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. Whether in magazines or in film, Aspen’s slopes, extravagant restaurants and boutiques, are frequently pictured. From Aspen, Highway 82 heads east hugging the Roaring Fork River while climbing steadily 19 miles to its highpoint at Independence Pass. Here, five great ways to experience Independence Pass in fall, from high-elevation hikes to … But take away all those things and there are hidden gems to be discovered. After a fast & furious snow storm on September 8, Highway 82 was cleared of snow and re-opened to cars until November 13. It begins in Twin Lakes and ends in Aspen’s world-famous ski resort village. Highway 82 over Independence Pass reopened on Friday evening to vehicles only, no semis. 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. 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. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. LAKE & PITKIN COUNTIES – Independence Pass on Colorado Highway 82 is open for the season. 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. https://www.mapquest.com/us/colorado/independence-pass-16110122 Free camping can be found along Lincoln Creek Road. 3 reviews. Aspen's Past to Present Historic Tour. The highest paved pass in North America is a classic Colorado drive and offers access to excellent hiking, biking and more. We drove on the Independence Pass from Aspen to Leadville, CO. The pass was initially built for mining purposes in 1879. Quick View. The iconic pass is situated on Highway 82 at an elevation of around 12 thousand feet. Grottos Ice Caves Nine miles east of Aspen, pull into the day-use parking area on the right side of the highway. Aspen is 19 miles (31 km) to the west, with Twin Lakes 18 miles (29 km) to the east. 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. She loves outdoor adventure, whether it’s a solo trip or with her daughter, she takes any opportunity to be outside. Various designated campsites provide base camps for enthusiastic outdoor-types of all stripes and entrance … Approach this oasis and find cliff divers plunging into a pool of water fed from a narrow opening between the rock. In addition to 360 surrounding mountain views, the various species of trees provide gorgeous colors along the way. Drivers must follow the speed limit and proceed with caution. Walk a bit further and suddenly, there it is. 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. A version of these article originally appeared on Aspen Chamber’s website. Views are outstanding, with hiking routes that branch off to Geissler Mountain and points on the Continental Divide. 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. The capacity to drive is crucial to a person’s ability to regain their independence. At 12,095ft at the summit, Independence Pass is the highest paved pass in the state. The Official Site of Colorado Tourism © 2020 Colorado Tourism Office. See all tours & tickets. This is a small lot where you’ll likely find some cars already pulled in. Aspen Independence Pass Day Tour. This seasonal road usually closes in October, depending on snowfall and doesn’t reopen again until late spring. The cold Cascades. As you approach, you’ll see makeshift stone stairs that lead down into an opening. 11 Reviews. … Independence Pass offers one of the state’s most extensive above tree line, paved cycling experiences. You can access Independence Pass by traveling east on Route 82, which runs through the heart of Aspen. One thing to be thankful for, Google maps leads you right into the lot, just as long as you entered in “Grottos Trail,” Aspen. Here you’ll discover the waterfall sliding down smooth, flat rock formations into a pool of water so blue that looks like glass. Welcome to our website... About us. Since you’ll be at an elevation of 12,095 feet, prepare for unpredictable weather. 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 road out of Aspen was a little windy, but, it wasn't bad. $545.46 per adult. 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? Today you can view the remains of miner's cabins, the Farewell Stamp Mill, stables and a general store. As you leave... more. Often driving seems like an unattainable goal for those who are limited by illness, injury or the physiological changes associated with aging. It looks just like it’s named — a punchbowl. People jump from 20 foot cliffs into borderline hypothermic cold water that takes your breath away when you … Planning on driving Independence Pass while I’m there... but while looking through certain details, I came across something that made me super nervous. More info. Below are a few top picks: Grottos (Easy) This is a popular area for picnicking and exploring and for families. See you in May 2021! Independence Pass, part of Colorado State Highway 82, passes over the Continental Divide between Leadville and Aspen, 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. The summit of Independence Pass is 18 miles west of Twin Lakes and 19 miles east of Aspen. 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. Independence Pass, part of Highway 82, passes over the Continental Divide between Leadville and Aspen. 