Independence Pass Trail


Independence Pass Trail

This paved foot trail provides a scenic walk from the parking area to the viewing platform on top of the summit at 12,135 feet. The viewing platform offers breathtaking panaramic views of the glacier-sculpted Colorado Rocky Mountain Peaks including:  Mounts Harvard, Yale, and Princeton (known as the Collegiate Peaks), Mount Oxford, La Plata Peak, Mount Massive, and Mount Belford.

It can be quite windy and chilly on the summit, so bring your jacket with you. Don't forget your camera!

This is one of Leadville Ranger District's Suggested Day Hikes.

At a Glance

Area Amenities: Interpretive Site,Toilets,Parking
Open Season: Mid-May to late fall (weather depending)
Usage: Medium-Heavy
Best Season: Summer, Fall
Busiest Season: Summer
Closest Towns: Twin Lakes Village and Aspen, CO
Water: None
Restroom: Vault toilets are available at the Pass
Operated By: San Isabel and White River National Forests

General Information


From Leadville, travel south on US 24 to CO 82. Turn right (east) on CO 82 past Twin Lakes, up a winding steep road to the summit.

From Aspen, travel west on CO 82, up a winding, steep, and (at one point) very narrow road to the summit.

General Notes:

Independence Pass serves as the eastern gateway to the Roaring Fork Valley, as well as an historic link between the Western Slope and communities on the Front Range of Colorado. Thousands of people - from Colorado "locals" to international visitors - travel over the Pass from its opening in May to its closing in the fall.

This unique mountain corridor is located almost entirely on publicly accessible federal lands within the San Isabel and White River National Forests. The entire corridor is one of the most heavily used recreational areas in the Roaring Fork Valley. Recreationists use the Pass for activities ranging from hiking and rock climbing in the summer to cross-country skiing and snowmobiling in the winter.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



Show detail SHOW

Nature Viewing

Hide detail HIDE

Viewing Scenery


Interpretive Site