Independence Pass is a roadside attraction on Colorado State Highway 82.
Independence Pass, originally known as Hunter Pass, is a high mountain pass in the Rocky Mountains of central Colorado in the United States. It is at elevation 12,095 ft on the Continental Divide in the Sawatch Range. The pass is midway between Aspen and Twin Lakes, on the border between Pitkin and Lake counties.
I happened to drive over the pass a week after a freak snowstorm in late June. The snow provided a stunning and exceedingly rare backdrop on a hot summer day. It’s fun to stand on the ridge and visualize the fact that all rain that falls on one side of the mountain flows into the Atlantic Ocean while the rain that falls on the other side flows into the Pacific Ocean.
There is roadside parking atop the pass and two privies for visitors to use. You’ll want to bring your own hand sanitizer.
The highway is usually closed for the winter and can close anytime a snowstorm pops up. Check with the DOT website before planning your trip.