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Indy Pass

Independence Pass

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Independence Pass, part of Colorado State Highway 82, passes over the Continental Divide between Leadville and Aspen, Colorado. In addition to being a scenic byway, Independence Pass is a favorite recreation location during the summer months, for those visitors willing to travel just east of Aspen.

Independence Pass is OPEN!  Visit co.trip.org for details. 

At 12,095ft at the summit, Independence Pass is the highest paved pass in the state. Depending on snow accumulation, the Colorado Department of Transportation closes the highway at the Winter Gate, 5 miles east of Aspen. Visit cotrip.org for up-to-date road closure information. Do not rely on your GPS for directions, we can not emphasize this enough!

Independence Pass Hiking Trails:

Green Circle (Easy):
Discovery/Braille Trail
Grottos Trail
Weller Lake
Blue Square (Moderate):
Difficult Creek Trail
Grizzly Lake Trail
Lincoln Creek Road
North Fork Lake Creek Trail
Anderson & Petroleum Lakes
Tabor Creek Trail
Black Diamond (Difficult):
Linkins Lake Trail
Lost Man Trail
Midway Creek Trail
New York Creek Trail

*Visit other Aspen area hiking trails here!
 

Biking:

Road biking on Independence Pass/Highway 82 is a popular route in the summer. The road climbs to the continental divide at the top of the Pass (12,095 ft.). The road is open to traffic and is extremely narrow in some sections. Be alert to all car traffic, which is especially heavy on summer weekends. From Aspen to the peak of the pass is about 20 miles, but riders can turn around at any point and come back to town.


Fun Fact: USA Pro Challenge featured this climb in 2011, 2012, 2013 & 2015 races.

Each spring the cycling season kicks off with the Annual Ride for the Pass event which takes place every May before the road is open to car traffic.

Rock Climbing: 

Independence Pass Rock Climbing offers short approaches and a large variety of climbs, both trad/mixed and sports climbing is available.

Camping: 

Fee-based camping on the Aspen side of Independence Pass is available at Difficult Campground, Weller Campground, Lincoln Gulch and Lost Man Campground. Free camping can be found along Lincoln Creek Road.

Points of Interest: 

The Grottos Ice Caves: 9 miles east of Aspen (.9 miles past Weller Campground), pull into the day use parking area on the right-hand side of the highway. From the parking lot, you will see hiking trails for this popular family area for picnicking and exploring the waterfalls, rock formations & ice caves.

Devil's Punch Bowl:  Located just past mile marker 50, this is a  popular cliff jumping spot.

 

Independence Ghost Town: 

16 miles east of Aspen is the historic ghost town of Independence. Once a thriving mining town with over 40 businesses and an estimated population of 1,500, today you can view the remains of miner's cabins, the Farewell Stamp Mill, Stables, and the General Store.

Continental Divide: 

The midway point between Aspen and Twin Lakes, Colorado, Independence Pass is on the border between Pitkin and Lake Counties and is the dividing point between watersheds that drain into the Pacific Ocean vs. those that drain into the Atlantic Ocean. You are at 12,095ft, so the weather can be unpredictable. There is ample parking and a scenic overlook where you can take in the 360-degree views.

 

North Star Nature Preserve: 


The North Star Nature Preserve, Where the Roaring Fork Whispers, is a wonderful place to recreate, just east of Aspen and before you reach the "winter" gate to Independence Pass. You can explore this area on foot, or from the river, but please make sure to do so respectfully as it is a nature preserve that also passes through private land. Stand-Up paddling, kayaking, and tubing down the river are popular ways to cool off in the summer.

Visit www.northstaraspen.com for information on how to enjoy responsibly.

 

 

Winter Recreation:

Highway 82 is closed at the Winter Gate, 5 miles east of Aspen, around the beginning of November each year. However, visitors are still able to enjoy recreational opportunities on the closed, snow packed road.

Cross Country skiers will enjoy the groomed trail for both classic and skate skiing jaunts. 

Snowshoers and hikers can also enjoy the same access to the road.

Snowmobilers are also able to utilize the road, providing access to ski mountaineering adventures further from the parking lot.  

A 360 tour of one of Independence Pass' most accessible day hiking and picnic areas.

A virtual tour of Independence Ghost Town. In 1882 the town had an estimated population of 1500, 40 businesses and 3 post offices and by 1899 the miner's dismantled the town, come visit the remains of history.

Before you ascend Highway 82 to the peak of Independence Pass, enjoy the North Star Nature Preserve, just east of Aspen. A walking trail winds along the river where you can see kayakers and stand up paddlers recreating.

