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Cottonwood Marsh photo by Peter Burke

Independence Pass - Lake County
Ownership: None Listed
Description: If you want to see above-treeline species in Lake County without a lot of hiking, or a four-wheel-drive vehicle, this is the place to go! Independence Pass is one of the few places in the state where a paved road goes above 12,000 feet, and accesses some beautiful tundra. Look for American Pipits, Brown-capped Rosy-Finches, and, if you are lucky, White-tailed Ptarmigan.

Habitat: Spruce-fir Forest, Krummholz, Streamside Willow, Alpine Tundra
Directions: Follow US 24 south from Leadville about fifteen miles to its junction with CO 82. Turn right (west) onto 82, following signs for Aspen. The pass is about fifteen miles west on 82--you can't miss it. Take care when driving this road, especially if you head west down the Pitkin County side.
Other Wildlife:
Other Attractions:

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