“Independence Pass Overlook”
This past summer, I was able to get to parts of Colorado that I haven’t been to in close to 30 some odd years to do some shooting, and this is one of those places. “Famous” (perhaps even “Infamous”) Independence Pass….the second highest paved mountain pass in Colorado. Last time I was here I was about 11, and my Mom said she would never ever come back again, to drive on this road. It is incredibly narrow, though they have done some construction since then, however, what ya see here is just what ya get…..no guard rails and straight down, thousands of feet. It is stunning though, and my only real regret is that I couldn’t shoot it in the morning light, though I think next year I will, just will need to do an overnight as it is several hours away.
The pass is at the summit of the ridge of the Sawatch Range between Aspen and Leadville, on the border between Pitkin and Lake counties and is located within the confines of the White River National Forest. The pass connects the upper valley of the Roaring Fork River upstream from Aspen with the headwaters of the Arkansas River near Leadville. The pass is traversed by Colorado State Highway 82 and is the second-highest paved mountain pass in Colorado. The top of the pass is well above the tree line and the terrain type at the top is tundra. Its narrow road provides for slow cautious navigation on its approaches. Several switchbacks on each side of the pass make careful planning a must. The pass is always closed in winter, from the first heavy snow fall in autumn, often opening only in late May.
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