Colorado State Highway 82 offers one of Colorado’s most scenic drives. You’ll venture through Independence Pass and travel across the summit of the Continental Divide at 12,095 feet above sea level. There are plenty of great places to stop and enjoy the scenery along the way.
About Independence Pass
Independence Pass is only open for a handful of months each year, which makes it one of the area’s most popular drives. Cyclists also love traveling the path, so everyone will want to be safe out on the road. The pass has some steep and narrow spots with plenty of sharp twists and turns. This is one place where I definitely recommend obeying the speed limit and driving extra cautiously. No camper trailers, RVs or commercial motor vehicles are allowed on Independence Pass.
If you are making your way to Aspen from the east or south this summer, Independence Pass is an adventurous route to make your way into town. Or, if you are already here, it can be a fun day trip. Be sure to take a break at the Continental Divide viewpoint area for 360-degree views of the mountains and valleys.
Independence Pass Sights & Activities
There are several excellent hiking and mountain biking trails to be found along Independence Pass, including Grottos, Ruby and Lost Man Trail. The town of Ruby is an abandoned mining camp and the road takes you past beautiful Grizzly Reservoir. If you are looking for a relaxing family picnic location, Grottos is highly recommended.
Lastly, a trip to Independence Pass wouldn’t be complete without a stop at Independence Ghost Town. It is located just 16 miles east of Aspen near the beginning of the pass. Grottos Ice Caves is another cool place to explore waterfalls, rock formations and even ice caves during certain times of year.
Ride for the Pass
The annual Ride for the Pass cycling race already took place in May 2022. This is an annual tradition for local cyclists and riders visiting from all over the globe. It will be back in 2023 and you’ll want to sign up early, as they have options for cyclists of all ages and skill levels.
Independence Pass is truly one of the most incredible places on earth and it’s right here in our own backyard. Start planning your adventure today!
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