When in Colorado in the summer, it is definitely worth it to drive Independence Pass. Independence Pass is a high mountain pass in central Colorado, midway between Aspen and Twin Lakes and bordering both Lake and Pitkin Counties. Independence Pass is a scenic way to travel between two mountain towns with beautiful views and a little piece of history.
You’ll travel through shining green pine trees and see cascading waterfalls and rapidly flowing rivers. It reaches its highest point on the Continental Divide at 12,095 feet above sea level – the highest paved road over the divide in the United States.
The pass was initially built for mining purposes in 1879. Back then, it was a narrow, gravel stagecoach road. Driving past the abandoned houses and structures is captivating and will have you longing for more knowledge about the people and history behind the ghost town of Independence.
It was a popular stop during the gold rush. Typical to the state of Colorado, the boom eventually became a bust and only a few of the original houses and buildings still remain. Independence is now a ghost town, and a short walking path provides a window into the lives of the gold miners from the past.
Driving Independence Pass is not just taking another road. Separate from where you are going and where you are coming from, you will remember Independence Pass as its own experience. On any given summer day, you will be awestruck by the surrounding beauty and mesmerized by how far down you can see by glancing over the edge of the road.
Whether you are interested in capturing the beauty of Aspen or the experiences of gold miners in Colorado, Independence Pass provides you with both right at your fingertips.
Stay at Hotel Aspen with proximity to hiking, biking and mountain activities located in the heart of Colorado's Rocky Mountains. Book your room today or call us at 800-527-7369.
- Special to Hotel Aspen by Eimile Pesch