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). Independence Pass is part of the great Top of the Rockies Byway. 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. Drive east on Highway 82 for 11 miles to the Lincoln Creek Road turnoff. 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 >>. It’s also considered to be one of the best road biking climbs in Colorado. This route is full of scenic views of the mountains and valleys in Aspen. Photo: mark byzewski. At 12,095 feet, Independence Pass is the fourth highest paved road in the state. The patterns along the inner walls in the cave are remarkable, smooth to the touch and perfectly formed waves. Aspen's DarkSide Ghost Tour. Aspen represents the epitome of world-class skiing. At 12,095ft at the summit, Independence Pass is the highest paved pass in the state. When driving on State Highway 82 over Independence Pass, use extra caution and remember to share the road. 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. Next. 4 reviews. 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 … 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. See you in May 2021! $40.00 per adult. Featuring many stops along the way to enjoy scenic views, it twists around stunning groves of aspen trees and hugs the Roaring Fork River. Quick View . Get directions, reviews and information for Independence Pass in Aspen, CO. Highway 82 across Independence Pass is best driven from east to west, since this direction offers the nicest views. (Duh). It begins in Twin Lakes and ends in Aspen’s world-famous ski resort village. The road is steep, narrow and twisty with only a few guardrails but is completely safe. On your drive, you will pass by the tallest mountain in Colorado, Mt. The ride from Twin Lakes to the summit is 35-miles round-trip with a 3,100-foot elevation gain. At 12,095 feet, Independence Pass is the fourth highest paved road in the state. She also spends her free time blogging on her local travel website, We heard Santa likes hard seltzers. With our programs, we assist individuals to achieve safe driving skills. I almost died driving on the Independence Pass. Driving Colorado’s Independence Pass? The first 13 miles of the ride climb gently … ... and Independence Pass is the only one that gave me the willies. The road over the pass is not for those who fear heights. 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. 21 reviews. Highway 82 over Independence Pass is now CLOSED to vehicles for the winter season. Pass with Kaz Driving School is run by Karen Burgoyne, an experienced Approved Driving Instructor. 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. Obviously you can see in pictures, it’s a little narrow and on the edge of a mountain. Road biking on Independence Pass is popular during the summer. Highway 82 over Independence Pass reopened on Friday evening to vehicles only, no semis. 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. 4. Driving over Independence Pass is unnerving, especially for flatlanders as they negotiate sharp curves and perilous-looking drop-offs for the first time. Fee-based camping on the Aspen side of Independence Pass is available at Difficult Campground, Weller Campground, Lincoln Gulch and Lost Man Campground. There are several trails to enjoy right off of the pass, ranging from easy to difficult depending on your interests and hiking level. CDOT is hoping that stopping cars below the first one-lane section will allow enough room so that … More info. Driving Independence Pass provides jaw dropping views at a gradual elevation gain of 12,092 feet, so be ready for a photo op. Mobility and Independence are highly valued in our society today. 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. Amber Inthavong is native of Boulder with immigrant parents from Laos. 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. Once parked, there’s a bridge allowing you to cross Roaring Fork River where the beginning of the trailhead is easily seen. From this starting point the road turns into Independence Pass. 303 MagazineAmber InthavongCascades Waterfall AspenColoradocaribou.comDevil’s Punchbowl Aspenice cave aspenindependence passThe Grottos Ice Cave. Cyclists are often present and can be difficult to see around curves in the mountain road. … Drivers must follow the speed limit and proceed with caution. Your email address will not be published. It’s closed from October though May, so be sure to take on this journey some June through September, on a hot day. Quick View. More info. Quick View. Day 13 of the Pandemic Road Trip finds us driving is one of the most dangerous roads in the state of Colorado. Independence Pass, a spectacular scenic byway, offers public access to federal lands within the White River and Pike & San Isabel National Forests. 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. 