Hiking The Rockies

 

Top of the Rockies Scenic Byway
Independence Pass

Say goodbye to Lake Creek, as Highway 82 begins its climb to Independence Pass.  You'll have to leave this tranquil valley behind, and gain a couple thousand feet, to get up to one of Colorado's highest paved passes.

At one of the sweeping switchbacks in the road, you can pull off and look into the valley below.

I think that's Mount Champion, on the other side of the Lake Creek Valley.  Mount Champion tops out at 13,628 feet/4,154 meters.

After a couple more switchbacks, you'll have an even greater view of the valley that leads back to Twin Lakes.  That's Highway 82, down below.

This is the last big hairpin curve you'll go around, before reaching Independence Pass.  This is the view to the south.

Give your engine a break, and step out into the thin air at Independence Pass.  If you've made it to this sign, you've reached the highest paved pass on a Colorado state highway.

Rocky Mountain National Park's Trail Ridge Road is higher, but it's a US Highway.  Colorado Route 5 is higher, too, but it isn't a through-road -- it runs to the top of Mount Evans.

You just can't trust a topographical map painted on the door of an outhouse.  In reality, the hike to the door handle is much steeper!

There are trails to hike here, but you probably won't want to hike them on a windy day.  The gusts were nearly strong enough to knock me over, so I just looked out onto the trails, and promised myself that I'd return, someday.  (I did find another good trail to hike, just a bit further west, beyond the pass.  I'll talk about it on the next page.)

The chilly wind barely allowed me to walk out to this viewpoint, which looks towards the east -- back in the direction from which I had just come.

Beyond that dirty snowdrift (still hanging around in June), you can see Highway 82 slicing up the mountainside.  That hairpin curve is the one I mentioned, earlier on this page.


Click to view a larger version.

A wider view reveals dozens of peaks on the horizon.

Just over the pass, looking west, Highway 82 begins its descent to Aspen. 

Check out the drive over Independence Pass, in the Drivelapse time-lapse dashcam video, posted on the previous page.

Hike to Linkins Lake

Twin Lakes, Colorado along Highway 82

     

Research Colorado Hotels

Free Travel Brochures

Colorado Attractions Map

     

Follow TakeMyTrip.com on Facebook

Share via Facebook, Twitter, More

Dashcam Videos on MyDrivelapse.com


Hiking the Crater Lake Trail, above Maroon Lake, Maroon Bells Wilderness, Aspen

Glenwood Springs: Doc Holliday's Grave

Glenwood Canyon, Colorado: Interstate 70

Aspen, Colorado

Carbondale, Colorado, and the drive west from Aspen

Top of the Rockies Byway: Colorado 82, Twin Lakes

Linkins Lake Trail, near Independence Pass, Colorado

Top of the Rockies Byway: Colorado 91, Fremont Pass, Clinton Gulch Reservoir

From the Mountains to Denver's DIA Airport: The Drive Back

Share your thoughts!

In order to better manage your comments, TakeMyTrip now uses Facebook to allow you to leave comments for other visitors to this page, and your friends.  Please use the form above (you might need to log into your Facebook account first).  If you have a message specifically meant for the website creator, send an email to feedback takemytrip.com.  And don't forget to LIKE TakeMyTrip.com's Facebook page!


 

I welcome your feedback.  Your thoughts will make this a better website. Click Here to Contact Me.
All photographs on this website are available for purchase.  Many may be purchased directly through the Gallery.  For commercial use, contact me directly.

View All The Road Trips - USA Map - Route 66 Guide - Drivelapse Videos
AL AR AZ CA CO FL GA ID IL KS LA MA MD ME MI MO MS MT NC NE NH NM NV NY OH OK OR PA SC SD TN TX UT VA VT WA WV WY Canada: AB BC ON Europe: London

Recommended Reading - Bookstore | Search This Site | Support This Site
How to Use This Site | About Me | Links | Legal Stuff | Sitemap | Old Gallery

All content and photographs © 2013 TakeMyTrip.com / Daniel Woodrum
If you wish to use images from this page, please follow the rules listed
here.

         
    Twin Lakes  

 

Linkins Lake