To get to the trailhead from Aspen, travel up Independence Pass Road (HWY 82). If you make a loop including Lost Man's lake to the lower trailhead is about 11.5 miles. Independence Pass, originally known as Hunter Pass, is a high mountain pass in the Rocky Mountains of central Colorado in the United States. This is the version of our website addressed to speakers of English in United Kingdom. Aspen, CO – Mountain Pass Independence Pass (12,095 ft), originally called Hunter Pass, is a mountain pass along the Continental Divide accessed by Highway 82 that connects Aspen to Twin Lakes. Get spooky in Aspen with this ghost tour! While taking it all in, I was moved to tears by the beauty of God's creation. Difficult Campground, Weller Campground, Lincoln Creek Camping, Parry Peak Campground and Twin Peaks. Continue along FR99 for about 3 miles and you will pass the trailhead for the Independence Pass hike. This trip we got to view the fall colors which were beautiful. The trailhead turnoff is approximately 19.1 miles west of the HWY 24 - HWY 82 intersection at Twin Lakes, and 23.6 miles east of Original Street in downtown Aspen. The car was near mile marker 62, which is close to the summit of Independence Pass (12,095 feet) and is also roughly the boundary between Pitkin and Lake County, officials said. Mask Up Michigan. There’s also point of interests along the Roaring River, like the “Grottos” – cavern like creek bed. Thankfully, another driver pulled over. A Virtual Hike of the Mt. The semi ghost town town of Twin Lakes is a nice place to walk around. From the Linkins Lake / Upper Lost Man trailhead, follow the trail for 0.2 miles to a signed junction and turn left (northwest) toward Linkins Lake. The road is steep, narrow and twisty with only a few guardrails but is completely safe. To Lost Man's Pass and back is 4.5 miles with ~1200 feet of gain. To prove my point, even I got my lazy ass up there with my road bike. From there it continues up the valley to cross the Continental Divide at Independence Pass. LAKE & PITKIN COUNTIES – Independence Pass on Colorado Highway 82 will close on Friday, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. for the season. As we began driving up the mountain, his concerns began to increase until he finally insisted that I pull over. At 12,095ft at the summit, Independence Pass is the highest paved pass in the state. The view was extraordinary! It is in the Hunter-Fryingpan Wilderness so dogs must be on a leash. Independence Pass is a 34.1 mile heavily trafficked point-to-point trail located near Twin Lakes, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. There are (14-15 inch) Brook Trout in this lake sitting at 12,500 feet above timberline. Follow the North Fork Trail is up along the North Fork of Lake Creek. The 12,095 foot high pass is located on Highway 82 east of Aspen. The pass closes in winter. Anyone who is interested in visiting Independence Pass can print the free topographic map and street map using the link above. We made it to the peak and BOY, was it worth it! Dispersed car camping can be found along many of the dirt roads near Mt Elbert, close to the lake. Independence Pass, part of Colorado State Highway 82, passes over the Continental Divide between Leadville and Aspen, Colorado. INDEPENDENCE LAKE. The Aspen were a bright gold. View fullsize. Forest, with trailheads and campgrounds available. We got lucky with beautiful weather in mid-October and made the drive up Independence Pass. The trail is primarily used for scenic driving and is best used from June until September. There are also shorter hikes at the lakes and at the base of Mt Elbert. Beautiful drive although in a rented RV sprinter van there were some tight curves but it was fun. South Cascades -- Mount St. Helens. Independence Pass (file photo credit: CDOT) (CBS4) – Independence Pass will be closing for the season on Friday night at 7 p.m. The road from Twin Lakes has many areas with no guard rails combined with very steep drop offs. Independence Pass, Lake and Pitkin Counties, Colorado. : It was the first full day of summer, and what do you know? They had had a snowfall a few days before we got there and the small lake was frozen and there was snow everywhere. Per Executive Order 2020-147, a face covering must be worn over your nose and mouth*: When in any indoor public space; When outdoors and unable to consistently maintain a distance of six feet or more from individuals who are not members of their household; and Featuring many stops along the way to enjoy scenic views, it twists around stunning groves of aspen trees and hugs the Roaring Fork River. It is a spectacular drive and an adventure, with hairpin turns, sheer drops and narrow roads, climbing up to the 12,000 foot level. Independence Pass, originally known as Hunter Pass, is a high mountain pass in central Colorado, United States. Independence Pass is in the Gaps category for Lake County in the state of Colorado. Enjoy the views at Independence Lake (and Lost Man Lake if you decide to make a loop). Trailhead access to Hunter-Fryingpan Wilderness is across the road. Drivers must follow the speed limit and proceed with caution. The entire hike and trail can be seen on the National Geographic topographical map named Aspen / Independence Pass. Independence Pass is displayed on the Independence Pass USGS quad topo map. Trailhead. Independence Pass is part of the great Top of the Rockies Byway. If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu. The trail follows the level shore before turning sharply up to Lost Man Pass (2.35 miles : 12,810'). 