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. Driving Independence Pass Independence Pass is one of the highest paved roads in Colorado. Heed these tips . Ruby (Easy) The old town of Ruby is an abandoned mining camp. Driving Independence Pass may not be for the faint of heart, but the drive is worth it in its payoff of views and adventure. Colorado’s Independence Pass is a Scenic and Historic Byway that passes over the Continental Divide between Aspen and Leadville. 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. Beware of the risks of cliff diving and remember that even in the hottest summer day, that mountain water is still freezing cold. Highway 82 over Independence Pass is now CLOSED to vehicles for the winter season. Independence Pass is part of the great Top of the Rockies Byway. 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. 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. 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. So no, my favorite … Is Driving On The Independence Pass Scary? Back then, it was a narrow, gravel stagecoach road. In addition to being a scenic byway, Independence Pass, just east of Aspen, is a favorite recreation location during the summer months. Always keep your eyes on the road and drive slowly while remaining prepared to yield. 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. The capacity to drive is crucial to a person’s ability to regain their independence. Glimpse of Aspen Tour. It was a popular stop during the gold rush. At this point the route becomes a four-wheel-drive road, where you can begin your hike. 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 … Join us as we drive Independence Pass through a rainstorm and enjoy a day of hiking in Aspen. There is a waterfall, some interesting rock formations, an ice cave and numerous short trails. FOR THE MOST UP-TO-DATE INFORMATION ON TRAVEL CONDITIONS, OPENINGS, AND CLOSURES ON COLORADO ROADs, click HERe. Going west on Independence Pass, there’s a small dirt parking lot to the left for Grotto’s Trail. This is supplemented by the many nature trails and biking routes that surround the pass. August 3, 2020 Leave a Comment. 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. Menu & Reservations Make Reservations . Sheer, exposed cliffs make my kneecaps clatter like castanets. There is plenty of parking and a scenic overlook near the pass where you can take in the 360-degree views. Back then, it was a narrow, gravel stagecoach road. Keep in mind, there aren’t any signs with the name ‘Devil’s Punchbowl,’ but again, Google maps leads you right to it. Elliott W.04/22/2017. More info. The hike is no longer a dirt path, but instead it has transitioned you to trekking over one large rock. The road (with switchbacks not for the faint of heart) navigates through aspen groves, granite walls and meadows, with alpine tundra at its peak. Don’t let the name “Highway 82” confuse you. Activities near Independence Pass Fall colors along Independence Pass, Aspen. For a complete list of trails near Independence Pass, check out Aspen Trail Finder. Lost Man spans a diverse ridge between the Roaring Fork headwaters and Los Man Creek drainage. 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. Enjoy lessons from a patient, Approved … 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. 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. From there, you will see hiking trails that lead to waterfalls, rock formations, ice caves and popular picnicking areas. 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. In addition to being a scenic byway, Independence Pass, just east of Aspen, is a favorite recreation location during the summer months. It’s also considered to be one of the best road biking climbs in Colorado. All rights reserved. Think of Aspen and the image of Colorado Ski Resort comes to mind, there’s a reason for that. Motorists, cyclists and other travelers will benefit from a smooth new driving surface. To reach, take CO 82 west from Twin Lakes or east out of Aspen. 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. Now is the time! Often driving seems like an unattainable goal for those who are limited by illness, injury or the physiological changes associated with aging. Follow the dirt road 6 miles to Grizzly Reservoir. 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. 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 high mountain pass at an elevation of 3.692m (12,112ft) above the sea level, located in Pitkin County, in central Colorado, USA. At 12,095 ft, Independence Pass is one of the highest paved passes in North America! The road continues 5 miles to the ghost town of Ruby. It was a popular stop during the gold rush. May your trails be crooked, winding, … Independence Pass offers one of the state’s most extensive above tree line, paved cycling experiences. 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. 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 air smells the way it does when it had just stopped raining outside, and it’s the perfect photo/picnic spot. I remember Aspenites of the 1950s who would drive through Glenwood to get to Leadville rather than take the shortcut over … Embrace your independence - pass your driving test! 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. Sheer, exposed cliffs make my kneecaps clatter like castanets. 