Since you’ll be at an elevation of 12,095 feet, prepare for unpredictable weather. 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. Once parked, there’s a bridge allowing you to cross Roaring Fork River where the beginning of the trailhead is easily seen. Featuring many stops along the way to enjoy scenic views, it twists around stunning groves of aspen trees and hugs the Roaring Fork River. https://www.mapquest.com/us/colorado/independence-pass-16110122 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 … 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. 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. Welcome to our website... About us. 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. When driving on State Highway 82 over Independence Pass, use extra caution and remember to share the road. 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. Activities near Independence Pass Fall colors along Independence Pass, Aspen. She also spends her free time blogging on her local travel website, We heard Santa likes hard seltzers. There is plenty of parking and a scenic overlook near the pass where you can take in the 360-degree views. It looks just like it’s named — a punchbowl. Fee-based camping on the Aspen side of Independence Pass is available at Difficult Campground, Weller Campground, Lincoln Gulch and Lost Man Campground. 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. More info. Independence Pass is part of the great Top of the Rockies Byway. Back then, it was a narrow, gravel stagecoach road. Think of Aspen and the image of Colorado Ski Resort comes to mind, there’s a reason for that. Cyclists are often present and can be difficult to see around curves in the mountain road. Menu & Reservations Make Reservations . Independence Pass [30604 - 47499] Highway 82 Aspen CO 81611. To reach, take CO 82 west from Twin Lakes or east out of Aspen. FOR THE MOST UP-TO-DATE INFORMATION ON TRAVEL CONDITIONS, OPENINGS, AND CLOSURES ON COLORADO ROADs, click HERe. 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. The summit of Independence Pass is 18 miles west of Twin Lakes and 19 miles east of Aspen. Next. (Duh). Now is the time! 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. Drive east on Highway 82 for 11 miles to the Lincoln Creek Road turnoff. The road is steep, narrow and twisty with only a few guardrails but is completely safe. LAKE & PITKIN COUNTIES – Independence Pass on Colorado Highway 82 is open for the season. 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. 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. Lost Man spans a diverse ridge between the Roaring Fork headwaters and Los Man Creek drainage. 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. Featuring many stops along the way to enjoy scenic views, it twists around stunning groves of aspen trees and hugs the Roaring Fork River. 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. $40.00 per adult. Independence Pass, part of Highway 82, passes over the Continental Divide between Leadville and Aspen. Today you can view the remains of miner's cabins, the Farewell Stamp Mill, stables and a general store. The highest paved pass in North America is a classic Colorado drive and offers access to excellent hiking, biking and more. 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). 4. CDOT is hoping that stopping cars below the first one-lane section will allow enough room so that … Elbert, and on the opposite (south) side you will pass La Plata Peak (the 5th largest mountain in CO). The road is steep, narrow and twisty with only a few guardrails but is completely safe. A version of these article originally appeared on Aspen Chamber’s website. 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. Heed these tips . Notify me of follow-up comments by email. The Independence Pass connects Aspen with its eastern neighbours. Quick View. The road (with switchbacks not for the faint of heart) navigates through aspen groves, granite walls and meadows, with alpine tundra at its peak. At 12,095ft at the summit, Independence Pass is the highest paved pass in the state. The pass was initially built for mining purposes in 1879. 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. So no, my favorite … Keep in mind, there aren’t any signs with the name ‘Devil’s Punchbowl,’ but again, Google maps leads you right to it. From Aspen, Highway 82 heads east hugging the Roaring Fork River while climbing steadily 19 miles to its highpoint at Independence Pass. The ride from Twin Lakes to the summit is 35-miles round-trip with a 3,100-foot elevation gain. Don’t let the name “Highway 82” confuse you. Grottos Ice Caves Nine miles east of Aspen, pull into the day-use parking area on the right side of the highway. At 12,095ft at the summit, Independence Pass is the highest paved pass in the state. Independence Pass offers one of the state’s most extensive above tree line, paved cycling experiences. Independence Pass, part of Colorado State Highway 82, passes over the Continental Divide between Leadville and Aspen, Colorado. Free camping can be found along Lincoln Creek Road. See you in May 2021! 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. After a fast & furious snow storm on September 8, Highway 82 was cleared of snow and re-opened to cars until November 13. Is Driving On The Independence Pass Scary? Aspen's Past to Present Historic Tour. Driving Independence Pass may not be for the faint of heart, but the drive is worth it in its payoff of views and adventure. Embrace your independence - pass your driving test! Aspen Independence Pass Day Tour. The capacity to drive is crucial to a person’s ability to regain their independence. The Official Site of Colorado Tourism © 2020 Colorado Tourism Office. Get directions, reviews and information for Independence Pass in Aspen, CO. 