I’ll wrap up this post with a few practical tips for driving the Independence Pass: 1. 2. Utterly beautiful but make sure you flex your fingers after the drive to let the blood flow back to your knuckles. It is in fact a narrow winding road for most of the drive. As we got to the sharp switchbacks of the pass itself, snow appeared on the shoulders. You might enjoy this article about how stars looked in the past and future: https://www.wired.com/2015/03/gifs-show-constellations-transforming-150000-years/. 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. All rights reserved (c) 2019 TripMemos.com. I'm a product manager and photographer. 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. When you need a break from the F&W mayhem, check out (ta && ta.queueForLoad ? Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. And it grew in height as we kept climbing…. The last time I saw the Milky Way this clear and in such darkness that I could not see my hand in front of my face was in the 1960’s atop Pond Mtn., Ashe County NC. But then I also first encountered how spectacular the night sky is when you’re away from light pollution. It’s safe, however, if you take it easy and use common sense. 4 years ago. Bikers should especially be careful when driving down this pass. PSICC, Twin Lakes to Aspen, CO 81251, USA, United States. I was quite cold, but I pushed on knowing that I had only one shot at a photo like this. The road is steep, narrow and twisty with only a few guardrails but is completely safe. But instead of heading back to Denver when you’re finished, a great weekend topper would be to head to Colorado Springs and the Broadmoor Hotel, a vast, chill, old-money estate that’ll shake the dust off your road-weary bones and provide you with plenty of activity – or none at all if you're bushed, physically, mentally or spiritually. 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. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images). The road is quite narrow and traffics comes in from both the sides. This is a small lot where you’ll likely find some cars already pulled in. Walk a bit further and suddenly, there it is. The spa has a full-service gym, too, with two pools and masseuses who’ll cheerfully shove fists into your back, shoulders and spine, pounding all of life’s woes out of your world-weary self. 303 MagazineAmber InthavongCascades Waterfall AspenColoradocaribou.comDevil’s Punchbowl Aspenice cave aspenindependence passThe Grottos Ice Cave. (Photo by Robert Alexander/Archive Photos/Getty Images) 5104602RA_Colorado17.jpg. I then decided to take several shorter bursts with the intent to stack them later using a new technique I had not tried before. Check out the top deck at the Aspen Art Museum if there are any F&W events there. would like to purchase a full size file of the piture for development, please be in touch. The leaflet we had picked up at the ranger station called them “ice grottos” and indeed, there was ice in the caves at the time of our visit. 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. Thank you for traveling down memory lane with me today! Explore the entire list of places to visit in Aspen before you plan your trip. Waaaay too slippery for me. This is the version of our website addressed to speakers of English in the United States. Colorado mountain roads have places where you can safely pull over and let other drivers pass you by. The iconic pass is situated on Highway 82 at an elevation of around 12 thousand feet. Danielson went on to win the stage and defend the king of the mountains jersey. Be courteous to other drivers and don’t hold back traffic. bus or shuttle to Denver Airport from Aspen/Snowmass? This is one of my favorite photos from recent years because it really captures the beauty of the Milky Way from a remarkable location. The scenery was still incredible but not nearly as dramatic as it had been during springtime. The boys were just 7 and 9 years old at the time. We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason. # of Hours to Drive from Denver to Aspen in March. Are visitors even welcome right now? Keep an eye on the temperature gauge and if necessary, stop the car and allow the engine time to cool. Weird, I know, but there you go –, This is us, in a picture taken a few yards away, looking in another direction –. The road over the pass is … Watch the date. The hike is no longer a dirt path, but instead it has transitioned you to trekking over one large rock. With no moon, no lights, and no trail, I was dangerously alone in the dark. The air smells the way it does when it had just stopped raining outside, and it’s the perfect photo/picnic spot. I’m glad I have these beautiful photos strewn along our private memory lane. At approximately 11:20 a.m. on Friday, August 21, 2020, the Pitkin County Regional Emergency Dispatch Center was notified by the Colorado State Patrol of an unknown injury accident in the area of mile marker 61 on Colorado State Highway 82. Near-by Public Transports: You can hire a car or bicycle to get here. 