Independence Pass Colorado

Independence Pass in Colorado

In Landscapes by Debbi FadliLeave a Comment

Independence Pass in Colorado

Independence Pass in Colorado is one of the most magnificent alpine landscapes in the country. In the late 1800s, it was called Hunter Pass and quickly became the main gateway into the Roaring Fork Valley from the more developed mining towns east of the Continental Divide. The first real road over Independence Pass was built in 1880 by Clark Wheeler, one of Aspen’s most prominent businessmen…using hand tools. Then silver mining took hold in Aspen area and quickly grew. During these early years, the down valley road into the valley was protected by the Glenwood Canyon and the ongoing presence of the Ute Indians, whose territory covered the Roaring Fork Valley as far as Carbondale and Mount Sopris areas.

The water drainage and its structures are very interesting in the history of Independence Pass in Colorado’s  corridor but that’s for another blog.

Today Independence Pass in Colorado is driven by many visitors, tourists, locals enjoying the beauty of the large evergreens, Colorado blue spruces, and the vibrant aspen trees. The columbine, meadow rue, Indian paintbrush are typical wildflower types. So many shrubs along the pass also like chokecherries, mountain ash, and wild raspberries.  Along the road, today you can find tumbled down mining structures. Year-round animals you have to be careful with when taking selfies include the black bear, moose, coyotes, marmots, mountain goats and various small rodents remember they are wild.

Last year 2018 pass opened late due to inches of snow and now this year 2019 it closed before Halloween due to lots of snow. There is a crew who comes every year to open and close it; they have to go on the pass with ATV’s and check out the safety of it.

There is also so much recreation that happens on this pass; mountain climbing, hiking, skiing mountain Boy, the Pro Cycling tour and just to drive the pass and inhale its beauty is just enough for some.

This Independence Pass Blog is brought to you by Roadside Gallery from photographer Martin Garfinkel’s landscape collection.