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. We were so glad we took this road to independence pass. Two miles to the east is the ghost town of Independence, an early mining town. One of the best places to stretch your feet is around the ghost town of Independence on the Aspen side. So, when we had a few hours to kill while traveling between Leadville and Aspen, a hike near Independence Pass seemed perfect. Map of the Independence Pass corridor. To reach, take CO 82 west from Twin Lakes or east out of Aspen. Continue your visit to www.tripadvisor.com, Are the prices for this place or activity, Hwy 82, 20 miles E of Aspen, Aspen, CO 81611, We took a scenic drive to Independence Pass while staying in Aspen. We usually take Indy pass when we head to Aspen in the summer. https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/colorado/independence-pass-overlook It's only about an hour from where we live, so we hope to visit it at other seasons. more. Photos June 22, 2006 - My hike to Lost Lake began at the first major switchback on the Pitkin County side of Indpendence Pass. The North Fork Lake Creek Trailhead is located off Highway 82, 4.5 miles east of Independence Pass at Mile Marker 66. Linkins Lake, CO Independence Pass in Colorado is a beautiful area. This lake is in the “Lost Man Trail loop” on Independance Pass. The safety closure is to keep maintenance equipment operators and the traveling public safe during the winter season. This seasonal road usually closes in October, depending on snowfall and doesn’t reopen again until late spring. download map PDF. Independence Pass (#227) Gifford Pinchot National Forest and Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument ... Green Trails No. To download this map onto an 8 12/” x 11” sheet (or larger), hit the button below, then under “file” select “export as PDF”. Independence Pass Colorado Camping information. You continue on for a very short distance, and you will pass the trailhead for the Meta Lake hike. Follow the trail as it ascends steeply up the hillside to the glacial cirque holding Linkins Lake (12,008-ft.) at 0.6 miles. https://www.mapquest.com/us/colorado/independence-pass-16110122 This is an impressive drive that leads well above the tree line - at least the 6 months of the year when it is open. May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. Be ready for some real mountain driving to see vistas along the Continental Divide at over 12,000 ft. Much of the land on both sides of the pass is National. Independence Lake fills a broad alpine bench under Lost Man Pass with a large tarn.1 mile away that's easy to reach and worth exploring. At 12,095 feet, Independence used to be the highest paved pass in all of North America (another pass not far away, signed at 12,126 feet, was paved last year). St. Helens National Volcanic Monument Experience a thrill as you hear about the gruesome history that created these ghosts, and glance around, wondering where the wraiths will emerge from. Short hike leads to the "Grotto", a cavern like stream bed. Hike to Lost Man's Pass in the Hunter Fryingpan Wilderness. My husband is afraid of heights so I do mountain driving. Independence Lake—headwaters of the Roaring Fork River The river originates as a tiny rivulet draining Independence Lake at an elevation of over 12,500 feet. At that time, Colorado Department of Transportation crews will close gates near Aspen and Twin Lakes. There are 10 campsites available. The road is fine, but nowhere near in as good shape as Cottonwood Pass (that runs west out of Buena Vista). It is at elevation 12,095 ft on the Continental Divide in the Sawatch Range. The pic doesn't do it justice. 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. Pitkin County lies on one side and Lake County on the other. Gorgeous!! In addition to being a scenic byway, Independence Pass, just east of Aspen, is a favorite recreation location during the summer months. During its 60-mile journey from the Pass to its confluence with the Colorado River, the Roaring Fork River is … (The trail to the right leads to Independence Lake and Lost Man Pass.) Last year at this time, Independence Pass had already closed for the season due to a heavy autumn snowfall that prompted the gates in Pitkin and Lake counties to shutter on Oct. 28. Above is a photo with my back to the trailhead. Many 13ers and 14ers stand straight and massive around it, and alpine meadows and lakes set off the mountains’ craggy slopes. We were about a week or so behind the peak colors but this is a must do. There was a 10 minute delay to some rock slide prevention going on but it was faster than I-70 to and from Denver and then scenery was spectacular, The John Denver Sanctuary: Tickets & Tours‎, Maroon Lake Scenic Trail: Tickets & Tours‎. Lost Man Family Campground is situated directly across Independence Pass road from Lost Man Trailhead.The campsites are within a lodgepole pine forest at 10,500' above sea level. The pass is midway between Aspen and Twin Lakes, on the border between Pitkin and Lake … Uncover Colorado - Vacations, Travel & Tourism | Sitemap | Privacy Policy | Disclaimer, Camping near Aspen, Snowmass Village and Basalt, around Pitkin County, Plan Your Drive | Seasonal Mountain Passes Closures in Colorado. The pass is midway between Aspen and Twin Lakes, on the border between Pitkin and Lake counties. Length 34.1 miElevation gain 3454 ftRoute type Point to point Cycling Independence Pass can be done. Personally I prefer this ride from the east side (the Lake County / Twin Lakes side), as I live in Buena Vista and it's easier for me to access. Primitive campsite overlooking Twin Lakes. behind us and I decided to go talk to them. Independence Pass Loop Map & Directions. From the top of Independence Pass (12,095 ft) stay on the road and continue east winding down the road 4.5 miles to a sharp left turn. In the summer the area has a wonderful wildflower display. Timed for nightfall according to season, experience a creepier Aspen as you slip through shadowed streets and into the dark haunts of the past. Cliff jumping in the Roaring Fork near Aspen. Even my husband was thankful he persevered. 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