Aspen, CO – Mountain Pass Independence Pass (12,095 ft), originally called Hunter Pass, is a mountain pass along the Continental Divide accessed by Highway 82 that connects Aspen to Twin Lakes. The pass is closed for vehicular traffic from October to May due to extreme weather conditions. Independence Pass is one of the few places in the United States where it’s possible to drive at night to a place that’s pitch dark with clear, dry, high altitude air. People also prefer to start their day with Independence Pass. Unfortunately, drivers become so encompassed with pulling over and taking pictures, they often fail to realize that on this very road, there are trails that lead to concealed ice caves, waterfalls and a cliff diving hotspot. Standing on top of it is a like being in a brilliant dream of twinkling stars and night sky. Independence Pass Address: PSICC, Twin Lakes to Aspen, CO 81251, USA, United States, Best time to visit Independence Pass(preferred time): 09:00 am - 03:00 pm, Time required to visit Independence Pass: 03:00 Hrs. It’s less safe and you’ll be missing out on the amazing scenery. Be courteous to other drivers and don’t hold back traffic. The Milky Way shines above the Sawatch Range of the Rocky Mountains, seen from Independence Pass near Aspen. Very nice photo! After starting the return hike, I realized that I had lost both my sense of direction and the footpath back to the car. Explore the entire list of places to visit in Aspen before you plan your trip. ta.queueForLoad : function(f, g){document.addEventListener('DOMContentLoaded', f);})(function(){ta.trackEventOnPage('postLinkInline', 'impression', 'postLinks-75797979', '');}, 'log_autolink_impression');flights left into Aspen. Check out where to stay in Aspen and book an accommodation of your choice. Light pollution is making them harder and harder to see in and around cities, and they can be extraordinary in a dark location at high altitude. That said, Independence Pass has two major challenges: the road from Aspen and the weather at the top. Depending on your driving habits, it takes anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes to twist around groves of sublimely beautiful aspen trees and the Roaring Fork River. After getting home, I processed this photo using both single shot and stacking techniques. It'll take you anywhere from 3.5 to 4 hours. Standing on top of it is a like being in a brilliant dream of twinkling stars and night sky. We made several stops on the way, to take pictures. Going to Slovenia over the summer and hope to take some nice photos (like yours) while hiking the Julian Alps and staying at one of Slovenia’s cozy mountain huts. Independence Pass is OPEN for the 2020 summer season. 2. This is Colorado, so if you’re slowing down five or more vehicles, you’re in violation of the “comet’s tail” law and you will get shot. Make sure your windshield and car windows are  extra clean. Beware of the risks of cliff diving and remember that even in the hottest summer day, that mountain water is still freezing cold. Independence Pass: Day or night - See 1,687 traveller reviews, 917 candid photos, and great deals for Aspen, CO, at Tripadvisor. I had turned it on before leaving the car, and the breadcrumbs reassuringly brought me back to the parking lot (while somewhat contradicting my own sense of direction). This is supplemented by the many nature trails and biking routes that surround the pass. Hi, great picture! These grottos are ice caves, created by the flow of the Roaring Fork River (what a name! Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Take I-70. From this starting point the road turns into Independence Pass. I’ll wrap up this post with a few practical tips for driving the Independence Pass: 1. Location of the vehicle off the road. The road up from Aspen is wild, with crazy twists and narrow single lane sections rounding blind bends where you hope nobody is coming down the other way. And it grew in height as we kept climbing…. During our August 2013 trip the Pass looked vastly different. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Whether in magazines or in film, Aspen’s slopes, extravagant restaurants and boutiques, are frequently pictured. Here’s a picture taken inside the cave. I then decided to take several shorter bursts with the intent to stack them later using a new technique I had not tried before. The pass usually on the Thursday before Memorial Day (last Monday of May) and closes in early November. Through your trustworthy navigation app from Denver to Aspen there’s a must-see route, travel West on Highway 82 beginning from Twin Lakes, Colorado. Thank you for bringing back the memory of our awesome spiral galaxy from the viewpoint at near tip of one of her legs. Definitely go outside at night and look at the stars. Once you reach the grottos, the trail disappears and you have to navigate your way across the rocks. With the kids being so young, each stop turned into a snack stop, and with plenty of time on our hands, we enjoyed the long breaks. Your email address will not be published. I do sometimes sell my work. I took this photo on June 4, just days after the pass had opened for the year, which meant there was still a foot of snow at the top. The cold Cascades. You lucky getting a tix. 5. Independence Pass The drive over Independence Pass is an absolute must during the summer/fall months! more. 2. ASPEN, CO - OCTOBER 10, 2012: A sign at the summit of Independence Pass near Aspen, Colorado, marks ... [+] the Continental Divide. Once parked, there’s a bridge allowing you to cross Roaring Fork River where the