The trail to Independence ghost town starts on highway 82. From the parking lot, you can see several of the buildings and remnants of Independence lying in a valley below. A sign in the parking lot explains that prospectors found gold here on July 4, 1879. A tent city sprung up and within one year, there were 300 people living here. By 1882, there were 40 businesses here, three post offices and 1,500 people.
The town died out because miners could find work and a milder climate in Aspen.Independence was put in the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. Volunteers have been resorting the cabins since the 1980s.
Directions from Aspen, CO: Independence is 27.5 miles from the start of Highway 82 near Leadville. It's about 13 miles from Aspen
Memorial Day through Mid October
(NOTE: Highway 82 is typically closed from mid-October to Memorial Day.