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Colorado > Aspen Ranger District > Independence Pass Area
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Independence Pass Area

Grizzly Lake Trail Grottos Trail Linkins Lake Trail Lost Man Lake Trail Petroleum Lake Trail Tabor Creek Trail New York Creek Trail Portal Campround Lost Man Campground Lincoln Gulch Campground Weller Campground Weller Lake Trail Taylor Pass Aspen Mountain Ski Area Difficult Campground Richmond Hill Fritz Benedict Hut Barnard Hut Goodwin/Green Hut Markley Hut Lindley Hut Pearl Pass-Montezuma Basin Road Independence Ghost Town Ascroft Ghost Town ImageMap - turn on images!!!

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General Information

Independence Pass near the ghost town of Independence
Copyright: Zander Higbie - Interactive Outdoors, Inc.
Independence Pass near the ghost town of Independence
Description - 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.

Attractions - This area offers a high concentration of attractions including, scenic Independence Pass, the Lincoln Creek Area, Weller Lake, Difficult Campground, Lost Man Campground, Portal Campground, Grizzly Lake, the Grottos and much more.

Recreation - Some of the numerous recreation opportunities available in this area include hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, backcountry camping, fishing, four-wheel driving, scenic driving, sightseeing, mountain climbing, and viewing the historic ghost-town of Independence. Winter brings possibilities for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling.

Climate - In the valley bottoms, summer high temperatures extend into the mid 80s, with cool evenings that can often dip into the 30s. Winter lows occasionally dip to minus 30 degrees, though daytime temperatures are often in the 20s to 30s. The relative humidity is quite low throughout the year. Most of the area and its recreation facilities lie at higher elevations where significantly lower temperatures and more precipitation can be expected. Afternoon summer thunderstorms are common. Snow is possible at any time of year in the highest elevations. The high elevation roads and trails are often not clear of snow until mid-July.

Location - This area lies east of Aspen, between town and Independence Pass. The area is accessed by Highway 82 and Lincoln Creek Road.

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

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

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)
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.

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

More Information

Additional Information:
Aspen Area - Aspen sits at the upper end of the scenic Roaring Fork Valley, in the mountains of west-central Colorado. Aspen is a world-class ski resort, and with its mountain setting, a center for endless other outdoor recreation activities.
Aspen Ranger District - The Aspen Ranger District surrounds the resort town of Aspen, at the upper end of the Roaring Fork River Valley. It encompasses some spectacular mountain terrain in the Elk Mountains, and Sawatch Range.

Forest Conservancy - Current Information from Local Volunteers: Closings and Conditions
Forest Conservancy - Current Information from Local Volunteers: Closings and Conditions
Forest Conservancy - Current Information from Local Volunteers: Closings and Conditions
Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers - Volunteer Opportunities in This Area


Local Lodging

Stay at the Aspen Square Hotel
Stay at the Aspen Square Hotel

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