beginning of the trailhead is easily seen. Related: What are the most popular tours in Aspen? I test drive and review cars, trucks, motorcycles and all manner of machines, anywhere they are - USA, Europe, Asia, The Bronx. Thinking it will take me about 4 hours give or take. Share the road. Won't be arriving until 7pm from the East Coast and I'll be on my own. Thank you for sharing the information on how you processed the photos. Driving Independence Pass. I've also published 7 Op-Eds in the NY, I test drive and review cars, trucks, motorcycles and all manner of machines, anywhere they are - USA, Europe, Asia, The Bronx. I'm a product manager and photographer. Independence Pass mountain landscape, continental divide in Colorado, USA. When you need a break from the F&W mayhem, check out (ta && ta.queueForLoad ? Rotem On this occasion, I took my photos twice using two techniques – one I had used before and one that was new. She also spends her free time blogging on her local travel website, As COVID-19 cases surge locally and across th, 2020 is a year none of us could see coming. Near-by Public Transports: You can hire a car or bicycle to get here. © 2018-2020 Stanton Champion, All Rights Reserved, The Milky Way, Independence Pass, Colorado. Also from Independence Pass, is a pull off that rests in between the Grottos Trail and the Weller Lake Trailhead, easily located and accessible from the road and just 0.4 miles from the prior hidden gems mentioned, Devil’s Punchbowl. The City Museum in St. Louis, MO – Better than Disneyland! Approach this oasis and find cliff divers plunging into a pool of water fed from a narrow opening between the rock. One thing to be thankful for, Google maps leads you right into the lot, just as long as you entered in “Grottos Trail,” Aspen. Independence Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 3.692m (12,112ft) above the sea level, located in Pitkin County, in central Colorado, USA. Ok, so you won’t get shot, but I’ve seen Colorado police pull over a driver for that. Independence Pass is one of the few places in the United States where it’s possible to drive at night to a place that’s pitch dark with clear, dry, high altitude air. Credit: Mountain Rescue Aspen. Here you’ll discover the waterfall sliding down smooth, flat rock formations into a pool of water so blue that looks like glass. With water and ice in various nooks and crannies – some fiercely deep and leading right into that roaring river below – it was excitingly beautiful but not for the faint of heart, especially with kids in tow. have crossed over in my tv streamer screen saver. Dates change every year so check this website for road status. Going west on Independence Pass, there’s a small dirt parking lot to the left for Grotto’s Trail. After arriving at the deck, I started taking photos of the majestic sky. 3. All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu. Either direction, East to West, or West to East is a heart throbbing, worthwhile experience that offers stunning views and a visit to the Continental Divide at the apex of the drive! It’s narrow, it’s steep enough to make you queasy and it’s twisty as corkscrew pasta, with few guardrails. The drive from Denver's around142 miles and should take approximately three … Getty. Overnight camping spots are available on the Aspen side as well as the Lincoln Creek Road. I started by taking single exposure photos – a night photo technique I have used in the past but usually produces less satisfying results. and told my wife that pic should be hanged on our new badroom wall. It was part of our first long road trip, the one which lasted a total of five and a half months. In the summer, the journey from Denver to Aspen reveals something not shown to the world, something hidden and beautiful that will make you wonder why you didn’t know about it all along? The night was incredibly dark, and I could not see much of anything more than a few feet away. The summit of the Continental Divide is 12,095 feet above sea level, and Independence Pass is a 32-mile drive that takes anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and a half. Dates change every year so check this website for road status. If this is part of a long trip, make sure you travel Highway 82 during daytime. Did I mention just how incredible the scenery was? Danielson went on to win the stage and defend the king of the mountains jersey. She loves outdoor adventure, whether it’s a solo trip or with her daughter, she takes any opportunity to be outside. Your trip to Slovenia sounds incredible. bus or shuttle to Denver Airport from Aspen/Snowmass? Aspen represents the epitome of world-class skiing. I’ve love to hear experiences and tips from other travelers! Skip taking the Pass. It’s safe, however, if you take it easy and use common sense. I was born and raised in and around cities, so it wasn’t until I moved to rural Wisconsin that I encountered how truly dark a dark night could be!, © 2020 Forbes Media LLC. The Independence Pass connects Aspen with its eastern neighbours. Take I-70. It’s closed from October though May, so be sure to take on this journey some June through September, on a hot day. You may opt-out by. I knew it was no more than 50 yards away, but the ground was covered in packed snow and I couldn’t see any signs of my own or anyone else’s footprints. fall colors this weekend & transport to snowmass, First Timers in Colorado - Cities to live, Week of Oct. 4th driving from DIA to Telluride, Aspen. By the way, what kind of camera and lens did you use for this photo?

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