Independence Pass, Colorado
Independence Pass is a two-lane, 12,095 ft pass through the Rocky Mountains that is only open Memorial Day to early November. If you get a chance to drive through it, it is well worth the harrowing drive. The views are breathtaking and you can stop at the top for some light hiking, even if you are just passing through. It is a great place to view the mountains and stretch your legs. Just make sure that you bring warm clothing. Even in June it was cold and windy at the top.
There is a huge parking lot, so you don’t have to worry about parking. You may also want to grab a photo with the sign in the parking lot showing that you are standing on the Continental Divide.
Then follow one of the paths for some stunning views. There are some that are legit hikes that start from here. We opted for a short walk on the gravel paths .
About a half-hour before you reach the pass (coming from Aspen heading toward Colorado Springs) we stopped to check out a snow pack and cute little waterfall. In this same area is an old ghost town that has some hiking options. We didn’t have time to check it out, but I have it earmarked for exploration next summer. (Here is a post on exploring the ghost town.)
If you’re passing through the mountains in the summer I really think you will enjoy exploring this area of Colorado. I know we are looking forward to explore here a bit more.