Scenic USA - Colorado

Independence Pass

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Independence Pass - Lake County, Colorado

Photo by Marilyn Porter

   By the first week in July, when Colorado's mountain passes are clear of snow drifts, it's time to head for the hills. Actually, Colorado's Rocky Mountains are much more than hills, and the Centennial State lists more than 35 mountain passes over 9,000 feet. Not to worry, Colorado's highway system is one of the best in the nation. When climbing most steep mountain pass highways, extra lanes accommodate faster traffic.
   This incredible view looks down upon Route 82 as it winds its way through Independence Pass. Among some of the highest mountain pass routes in Colorado, Independence Pass tops out at 12,093 feet. Here in the midst of the majestic Collegiate Peaks, Rocky Mountain scenery is at its best. Between Twin Lakes and Aspen, the altitude seldom dips below 9,000 feet, and Independence Pass travelers find themselves surrounded by breathtaking scenery. A string of camping sites are spread along Route 82, allowing vacationers time for mountain biking, hiking, four-wheeling, and fishing.
   At the top of the pass, an overlook viewing area allows sightseers to get out and stretch their legs. Here, atop the Continental Divide, you'll find a fantastic spot to soak in Colorado's majestic Sawatch Mountain Range.

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