Independence Pass, The Summit

At the summit of Independence Pass
Looking southwest, at the summit of Independence Pass

Independence Pass crosses the Sawatch Mountains between Twin Lakes and Aspen. The eastern side has 3 big switchbacks but the road is good, 2 lane, paved. The western side, the descent into Aspen, has a couple of stretches of one lane dirt. Portions of the road are a bit tight for most of the RV's travelling through. And meeting one of these in a one lane section is exciting.

At the top of the pass is an overview area with lots of parking. With the views up here, the place gets a lot of traffic. The hike around the overview is worth the effort, besides, you'll sleep really good after doing it.

Independence Pass is directly on the Continental Divide and if you take a look around at the summit, you'll see Mount Champion, Mount Oklahoma, French Mountain, Casco Peak, La Plata Peak, Star Mountain, Ouray Peak, Grizzly Peak, Independence Mountain, and Green Mountain. Mt. Elbert and Mt. Massive are very close by but are hidden by other mountain peaks in between. The road itself travels between the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness to the south and the Hunter-Fryingpan Wilderness to the north. East of the Pass is the San Isabel National Forest. West of the Pass is the White River National Forest. This road is closed usually from November to May.

Independence Pass
On the path to the overlook
Independence Pass
The parking area, from near the overlook
Independence Pass
The view to the west
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Independence Pass
Looking south
Independence Pass
Looking southeast
Independence Pass
Looking east
Independence Pass
Looking northeast
looking southwest
Looking north
looking east
The overlook itself logo
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