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Independence Pass, Aspen

4.8
#1 of 40 in Outdoors in Aspen
Scenic Drive · Lookout
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Cutting through mountains and hugging a roaring river, Independence Pass remains a classic Colorado scenic and historic byway that allows views of towering peaks, groves of aspen trees, crashing waterfalls, and cool lakes. With the summit at elevation of 3,687 m (12,095 ft), it represents the highest paved pass in North America. In addition to many trailheads, campgrounds, scenic overlooks, and wildlife viewing areas, attractions include the historic ghost town of Independence, once a thriving gold mining town. Adventurous types can make use of nearby skiing slopes or bouldering opportunities, depending on the time of the year. Note that the road is winding, narrow, and steep, so drive with caution. Put Independence Pass and other Aspen attractions into our Aspen sightseeing planner, and watch your holiday take shape.
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Independence Pass reviews

TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 5.0
1,725 reviews
Google
4.9
TripAdvisor
  • Be aware it’s a very white knuckled drive but the scenery is soooooo worth it. Stop on the switchback pull outs and take a breath and a picture. So beautiful. 
    Be aware it’s a very white knuckled drive but the scenery is soooooo worth it. Stop on the switchback pull outs and take a breath and a picture. So beautiful.  more »
  • Independence Pass is a beautiful place to visit. Nice, well maintained trails to walk, if you can handle the altitude. We usually go though this pass at least once when visiting Aspen 
    Independence Pass is a beautiful place to visit. Nice, well maintained trails to walk, if you can handle the altitude. We usually go though this pass at least once when visiting Aspen  more »
  • The most beautiful fall in years. I am a Colorado native and this drive is late for Colorado. I actually saw the Aspens shimmering. Just spectacular. 
    The most beautiful fall in years. I am a Colorado native and this drive is late for Colorado. I actually saw the Aspens shimmering. Just spectacular.  more »
Google
  • Gorgeous Mountain pass with insane wilderness views. If you're afraid of heights, this drive will make you nervous.
  • Beautiful scenic drive. Definitely worth it and fun to drive here. Views are stunning. Highest peaks of Rockies.
  • Gorgeous views from this pass above twin lakes. Lots of trails to follow. There is still snow up there in July! It can get windy, so plan ahead. There are some bathrooms up there but not much else. A decent amount of parking is available but it seems like it is always busy. There are so many views, the biggest thing to watch out for is your driver! Make sure they keep their eyes on the road and gawk once the vehicle is parked. There are some sheer drops and hairpin turns on the way up. You might get a chance at seeing some goats if you (not the driver) keep your eyes peeled.
  • Beautiful spot to overlook the amazing Colorado mountains. Born on independence day, I had to stop at independence pass. 🎆 🎇 🧨 Definitely one of my fav spots so far living on the road. 🚙🌍
  • Absolutely gorgeous "peeping" colors time of year. The golden Aspens are worth the trip. Great bypass into Aspen.

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