. Aspen's Past to Present Historic Tour. At the peak of summer, driving from Aspen to Leadville along Independence Pass can be a headache, as the highway is full of tourists stopping at every vista. But as the fall colors creep down the valley, crowds of tourists vanish, making this time of year the perfect time to explore Independence Pass and have it all to yourself. More info. Through your trustworthy navigation app from Denver to Aspen there’s a must-see route, travel West on Highway 82 beginning from Twin Lakes, Colorado. From there, you will see hiking trails that lead to waterfalls, rock formations, ice caves and popular picnicking areas. It looks just like it’s named — a punchbowl. Activities near Independence Pass Fall colors along Independence Pass, Aspen. More info. The Independence Pass connects Aspen with its eastern neighbours. Whether in magazines or in film, Aspen’s slopes, extravagant restaurants and boutiques, are frequently pictured. This route is full of scenic views of the mountains and valleys in Aspen. On Highway 82 Aspen CO 81611 road is steep, narrow and twisty with only a Top... Is one of the state 13 of the great Top of the Rockies Byway, passes over the Divide. Overlook near the Pass where you can begin your hike is 19 miles east of Aspen was narrow... Then, it ’ s ability to regain their Independence parking area on the Continental Divide between and... Cycling experiences cliff divers plunging into a pool of water fed from patient... Loves outdoor adventure, whether it ’ s slopes, extravagant restaurants and boutiques, are frequently pictured OPENINGS! 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