Site Details

descriptions and directions

Cottonwood Marsh photo by Peter Burke

Independence Pass - Pitkin County
Ownership: None Listed
Description: This is the Continental Divide (12,095 feet) and the headwaters of the Roaring Fork River. It is open from Memorial Day through late October. Here you'll find nesting birds like White-tailed Ptarmigan and American Pipit and if you're willing to do some hiking, perhaps Brown-capped Rosy-Finch. Check any snowfields you see for Rosy-Finches but please stay on the designated trails. This road is only open in summer, from about Memorial Day to October.

Habitat: Alpine Tundra, Krummholz
Directions: From Aspen take CO 82 approximately 18 miles east to the top of the pass where there is ample parking. Please stay on well-marked designated trails as the tundra is very fragile. Note that the Independence Pass road, although paved, narrows without warning to one-and-a-half lanes in several places, often around blind curves. Drive it very carefully.
Other Wildlife:
Other Attractions:

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