From The Blog

Everything You Need to Know About Independence Pass

Independence Pass , part of Colorado State Highway 82, passes over the Continental Divide between...Read more

4th of July Parade Waiver

2018 ONLINE REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED 

IMPORTANT PARADE INFORMATION

PARADE STARTING/STAGING: The parade will begin at 11:00am. Parade positioning is “first come, first serve” and line up begins no earlier than 10:00am. There is no entry fee and the parade is open to the public. All 5 lanes of Main Street, from Aspen Street to 2nd Street, will be closed to all traffic & designated for parade staging only. Power is not provided in staging area and remember generators do need gas.

PARADE ROUTE: The parade will start East on Main Street. It will turn South onto Hunter Street, then West onto Cooper Avenue. The parade will continue West on Cooper Avenue to Galena Street. At Galena it heads North for 2 blocks before turning West onto Hopkins Avenue. The parade will continue South on Mill then West on Hyman Avenue. Parade participants will be directed to disperse at Hyman and Monarch Street.  PARADE JUDGING: Parade judging will take place in front of the Hotel Jerome. Participants will be limited to 1 minute or less for any performances in front of the judges. Security will be onsite monitoring all entries to help prevent gaps in the parade route. Recognition will be awarded to the best entries in the following categories: 

Most Patriotic | Most Humorous | Best Animal | Best Music | Most Outrageous | Best Children’s  

PARADE REMINDERS:  

  • Consumption of alcohol is prohibited during the parade.
  • Candy, favors, etc. should not be thrown from your float/vehicle during the parade. This is for the safety of the spectators and to prevent children from running out into the street. 
  • Water balloons will not be permitted. According to city ordinances, those caught throwing balloons will be removed from the parade and could face citations and/or arrests. 
  • All parade entries must be in “good taste” and will be allowed in the parade per the director’s discretion. 
  • Maximum height restriction for any float entry is 13’5”.

 

The undersigned organization has elected to participate in the Fourth of July parade sponsored by the City of Aspen and Aspen Chamber Resort

Association (“ACRA”). In consideration for City of Aspen and ACRA allowing the undersigned to participate in the festivities, the undersigned has read, understood, and willingly agreed to the terms of this INSURANCE LIABILITY AGREEMENT and WAIVER AND INDEMNITY AGREEMENT (collectively referred to herein as “RELEASE”).

INSURANCE LIABILITY AGREEMENT

                                    Participants are required to carry insurance adequate to cover any liability for damage, injury, economic loss, or other

liability that may be incurred by individuals and/or organizations during the Fourth of July parade. All participants agree to carry such insurance, and also agree not to submit any claim against the insurance of City of Aspen, ACRA and/or any other sponsors of the parade, their officers, directors, agents, shareholders, employees, or anyone else directly or indirectly connected with production of the parade.

WAIVER AND INDEMNITY AGREEMENT

                                         The undersigned understands the potential dangers that could be encountered in participating in the Fourth of July

parade. The dangers include, among other things, dangers relating to vehicular and pedestrian traffic; crowds of persons in close proximity to such traffic; animals that may react unpredictably in a parade environment; celebration and recreational activities; loud and unexpected noise; items that may be thrown to and from the crowd in connection with the parade; and other dangers traditionally associated with parades.

      Understanding those risks, the undersigned for itself and for all persons who the undersigned invites or allows to participate in the parade with the undersigned, does hereby agree to indemnify, hold harmless, and release City of Aspen, ACRA and/or any other sponsors of the parade, their

officers, directors, agents, shareholders, employees, and anyone else directly or indirectly connected with production of the parade from any and all

liability, claims, demands, actions, or rights of action (including attorneys’ fees and costs) that are related to or are in any way connected with the

undersigned’s participation in the parade. By signing this RELEASE, the undersigned intends to extinguish any and all liability and to indemnify against any loss on the part of City of Aspen, ACRA and/or any other sponsors of the parade, their officers, directors, agents, shareholders, employees, and anyone else directly or indirectly connected with production of the parade for any injury or damage of any nature (without regard to negligence or fault) to the undersigned and to all persons who the undersigned invites or allows to participate in the parade.

                                      The undersigned warrants and represents that it will not invite or allow any person to participate in the parade unless

such person is bound to the terms of this RELEASE. To that end, the undersigned agrees that it shall take any steps necessary to secure agreement of such persons to the terms of this RELEASE, and that it shall be deemed a responsible person within the meaning of C.R.S. § 13-22-107 and § 19-1103(94) for all children who the undersigned invites or allows to participate in the parade.

SUBMISSION OF APPLICATION

   I am the official representative of the undersigned organization. On behalf of the organization, I acknowledge our responsibilities as set forth above. I also accept on behalf of the organization all of the terms and conditions of this

INSURANCE LIABILITY AGREEMENT and WAIVER AND INDEMNITY AGREEMENT.

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