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Independence Pass, Aspen

(1,100+ reviews on the web)
Scenic Drive
Independence Pass, originally known as Hunter Pass, is a high mountain pass in the Rocky Mountains of central Colorado in the United States. It is at elevation 12095ft on the Continental Divide in the Sawatch Range. The pass is midway between Aspen and Twin Lakes, on the border between Pitkin and Lake counties.State Highway 82 traverses it, in the process reaching the highest elevation of a paved Colorado state highway on a through road. After Cottonwood Pass to the south, it is the second-highest pass with an improved road in the state, the fourth-highest paved road in the state and the highest paved crossing of the Continental Divide in the U.S. Because of the heavy snowfall at its elevation, it is closed in wintertime, isolating Aspen from direct access from the east during the ski season.When the pass is open in warmer weather, it is a popular destination. A scenic overlook near the pass allows visitors to take in the alpine tundra environment above treeline, and offers excellent views to the east of Mount Elbert, Colorado's highest peak and the second-highest mountain in the contiguous United States. Rock climbers are drawn to nearby bouldering opportunities, and informal paths lead to nearby mountain summits of even higher elevation. Backcountry skiers make use of the slopes during the late spring and early summer. Since 2011 the pass has been on the route of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This was an interesting place to stop on the ride from Aspen Colorado to Denver Airport it had beautiful scenery. great things to take pictures of definitely for the nature lover cool to say that we w...  more »
  • Aspen is at a dead end valley during the winter months. Independence Pass is only open over the Continental Divide around Memorial day and closes in the fall, snow specific. Definatley worth the drive...  more »
  • Two of my favorite drives in the country are Highway 1 in California along the ocean, and the road into Aspen over Independence Pass. No matter what time of year you go...it is beautiful. During the f...  more »