Independence Pass


Independence Pass

NileGuide Expert Says:

Thrilling views of Colorado’s highest peaks are waiting at the top of Independence Pass. This fully paved mountain road is open to vehicles from early spring to mid-October.

User Rating:


Highway 82
Aspen, CO 81611


+1 970 925 3445 (Forest Service)

NileGuide Expert tip:

You're in the heart of the highest peaks of Colorado! Take the time to enjoy the views from the top. A mere mile down the western (Aspen) side of the pass is fun and beautiful hike to Independence Lake, about an hour's jaunt there and back.


Topping out at 12,095 ft, Independence Pass is one of the most spectacular mountain roads in America. Breathtaking scenery awaits on the myriad of switchbacks that wind from the Elk Range Mountains in Aspen over the enormous Sawatch Range, where Colorado's tallest peaks stand. There is a parking area at the summit for those who want to snap photographs of the amazing landscape or just take in the incredible panorama. Independence Pass is closed from mid-October to early spring due to heavy snowfall. When it is open, the well-maintained and fully paved road is accessible for all vehicles.


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