Description - Independence Pass General Forest Area contains a plethora of recreation
opportunities within an alpine setting. The elevation at the bottom of the pass is
approximately 7,800' and 12,095' at the high point. The western half of the pass
road is located in the White River National Forest. The eastern section is located
in the San Isabel National Forest.
Copyright: Zander Higbie - Interactive Outdoors, Inc.
Independence Pass near the ghost town of Independence
The western slope of the pass is separated
into the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness Area (to the south) and the Hunter-
Fryingpan Wilderness Area (to the north). Opportunities for biking, hiking, four-
wheel driving, fishing, camping, and motorcycling among other activities exist in
The pass is closed in winter to automobile traffic. The road is
popular for snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and snow shoeing.
- This area offers a high concentration of attractions including, scenic
Independence Pass, the Lincoln Creek Area, Weller Lake, Difficult Campground,
Lost Man Campground, Portal Campground, Grizzly Lake, the Grottos and much
Recreation - Some of the numerous recreation opportunities available in this area include
hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, backcountry camping, fishing, four-wheel
driving, scenic driving, sightseeing, mountain climbing, and viewing the historic
ghost-town of Independence. Winter brings possibilities for cross-country
skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling.
Climate - In the valley bottoms, summer high temperatures extend into the mid 80s, with
cool evenings that can often dip into the 30s. Winter lows occasionally dip to
minus 30 degrees, though daytime temperatures are often in the 20s to 30s.
The relative humidity is quite low throughout the year. Most of the area and its
recreation facilities lie at higher elevations where significantly lower
temperatures and more precipitation can be expected. Afternoon summer
thunderstorms are common. Snow is possible at any time of year in the highest
elevations. The high elevation roads and trails are often not clear of snow until
This area lies east of Aspen, between town and Independence Pass. The area is
accessed by Highway 82 and Lincoln Creek Road.
Directions from Aspen: From Aspen drive east on Highway 82. Independence Pass Road is the same road as Highway 82.