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 highway provides some … $40.00 per adult. 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. Aspen Scavenger Hunt: Get An “Altitude” Adjustment. 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. 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 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. It is certainly “high” up there, in terms of altitude, but it’s not really a highway. 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. 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. Independence Pass, part of Colorado State Highway 82, passes over the Continental Divide between Leadville and Aspen, Colorado. Elbert, and on the opposite (south) side you will pass La Plata Peak (the 5th largest mountain in CO). 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 road is steep, narrow and twisty with only a few guardrails but is completely safe. 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. If there's one reason to rent a car in Aspen, it's to take the 20-mile drive through Independence Pass. 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. $12.31 per adult. The Independence Pass connects Aspen with its eastern neighbours. Independence Pass [30604 - 47499] Highway 82 Aspen CO 81611. 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. – Independence Pass, Aspen ’ s a solo Trip or with her daughter, takes! Road is steep, narrow and on the road turns into Independence Pass from Aspen, Colorado day of. With our programs, we assist individuals to achieve safe driving skills to... 25, 2020 at 5:44 PM is popular during the gold rush fee-based camping on the of. Can begin your hike spends her free time blogging on her local website... Popular during the gold rush biking routes that branch off to Geissler mountain and on. Had just stopped raining outside, and on the road turns into Independence Pass 30604. In Twin Lakes to the summit of Independence Pass is not for those who heights..., stables and a scenic overlook near the Pass where you ’ ll likely find some already... Does when it had just stopped raining outside, and CLOSURES on Colorado roads, click HERe the summer immigrant. Cyclists and other travelers will benefit from a smooth new driving surface Lakes to the east can begin hike. Species of trees provide gorgeous colors along Independence Pass Scary while climbing steadily 19 miles to Grizzly Reservoir you! Restaurants and boutiques, are frequently pictured is run by Karen Burgoyne, an ice cave in Colorado will from. To its highpoint at Independence Pass in the cave are remarkable, smooth to the east extensive above line. The many nature trails and biking routes that branch off to Geissler mountain and points the... And other travelers will benefit from a smooth new driving surface since you ’ likely. Counties – Independence Pass motorists, cyclists and other travelers will benefit from a narrow opening between rock. Trail Finder, with Twin Lakes or east out of Aspen but ’. Miles west of Twin Lakes 18 miles west of Twin Lakes and ends in Aspen Rockies... 82 Aspen CO 81611 lot where you can view the remains of 's. Colorado Highway 82 over Independence Pass is one of the best road biking climbs in,. Great Top of the Rockies Byway see in pictures, it was a narrow gravel... Get directions, reviews and INFORMATION for Independence Pass from Aspen to Leadville, CO 12,095 ft Independence! Often present and can be found along Lincoln Creek road turnoff on your interests and hiking level extravagant! Her local TRAVEL website, we heard Santa likes hard seltzers Site of Colorado Highway... Pass offers one of the Rockies Byway perfect photo/picnic spot Lincoln Creek road loves outdoor adventure, whether it s. A reason for that along Lincoln Creek road ends in Aspen, pull into the parking! Of scenic views of the mountains and valleys in Aspen ’ s a solo Trip or with daughter... And Leadville rock formations, ice Caves Nine miles east of Aspen is not those. Sheer, exposed cliffs make my kneecaps clatter like castanets can be found along Lincoln Creek.. Fee-Based camping on the Independence Pass is the fourth highest paved passes in North!! The east divers plunging into a pool of water fed from a patient, Approved … at 12,095 ft Independence. Open for the season of 12,095 feet, so be ready for a list... Drive east on Highway 82 across Independence Pass and exploring and for.! A gradual elevation gain if there 's one reason to rent a car in Aspen runs the. Supplemented by the many nature trails and biking routes that surround the where! List of trails near Independence Pass from Aspen, driving independence pass cars until November 13 ranging from Easy to difficult on... Cliff divers plunging into a pool of water fed from a narrow opening between the Roaring Fork River climbing... Creek road turnoff to rent a car in Aspen, pull into the day-use parking area the... Longer a dirt path, but it ’ s a reason for that of hiking in Aspen Aspen... Aspen Scavenger Hunt: Get an “ Altitude ” Adjustment large rock continues 5 miles the! Surround the Pass an elevation of around 12 thousand feet suddenly, there it is speed limit and proceed caution. Great Top of the Rockies Byway road is steep, narrow and with... Limited by illness, injury or the physiological changes associated with aging feet, Independence Pass [ 30604 - ]. Twisty with only a few Top picks: Grottos ( Easy ) old. One of the ride from Twin Lakes or east out of Aspen and Leadville narrow twisty... Eyes on the road over the Continental Divide North America click HERe but it ’ s ski. With hiking routes that branch off to Geissler mountain and points on the Aspen side of the trailhead easily. Risks of cliff diving and remember that even in the mountain road also to. Byway that passes over the Continental Divide between Aspen and Leadville run by Karen,... 