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 pass was initially built for mining purposes in 1879. Planning on driving Independence Pass while I’m there... but while looking through certain details, I came across something that made me super nervous. It’s also considered to be one of the best road biking climbs in Colorado. 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. Mobility and Independence are highly valued in our society today. In addition to 360 surrounding mountain views, the various species of trees provide gorgeous colors along the way. … With our programs, we assist individuals to achieve safe driving skills. May your trails be crooked, winding, … 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. Pam LeBlanc @fitcityleblanc Tuesday Aug 25, 2020 at 5:44 PM. More info. From this starting point the road turns into Independence Pass. Pass with Kaz Driving School is run by Karen Burgoyne, an experienced Approved Driving Instructor. After a fast & furious snow storm on September 8, Highway 82 was cleared of snow and re-opened to cars until November 13. Approach this oasis and find cliff divers plunging into a pool of water fed from a narrow opening between the rock. As you approach, you’ll see makeshift stone stairs that lead down into an opening. I almost died driving on the Independence Pass. But take away all those things and there are hidden gems to be discovered. 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. 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. Colorado’s Independence Pass is a Scenic and Historic Byway that passes over the Continental Divide between Aspen and Leadville. Going west on Independence Pass, there’s a small dirt parking lot to the left for Grotto’s Trail. 21 reviews. 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. Elliott W.04/22/2017. Driving Colorado’s Independence Pass? We drove on the Independence Pass from Aspen to Leadville, CO. 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 … 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. This route is full of scenic views of the mountains and valleys in Aspen. All rights reserved. Photo: mark byzewski. $12.31 per adult. People jump from 20 foot cliffs into borderline hypothermic cold water that takes your breath away when you … I remember Aspenites of the 1950s who would drive through Glenwood to get to Leadville rather than take the shortcut over … Highway 82 over Independence Pass reopened on Friday evening to vehicles only, no semis. The cold Cascades. The highway provides some … Driving Independence Pass may not be for the faint of heart, but the drive is worth it in its payoff of views and adventure. Independence Pass, part of Colorado State Highway 82, passes over the Continental Divide between Leadville and Aspen, Colorado. Aspen's DarkSide Ghost Tour. The first 13 miles of the ride climb gently … Below are a few top picks: Grottos (Easy) This is a popular area for picnicking and exploring and for families. 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. There is a waterfall, some interesting rock formations, an ice cave and numerous short trails. ... and Independence Pass is the only one that gave me the willies. 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. Independence Pass, a spectacular scenic byway, offers public access to federal lands within the White River and Pike & San Isabel National Forests. It begins in Twin Lakes and ends in Aspen’s world-famous ski resort village. It’s also considered to be one of the best road biking climbs in Colorado. Aspen Scavenger Hunt: Get An “Altitude” Adjustment. It was a popular stop during the gold rush. 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. Walk a bit further and suddenly, there it is. More info. This is a small lot where you’ll likely find some cars already pulled in. 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. The hike is no longer a dirt path, but instead it has transitioned you to trekking over one large rock. Here, five great ways to experience Independence Pass in fall, from high-elevation hikes to … From there, you will see hiking trails that lead to waterfalls, rock formations, ice caves and popular picnicking areas. 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. 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. Join us as we drive Independence Pass through a rainstorm and enjoy a day of hiking in Aspen. It begins in Twin Lakes and ends in Aspen’s world-famous ski resort village. Obviously you can see in pictures, it’s a little narrow and on the edge of a mountain. Sheer, exposed cliffs make my kneecaps clatter like castanets. See all tours & tickets. 303 MagazineAmber InthavongCascades Waterfall AspenColoradocaribou.comDevil’s Punchbowl Aspenice cave aspenindependence passThe Grottos Ice Cave. Often driving seems like an unattainable goal for those who are limited by illness, injury or the physiological changes associated with aging. Whether in magazines or in film, Aspen’s slopes, extravagant restaurants and boutiques, are frequently pictured. Highway 82 across Independence Pass is best driven from east to west, since this direction offers the nicest views. One thing to be thankful for, Google maps leads you right into the lot, just as long as you entered in “Grottos Trail,” Aspen. Driving Independence Pass Independence Pass is one of the highest paved roads in Colorado. 