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. Driving Independence Pass may not be for the faint of heart, but the drive is worth it in its payoff of views and adventure. Featuring many stops along the way to enjoy scenic views, it twists around stunning groves of aspen trees and hugs the Roaring Fork River. Don’t drive at night. 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. Did I mention just how incredible the scenery was? Fortunately I found the path to the deck right where I expected, however all along the trail were melting slush puddles, each hidden under a layer of ice that looked just like snow. 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? The views are worth it! Take I-70. Duh… I should have clicked on “Show Photo Details”. Driving Independence Pass provides jaw dropping views at a gradual elevation gain of 12,092 feet, so be ready for a photo op. ta.queueForLoad : function(f, g){document.addEventListener('DOMContentLoaded', f);})(function(){ta.trackEventOnPage('postLinkInline', 'impression', 'postLinks-75807718', '');}, 'log_autolink_impression');the John Denver Sanctuary and walk down the Rio Grande Trail. Independence Pass The drive over Independence Pass is an absolute must during the summer/fall months! We could still see them occasionally, peaking as well as peeking through the trees, as the road gradually made its way up into the pass and became narrower. Do not blindly rely on the GPS if wanting to drive down the pass. Make sure your windshield and car windows are  extra clean. Your email address will not be published. Think of Aspen and the image of Colorado Ski Resort comes to mind, there’s a reason for that. Ok, so you won’t get shot, but I’ve seen Colorado police pull over a driver for that. Decided to fly direct to Denver and drive. Save. I’m happy to share them with you in the hope they inspire you to create your own! The cold Cascades. Do share them in the comments section below. We parked the car and hiked for a bit. Independence Pass mountain landscape, continental divide in Colorado, USA. 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. This is my website where I write about photography, travel, business, and technology. 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. Saw it on my Google Home Assistant’s screen saver and googled your name. The 32-mile Independence Pass, part of Colorado State Highway 82 leading into Aspen is open only from May through October, and it’s right up there with the Grand Canyon as far as sheer majesty, jaw-dropping scenery and “Let’s pull over and take another 100 selfies.”, ASPEN, CO - AUGUST 22: Tom Danielson of the USA riding for Garmin-Sharp leads out Francisco Jarley ... [+] Colorado Hernandez of Columbia riding for EPM-UNE as they head toward Independence Pass during stage three of the USA Pro Challenge from Gunnison to Aspen on August 22, 2012 in Chaffee County, Colorado. We actually returned to Independence Pass two years later. wow. Colorado sure knows how to name its rivers!). Enjoy Food and Wine. Dates change every year so check this website for road status. As you approach, you’ll see makeshift stone stairs that lead down into an opening. At night and ur being a first timer you won't save much time if any and you'll be more relaxed on I-70 to 82. To review the Tripadvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html. You can either pop out on the Aspen side and spend the night there, or, if you haven’t had your fill, just turn around and do the pass again. I've also published 7 Op-Eds in the NY Times, nothing to do with cars. 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. So when my wife suggested a trip to Aspen on one of those weekends, I already knew it would be a good opportunity to see the stars from nearby Independence Pass. Standing on top of it is a like being in a brilliant dream of twinkling stars and night sky. I knew it was no more than 50 yards away, but the ground was covered in packed snow and I couldn’t see any signs of my own or anyone else’s footprints. But if, Colorado is known for its great outdoors, but sadl, The brand new @number38_colorado combines a massiv, Have you seen the special pieces artist, @NathanS, Review – John Mayer Wrote A Book at The Pepsi Center, Playlist – The Best of Denver’s Diverse Hip-Hop Sound, Mazevo Brings Healthy Mediterranean Food to Tennyson Street, This Week In Concerts – Wildermiss, Flash Mountain Flood, Nightwraith and More, 24 Things To Do in Real Life and Virtually This Week in Denver, A Non-Profit Partnership Unveils Replica of A Safe Outdoor Space For Denver’s Homeless, Denver Issues New Restrictions for Outdoor Mask Wearing and Group Gatherings, A Photography Exhibit Celebrates A Century of The Women’s Right to Vote With 100 Works From Women. Independence Pass mountain landscape, continental divide in Colorado, USA. They had a terrific time and fondly remember this as one of the highlights of our Colorado visit. 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. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

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