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Hiking & Walking: Colorado > Aspen Ranger District > Independence Pass Area

Quick Facts

Independence Pass Area





Satellite and Topo Map




General Description

The lower section of Independence Pass from Little Annie Overlook.
Copyright: Marshall Hall - Interactive Outdoors, Inc.
The lower section of Independence Pass from Little Annie Overlook.
Independence Pass General Forest Area contains a plethora of recreation opportunities within an alpine setting. The elevation at the bottom of the pass is approximately 7,800' and 12,095' at the high point. The western half of the pass road is located in the White River National Forest. The eastern section is located in the San Isabel National Forest.

The western slope of the pass is separated into the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness Area (to the south) and the Hunter- Fryingpan Wilderness Area (to the north). Opportunities for biking, hiking, four- wheel driving, fishing, camping, and motorcycling among other activities exist in this area.

The pass is closed in winter to automobile traffic. The road is popular for snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and snow shoeing.

Directions from Aspen: From Aspen drive east on Highway 82. Independence Pass Road is the same road as Highway 82.



Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

Filed By: Robert Roney (Marietta, GA)
Difficulty:
Number of People Encountered: 11-25 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Drove this route on 2007.06.20 afternoon as self imposed detour for I-70 from Glenwood Springs to Frisco. Blind Curves and narrow one lane at places the higher you drove. Met two tractor-low bed trailer trucks at sharpest 180degree switchback between ghost town and pass--scary as they did not slow down! Not the normal level valley road I expected for my detour. Very scenic and the satisfaction that I made it through ok.

Difficulty:
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Not Recommended
Report: THIS ROUTE 82 TO ASPEN, PER MAPQUEST, IS NOT OPEN FOR ANY VEHICLES, THE ROAD IS DRY PAST LEADVILLE AND THE LAKE AND STATE RESERVOIR, AND THEN SUDDENLY THE ROAD IS CLOSED TO TRAFFIC DUE TO THE SNOW MOT CLEARED AT ALL. IT TOOK ABOUT THREE HOURS FOR ME TO DRIVE BACK UP TO HINTERSTATE HIGHWAY 70 WEST TO Greenwood Valley and south to Aspen. My hotel told me that several other people used MapQuest and the same thing happened. There are very few gas stations, probably the only one is at Leadville in that area. FRIDAY MARCH 31.



Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Backpacking Lost Man Trail, Midway Pass Trail, Fryingpan Lakes Trail
Yes
ICON Family Camping Difficult Campground, Weller Campground, Portal Campground
Yes
ICON Rock Climbing Independence Pass
Yes
ICON Cross-country Skiing Independence Pass Road, Difficult Trail
Yes
ICON Cold Water Fishing Roaring Fork River
Yes
ICON Hiking & Walking Weller , Difficult, Midway Pass, Lost Man and Fryingpan Lakes Trails
Yes
ICON Horseback Riding Weller , Difficult, Midway Pass, Lost Man and Fryingpan Lakes Trails
Yes
ICON Mountain Biking Lincoln Creek Gulch Road
Yes
ICON ATV Riding Lincoln Creek Road
Yes
ICON Motorcycle Riding Independence Pass and Lincoln Creek Gulch Roads
Yes
ICON Recreation Areas Independence Pass Area
Yes
ICON Snowmobiling Independence Pass Road
Yes
ICON Snowshoeing Independence Pass Road Weller Lake Trail
Yes
ICON Attending Talks & Programs Independence Ghost Town
Yes



Related Activities
Grottos Day Use Area - This is a popular area for picnicking and exploring. There is a waterfall, some interesting rock formations, an ice cave, and numerous short trails. This is a great area for families.

Grottos Trail - This is a popular area for picnicking and exploring. There is a waterfall, some interesting rock formations, an ice cave, and numerous short trails. This is a great area for families.

Independence Historic Townsite - Independence is generally considered to have been the first mining camp in the Aspen area. This current ghost town supported a population of 1,000 people in 1882.

Independence Pass - This mountain-pass road is one of the best ways to see some amazing scenery out of your car window. It crosses the Continental Divide at Independence Pass (elevation 12,095 feet.)

Lincoln Creek Road, #106 - There is access to many activities along the first six miles of the road. The section of road from Grizzly Reservoir to the ghost town of Ruby is much less traveled and suitable only for hiking, mountain biking and 4 WD.

Lincoln Creek Road, #106 - There is access to many activities along the first six miles of the road. The section of road from Grizzly Reservoir to the ghost town of Ruby is much less traveled and suitable only for hiking, mountain biking and 4 WD.

Linkins Lake Trail - This is a moderately steep but short climb to a high alpine lake above the timberline with fair fishing. Located near the top of Independence Pass.

Lost Man Campground - Lost Man Family Campground is situated directly across Independence Pass road from Lostman Trailhead. The campsites are within a lodgepole pine forest at an elevation of 10,500 feet

Lost Man Trail - This trail is good for hiking and backpacking, also fishing is fair in Independence Lake, Lost Man Lake, and Lost Man Reservoir. The trail is not a complete loop; it is a good idea to set up a shuttle.

Midway Creek Trail - This is a great trail for backpacking and horse travel. The trail is mostly in the Hunter-Fryingpan Wilderness and is one of the less-used trails in the Aspen area.

New York Creek Trail - This is a moderate to difficult hike through spruce and fir forests. From the White River National Forest and the Gunnison National Forest boundary the trail is not maintained, you need to use orienteering skills to continue to Ptarmigan Lake.

Portal Campground - Portal Campground is located east of Aspen on Lincoln Creek Road at Grizzly Reservoir. Campers can access some wonderful day hikes from this location as well as terrain for motorcycle and ATV riding, mountain biking, fishing and horseback riding.

Portal Campground - Portal Campground is located east of Aspen on Lincoln Creek Road at Grizzly Reservoir. Campers can access some wonderful day hikes from this location as well as terrain for motorcycle and ATV riding, mountain biking, fishing and horseback riding.

Tabor Creek Trail - This trail follows Tabor Creek and ends at the top of a pass which looks out onto the basin of Anderson and Petroleum Lakes. A side hike, using orienteering skills, can be made to Tabor Lake to the west.

Weller Campground - Weller Campground is situated in an aspen grove with ten accessible campsites. The campground is located on Independence Pass Road east of the city of Aspen.

Weller Lake Trail - An easy hike takes you to Weller Lake, located just inside the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness. The fishing is poor and campsites are limited.



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