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 >>. Motorists, cyclists and other travelers will benefit from a smooth new driving surface. Here you’ll discover the waterfall sliding down smooth, flat rock formations into a pool of water so blue that looks like glass. Independence Pass offers one of the state’s most extensive above tree line, paved cycling experiences. She loves outdoor adventure, whether it’s a solo trip or with her daughter, she takes any opportunity to be outside. 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. Planning on driving Independence Pass while I’m there... but while looking through certain details, I came across something that made me super nervous. Enjoy lessons from a patient, Approved … 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. Glimpse of Aspen Tour. In addition to being a scenic byway, Independence Pass, just east of Aspen, is a favorite recreation location during the summer months. Sheer, exposed cliffs make my kneecaps clatter like castanets. This is supplemented by the many nature trails and biking routes that surround the pass. 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. 4 reviews. 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? Aspen represents the epitome of world-class skiing. Drivers must follow the speed limit and proceed with caution. It’s closed from October though May, so be sure to take on this journey some June through September, on a hot day. 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. The road out of Aspen was a little windy, but, it wasn't bad. 11 Reviews. … The capacity to drive is crucial to a person’s ability to regain their independence. Quick View . The iconic pass is situated on Highway 82 at an elevation of around 12 thousand feet. Always keep your eyes on the road and drive slowly while remaining prepared to yield. 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. The patterns along the inner walls in the cave are remarkable, smooth to the touch and perfectly formed waves. At this point the route becomes a four-wheel-drive road, where you can begin your hike. $545.46 per adult. At 12,095 feet, Independence Pass is the fourth highest paved road in the state. For a complete list of trails near Independence Pass, check out Aspen Trail Finder. Ruby (Easy) The old town of Ruby is an abandoned mining camp. Various designated campsites provide base camps for enthusiastic outdoor-types of all stripes and entrance … 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. Quick View. Your email address will not be published. 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. 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. Follow the dirt road 6 miles to Grizzly Reservoir. August 3, 2020 Leave a Comment. 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. Driving over Independence Pass is unnerving, especially for flatlanders as they negotiate sharp curves and perilous-looking drop-offs for the first time. Amber Inthavong is native of Boulder with immigrant parents from Laos. Independence Pass is part of the great Top of the Rockies Byway. As you leave... more. Day 13 of the Pandemic Road Trip finds us driving is one of the most dangerous roads in the state of Colorado. It was a popular stop during the gold rush. Beware of the risks of cliff diving and remember that even in the hottest summer day, that mountain water is still freezing cold. The road continues 5 miles to the ghost town of Ruby. In addition to being a scenic byway, Independence Pass, just east of Aspen, is a favorite recreation location during the summer months. Drivers must follow the speed limit and proceed with caution. On your drive, you will pass by the tallest mountain in Colorado, Mt. Driving Independence Pass provides jaw dropping views at a gradual elevation gain of 12,092 feet, so be ready for a photo op. Highway 82 over Independence Pass is now CLOSED to vehicles for the winter season. Highway 82 over Independence Pass reopened on Friday evening to vehicles only, no semis. Highway 82 over Independence Pass is now CLOSED to vehicles for the winter season. Back then, it was a narrow, gravel stagecoach road. The air smells the way it does when it had just stopped raining outside, and it’s the perfect photo/picnic spot. This seasonal road usually closes in October, depending on snowfall and doesn’t reopen again until late spring. It is certainly “high” up there, in terms of altitude, but it’s not really a highway. More info. You can access Independence Pass by traveling east on Route 82, which runs through the heart of Aspen. See you in May 2021! 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. At 12,095 feet, Independence Pass is the fourth highest paved road in the state. Often driving seems like an unattainable goal for those who are limited by illness, injury or the physiological changes associated with aging. 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. 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. Quick View. 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. If there's one reason to rent a car in Aspen, it's to take the 20-mile drive through Independence Pass. Views are outstanding, with hiking routes that branch off to Geissler Mountain and points on the Continental Divide. 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. 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. Road biking on Independence Pass is popular during the summer. Aspen is 19 miles (31 km) to the west, with Twin Lakes 18 miles (29 km) to the east. 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.
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