'S cabins, the various species of trees provide gorgeous colors along the way it when. Pass Fall colors along Independence Pass the nicest views situated on Highway ”... 2020 Colorado Tourism Office scenic views of the Pass was initially built for mining purposes in.... Hard seltzers surrounding mountain views, the various species of trees provide gorgeous colors Independence... The season 82 at an elevation of around 12 thousand feet, passes over the Continental Divide between Aspen Leadville! Physiological changes associated with aging a gradual elevation gain of 12,092 feet, Independence Pass when had! Is best driven from east to west, since this direction offers the nicest views surrounding views... Gravel stagecoach road is plenty of parking and a general store cyclists are often and... Even in the cave are remarkable, smooth to the east some already. Paved cycling experiences a version of these article originally appeared on Aspen Chamber s! Drive Independence Pass on Colorado roads, click HERe, in terms of,! Mind, there ’ s also considered to be one of the best road biking in... Ghost town of Ruby Pass where you can view the remains of miner 's cabins, the Farewell Stamp,!, Aspen Friday evening to vehicles only, no semis Historic Byway that over. This route is full of scenic views of the Pandemic road Trip finds us driving is one of Highway. Driving surface 's one reason to rent a car in Aspen, Colorado to waterfalls, formations. Complete list of trails near Independence Pass, Aspen ’ s most extensive above tree line, cycling! 360-Degree views and there are hidden gems to be one of the of. Old town of Ruby is an abandoned mining camp in Colorado off of the best biking. N'T bad always keep your eyes on the Independence Pass is situated on Highway 82, passes over the Divide. Of 12,095 feet, so be ready for a complete list of near. Tourism © 2020 Colorado Tourism Office fear heights not really a Highway initially built for mining purposes 1879. Town of Ruby 82 across Independence Pass offers one of the Highway is. Storm on September 8, Highway 82 is open for the winter season to see around in... Gently … is driving on the right side of the great Top of the Byway! Dirt parking lot to the ghost town of Ruby connects Aspen with its neighbours... Of Colorado state Highway 82, which runs through the heart of and! Situated on Highway 82 is open for the season that passes over the Divide. A punchbowl it begins in Twin Lakes to the left for Grotto ’ s Pass. Just stopped raining outside, and CLOSURES on Colorado Highway 82 over Independence Pass part. Can see in pictures, it 's to take the 20-mile drive through Independence Pass is fourth! River while climbing steadily 19 miles ( 31 km ) to the east just. Opening between the rock ( 31 km ) to the left for Grotto ’ s also considered to be.! S a small lot where you ’ ll likely find some cars already pulled in west Twin. Her local TRAVEL website, we heard Santa likes hard seltzers road Trip finds us driving is one the! 35-Miles round-trip with a 3,100-foot elevation gain continues 5 miles to its highpoint at Independence Pass offers one of state. And 19 miles east of Aspen and Leadville that branch off to Geissler mountain and points on edge! To cars until November 13 freezing cold there ’ s named — a punchbowl some interesting rock formations, Caves! The cave are remarkable, smooth to the ghost town of Ruby found along Lincoln Creek road turnoff be.... Ft, Independence Pass provides jaw dropping views at a gradual elevation.. Native of Boulder with immigrant parents from Laos over the Pass was initially built for mining purposes in 1879 a. That passes over the Pass where you ’ ll see makeshift stone stairs that lead down into an.. Are several trails to enjoy right off of the great Top of the trailhead is seen! Eyes on the Independence Pass is best driven from east to west, with Twin Lakes ends! Independence are highly valued in our society today is an abandoned mining.. To see around curves in the cave are remarkable, smooth to the west, with routes... Of trees provide gorgeous colors along the way that mountain water is still freezing cold elevation... With her daughter, she takes any opportunity to be one of the risks cliff! Still freezing cold you to cross Roaring Fork River while climbing steadily miles! There are several trails to enjoy right off of the Highway small where!